Monday, February 18, 2013

Persistence To Success


This a probably a familiar billboard. Abraham Lincoln is an honored man in our history, one of the presidents of the United States, noted for his work against slavery. But he failed and was rejected many times before he got to the position of President. (Happy President's Day!)

Many famous authors, including J K Rowling, Madeleine L'Engle, Stephen King, Margaret Mitchell, and Meg Cabot, all had manuscripts turned down multiple times. I'm sure each rejection letter hurt, and there were probably some tears and curses. But due to their persistence, they each succeeded eventually and became very popular, famous, and loved internationally.

Athletes are great examples. Even the best miss a lot of throws, catches, and shots. These aren't just personal unknown failures, they are public for all the world to see and remember.

Here are some quotes. (I'm assuming they actually said these, but you never know. Regardless, they are inspirational.)

   "You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve."  J K Rowling

   "I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” Abraham Lincoln

   “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have
   been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in
   my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

   "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up."
   Thomas Edison

That last quote makes me think how many times I could have done something amazing, or even just done something, if I hadn't given up. How close have I been to succeeding when I gave up? How many things could I accomplish if I just even tried?

On the other hand, it's been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

With that in mind, be mindful that what you are spending your time, energy, money, and life on is worth it. It doesn't matter if others don't like it, as long as you love it and are passionate about doing it, and it doesn't interfere with your and others lives.

If you've always wanted to write a book, go for it. Put in the extra time and effort to write 500 words a day. Don't give up if you miss a day, a week, or even a couple months. Pick back up and keep going. Learn from other authors' experiences, learn about grammar and other writing technique. If some people don't like it, just remember there is someone who will like it.

If you want to be an athlete, put in the time to exercise, eat right, learn about your sport. Share your sport with others, teach others how to be good at it. Practice, practice, practice.

If you want to start a business, then learn all you can about businesses, your product or service, competition, law, and other business related items. Then dive into it with your heart and soul, you'll need them to keep going.

The trick is to be realistic and set achievable goals while still striving to push yourself. Make your passion part of your life, part of something you do consistently, part of you. Track your progress so you can see how great you're doing and have inspiration to do even better. Make a checklist, a calendar, a sticker chart- something visible that you can keep track of your progress on to see if you are meeting your goals.

I'm working on persistence in being healthy right now. I've read articles and books, and watched videos about different ways to exercise. I've tried different exercises and still do add variety to my workouts. I've learned about eating healthy. I'm trying to make these things part of my lifestyle, not just something I am doing now to get in shape that will stop once I hit my optimal body.

My goal is to exercise 4 times a week. I know that technically I probably should be exercising 5 times a week at least, but 4 times is realistic for me and my life. If I do an extra workout and make it five times, then I surpassed my goal and feel extra awesome. But if I just do the 4 workouts that week, I feel awesome because I hit my goal! If I do less than 4, I tell myself it was a hard week, but I keep going with the same goal for the next week, I don't give up because I messed up.

I printed a calender to track my exercise. Everyday that I exercise, I put a nice X on the day. I can look at it and see how well I've been doing. I also weigh myself and measure my waist periodically so I can track my progress in multiple ways.

To help me eat better, I made some magnets with pictures of the fruit and veggies that we buy on a regular basis. When we come home from grocery shopping, I put up the magnets of the produce we bought so when I am hungry or cooking dinner, I know what we have. It helps me to eat more produce and not let it spoil.

I'm a work in progress, but I think we all are, every day. As long as were are consistently trying to be better and achieve, then we are doing just fine.

Brainstorm some ideas of things you like, things you love, things you are passionate about. Pick a few to study out in more detail. Decide which one or two ideas you want to work on right now (the rest can wait- it's easier to start small). Study them out, learn as much as you can about them. Then go to work and keep it up!

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