“If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, 'Here comes number seventy-one.'”
Richard M. Devos
Calvin Coolidge once wrote, “The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” The ability to persist in the face of frustration and failure is essential to the accomplishment of almost anything. It is said, for instance, that basketball wonder, Steph Curry, greatest 3-point shooter ever, still practices for hours every single day. His skill is not based upon inherent physicality and raw talent, but on his persistent work ethic.
I have a cousin, Jerry, who invents things. He's been working on a small golf course practice-green accoutrement for a couple of years—something that fits into the hole and pops the ball back out onto the green for you. There have been some frustrating problems related to sand getting into the mechanism and interfering with its function. Instead of deciding that this is an overwhelming difficulty, he has persisted—making revisions to protect the mechanism from sand, consulting mechanical engineers and field testing each change. It has presented a challenge, and a lot of work, but he's persevered. Consequently, he has succeeded in creating something quite unique.
You don't have to be striving for NBA stardom, or to be an inventor to require the personal characteristic of determination. If there is something you truly want to do, whether it's designing a bridge, building a skyscraper, curing cancer, growing perfect tomatoes, or just improving the quality of your life, the key to success is simply this: Do not give up! Be willing to sacrifice your time and energy for it. Persist in the face of frustration. Press on. Try again. Get help. You get the picture, so get up off the floor and get going. You can do this!
In the Spirit,