"Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in." - Bill Bradley
What makes a person successful? If you explore this question, you will come to the realization that many ingredients have to come together to make success possible. A person needs focus, ambition, passion, confidence, hard work, and more to achieve their idea of success.
However, there is one key thing without which none of the above factors would matter. And that is persistence. Without it, no matter how smart you are or how skilled you are, success will always evade you. Calvin Coolidge said this perfectly, "Nothing in this 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."
Suffice it to say, you need to make sure that persistence becomes your second nature. Sure, it might take some time to get there, but once you become persistent by nature, no dream will seem too big, and no goal will seem too far away. To that end, let's take a look at some ways you can develop this essential quality.
1. Keep Your Sight On Your Long-Term Goal
Everybody needs a purpose. Everybody needs something they can constantly work towards in life. Otherwise, what's the point of it all? Without this distant purpose, it is easy to feel lost and directionless. And persistence will simply never happen. So, first of all, you need to set up a long-term goal that you really care about. Make it as meaningful as you possibly can.
Then, just go about your life working towards that end goal. Every day, remind yourself of what you are working towards. Talk about it with your loved ones, visualize achieving it during your free time, and meditate on it whenever you can. These will only increase your desire to achieve your end goal.
2. Always Know Why You Are On Your Journey
There will come times during your journey when things will become a little hazy. Often, this happens when people go through rough patches in life. During such a phase, you might start questioning the end goal itself. You might start questioning your journey and your whole life. Suffice it to say, you don't want to land up in this state of mind.
So, you need to remind yourself why you are on your pursuit every day. When you wake up in the morning, remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. And when you go to bed at night, think about whether you have been faithful to your "why." This exercise will make it much easier to push through every day, despite all odds.
3. Have A Stoic Attitude Toward Challenges
Challenges are a natural part of life. No matter what you do, challenges will keep showing up. Most people give up when they start facing too many problems in their lives. Even if their dreams mean a lot to them, they give up on their journeys because they get too scared of challenges. They think that they don't have the ability to defeat their troubles and move forward.
This is where a stoic attitude can help a lot. If you weren't aware, stoicism is an ancient philosophy, and it has helped countless people achieve great things in their lives. It basically involves accepting whatever comes your way and not showing any emotion toward it. This is something you will have to build over time. But once you do it, nothing will faze you in life.
4. Be A Lifelong Learner
One thing that we can all be certain of about life is that it is a learning experience. Ever since we are born, we learn countless things. And we continue to do this till the very end. So, it is only natural to embrace this fact with open arms. Once you do this, you can actively start looking for ways to keep making yourself better and better.
And when you do that, you become much more capable of handling life's challenges and moving forward on your journey. Persistence, you see, comes naturally when you are a lifelong learner.
5. Develop Habits That Translate Into Success
This is one of the most important points on this list. After all, habits can make or break you. If you develop good habits, they will contribute to your life in ways you can't even imagine. And if you develop bad habits, they can destroy your life.
If you want to cultivate lifelong persistence, you need to develop habits that can translate into success. For example, you can have a morning routine that can help you take care of yourself and get into a favourable mindset for the whole day. You can also develop a habit of reading books. Most successful people do this and it's not a mystery why. Similarly, you can develop multiple habits that can give you the extra edge in your everyday life. Simple things like this make a huge difference in the end.
6. Surround Yourself With A Strong Community
The kind of people you surround yourself with has a lot of influence on you. This is why it is said that you are the average of the five people closest to you. If you surround yourself with positive and motivated people, you, too, will become more positive and motivated.
So, take a stock of who your closest people are. And think about crafting a social circle that benefits your life and career. You can also take the help of a mentor who has already done what you are currently doing. They will be able to guide you every step of the way and won't allow you to ever quit. You can also read up on successful people's stories and take that as inspiration for your own journey.