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Never Give Up – Why Persistence Matters

Harland Sanders was 65 years old and broke when he travelled across America looking for restaurants to buy his fried chicken recipe. After being rejected 1,008 times, he finally found someone to accept his offer. The rest is fast-food history, and in 1964 “Colonel” Sanders sold his chain of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants for $2 million. Never give up.

J K Rowling’s first manuscript was rejected by 12 different publishers before she became one of the most successful authors of all time by way of the Harry Potter series of books and movies. Never give up.

Persistence is consistency

Thomas Edison once said “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realise how close they were to success when they gave up”.

Persistence is one of the keys to success. Nothing can take the place of hard work and taking consistent action. But it’s not necessarily about trying the same thing over and over again and hoping for a good result. You need to be constantly monitoring your strategies, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t, without losing sight of your goal. It also means finding ways to overcome obstacles in your way. If you can master the art of thinking laterally and creatively, you can usually hit upon solutions to the challenges you will inevitably face.

When things are going well and you’re making progress, it’s easy to keep going. It’s during the tough times where your perseverance will be called into question. At times like these, you need to re-establish your commitment to your goal and look for ways to get yourself back on track. Ask yourself: How important is my goal to me? What strategies do I need to change? What do I need to do differently from this point on?

Turn setbacks into opportunities

Every setback should be a learning opportunity. This is easier said than done, but if you make an effort to analyse what went wrong, and figure out a way to move forward, you’ll be better prepared for next time. It’s not so much what happens to you that counts, it’s how you react to what happens that really matters. Don’t think “Why does this always happen to me?”. Instead, ask “What went wrong and what can I do to make it better?”. Make this kind of thinking a habit, and you will find that persistence becomes part of your character.

Life coaching can help you to embed powerful habits that move you toward what you want.

Make a commitment to yourself

I’ll leave the last word to American President Barack Obama: “Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere”.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

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