Persistence & the Habit of Success


Data mining Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich regarding persistence.

Persistence is a state of mind AND a driving force of action. No doubt you have heard, “Anything you can think, you can bring into your life.” But, the secret is that you take ACTION. You can’t sit back on the sofa, and imagine your success. Would that we could! Progress requires ACTION.  Action requires PERSISTENCE.

Persistence is based upon the following qualities:

  • Purpose. The definiteness of purpose or knowing what one wants is the first and most important step in persistence. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know what our purpose is or what we want. I suffered from this for many years. I determined to find my purpose by the process of elimination. I like to focus on what I don’t want and move those items out of my life. Purpose by elimination. It narrows the playing field for what I do want. (FYI, one of my deep passions and purposes is to HELP! Hence, my CorporateCulturology blog about culture in our corporate world…what we bring there and deal with there.)
  • Desire. Desire is important if you’re going to be persistent in pursuing the object of that desire. Again, if you don’t know what you desire, eliminate what you don’t like. Ask yourself these questions: Am I doing something I don’t want to do? Is there something I would rather do? Then, as they say, do more of what you love, less of what you tolerate, and none of what you hate.
  • Self-reliance. You have to be self-reliant to be persistent. You must have belief in your ability to carry out your plan. If you don’t have the belief that you can, look for someone who can help you. Persistence and action often require help. Find someone who loves to do what you hate to do.
  • Organization. Firm and organized plans will help you make progress. Knowledge is important, but, again, you can find someone who has the knowledge in an area you don’t.
  • Cooperation. Cooperation is important for persistence because like knowledge and self-reliance, you may need others to achieve your goals. You may also want to get an accountability partner. And accountability partner will make you answer to yourself, your most serious critic. Accountability partners will be able to make sure you’ve gone through all the items you said you were going to go through.
  • Willpower. Concentrating one’s thoughts upon their plan is willpower. Willpower is a crucial self driver also enhanced by an accountability partner.

Persistence builds upon your habits. Characteristics, such as those above, when coupled with action yield progress. If you perform daily actions fueled with the behaviors above, there’s a better chance that after 21 days, or whenever the latest study shows habits form, that you will create success generating habits.

To take inventory of your persistence level, ask yourself these questions.

  • Do I fear criticism?   
  • Do I procrastinate?
  • Do I lack organized focus?
  • Do I lack willingness and desire?
  • Have I failed to define what I want do?
  • Am I indecisive or do I make decisions?
  • Do I need specialized knowledge that I’m not interested in?
  • Do I rely on excuses instead of making plans for progress?
  • Do I have plans in writing with which to move forward?
  • Am I willing to tolerate poverty instead of taking actions?

The last question is CORE! And one about which I blogged in my “Do you know the 6 FEARS holding you back?!” post. If you face deep motivational blocks, go back and read my FEARS blog.

For more topics from the motivational book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill about his interviews with Andrew Carnegie and his contemporary masterminds, see my earlier CorporateCulturology blog posts.

Any comments you would care to share?

If you like my writing here, please check out my blog I welcome your comments and advice for future topics.

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Lesley Davidson

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