Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. - Napoleon Hill
You can't win the race if you quit. This is the second article in our six-week series on the keys to success. The word for today is persistence.
About 3 years ago, I was introduced to the most wonderful invention, an espresso pot. These miracles of innovation allow you to consistently make the best espresso in the world. What’s very interesting is how they work. Once you fill the bottom with water and the middle with espresso ground coffee and dark chocolate powder, you put it on the stovetop and wait for it to do its thing.
I have this down to a science and once I put the pot on the stove, I set a timer for 10 minutes. For the first 9 of those 10 minutes nothing happens. Not a peep from the pot. Then something wonderful happens during the last minute. There is gurgling, hissing, and the coffee deliciousness makes its way into the reservoir at the top.
That’s right, 9 minutes of nothing and then voila! This is very like how many of us experience success. Months and years of hard work, setting and achieving short and long-term goals, consistent dedication to excellence and then voila! Success is never accidental, it's the result of intentional persistence.
It's easy to become discouraged when your plans take longer than you would like. Remember, there are no overnight successes, just people who decided they were going to believe in their idea when success seemed far in the distance. People, like you and me, who decided we were going to stick with it until things turned around.
Giving up on our dreams is one of the easiest yet costliest things we can do. After you have made your plans and completed your preparation you must stick with those plans long enough to see them realized.
Here are a few ways to hang in there and stay focused on the destination even when it seems like you aren’t making rapid progress.
Remind yourself that success takes time
Even when you are doing all of the right things the effects can be delayed. Most entrepreneurs and big dreamers are naturally optimistic. So we think we can conqueror the world and be home in time for dinner. But that’s not often the case. When we see celebrities, successful business people, and others we admire we see them after they have “arrived.” We didn’t see the time they put in before they “arrived.” This gives us a false impression that if they were overnight successes, we can be too. When you see their success, you are seeing the results of their struggle.
Achieving your big goals should be considered in years not weeks.
Commit to a timeframe
Most of us are impatient in most things. But your success is going to be a long-term commitment. One of the easiest ways to give up on your goals it to set unrealistic timeframes for achieving them, or no timeframe at all.
Pick an amount of time you are going to commit to achieving your goal. Will you stick with it 1, 3, or 5 years? Understand that this one decision will keep you from giving up too soon.
Keep working until your work pays off
Once you have reoriented your perspective on achieving your goals, get to work. Don’t be distracted by other “shiny things” that come across your path. Stay focused on your destination. Stay energized by the vision of success you have created. Keep honing your craft, increasing your client base, creating phenomenal content, until you hit your target.
BONUS: Remember Why You Started
When the bouts of despair naturally arise, take a moment, remember why you started and focus on realizing that dream. Let that renewed passion push you forward. If your why isn't strong enough to rekindle your passion, maybe you should reconsider if this goal is right for you.
It will happen, but you have to stick with it beyond the first 9 minutes.
How do you stay motivated when success seems delayed?