The Power of Persistence

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Photo by David Olkarny
Photo by David Olkarny

“Persistence is a great substitute for talent.” Steve Martin

I can remember getting so frustrated when I was working for the police department. So many of my peers were getting promoted or were getting transferred to better positions, but I could not seem to make any headway. I would study, prepare, and then take the promotional exams. I would pass the first stage, but not make it past the second stage. Or I’d pass the first two stages and then not do well on the third.

Has this ever happened to you? You had a goal but no matter how hard you tried, you just could not seem to reach it? It often seems that the easiest thing to do is give up. If you can’t get promoted in the company where you are at, it must be time to move on. If your prayer is not answered after a week, give up on God. If you don’t drop that pants size in a month, you quit going to the gym.

There were so many times that I considered just giving up on the whole promotional process with the police department. Thankfully, I had some people who believed in me and challenged me to keep trying. After two tries, I finally made Corporal. It took three attempts to get promoted to Sergeant. My promotion to Lieutenant took two times through the promotional process. That was the rank that I eventually retired with.

What is it that you are tempted to give up on? I know that it might feel like it is never going to happen and it is probably just best to move on to something easier. Do not underestimate, however, the power of persistence. Listen to this quote by President Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

When I failed during my attempts to get promoted, I tried to learn everything I could to prepare myself for the next time. I read, I studied, and I asked questions. Obviously, I am slow learner but I eventually attained the career goals that I had set for myself. If I can point to one thing that helped me more than anything else, it was just the fact that I did not give up.

How can the power of persistence make a difference in you life? What areas have you been tempted to give up in?

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