Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”
~ Walter Elliott
I couldn’t believe my ears as my friend shared his thoughts with me.
“I really hate chocolate … and, I can’t stand that movie Mary Poppins.”
What kind of sane person doesn’t love chocolate? And what lover of classic movies could possibly not enjoy watching Bert and Mary sing and dance?
I decided that he must have some type of severe emotional disorder (as a Psychologist I had to come up with some type of explanation to explain such a startling admission!).
For as long as I can remember, the taste of Hershey chocolate was an experience topped by very few things. As a child, the only thing better was to eat a chocolate bar while watching Mary Poppins – it was the absolute best.
Yet, recently, I read about how these two loves of my life almost never came to be – while also discovering two powerful examples about the power of persistence.
The year was 1944 and Walt Disney promised his daughter he would adapt the novel Mary Poppins by Pamela Travers into a movie screenplay. Yet, for over 16 years Travers refused to grant Disney permission.
For 16 years he would visit Travers over and over in England until, finally, she gave him permission to make her story into a movie. His persistence paid off as Mary Poppins became a timeless classic.
Milton Hershey dropped out of school in the 4th grade, becoming an apprentice to a candy-maker. Eventually, over the course of several years, he built three of his own candy companies, yet saw each of them fail and close their doors.
However, Hershey did not give up and started a caramel company, which became a huge success. He eventually sold this business and started the Hershey Company, which brought milk chocolate into the lives of millions of people.
No matter what obstacles got in their way, Disney and Hershey persisted and remained focused, never stopping if something got in the way of their dreams.
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength,
nor a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
~ Vince Lombardi
Both Disney and Hershey followed 3 steps of perseverance when they ran into obstacles that threatened them from achieving their goals:
The 3 Powerful Steps of Perseverance:
1. Stop Talking and Start Doing!
Mark Twain once said,
“Noise (talking) produces nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as though she has laid an asteroid.”
Outrageous success in life is not achieved through hoping, wishing or just talking about it, but through persistent effort, action, and consistent commitment to your passion and goals on a weekly, daily, and even hourly basis.
Make a choice to commit yourself to that which you desire through
action, hard work, and perseverance.
Remember that talk is cheap and ACTION is king!
2. Never Wait for the ‘Perfect Time’
Create opportunity. Take responsibility for your life and career. Take risks and take charge.
Assert yourself when necessary and stop blaming the event or person if things don’t go the way you desire in the time you want.
“If you wait for perfect conditions,
you will never get anything done.” – Ecclesiastes 11:4
3. Overcome Your Fear of Rejection/Failure
No one likes rejection but, as I share with my coaching clients, “Yes” lives in the Land of “NO”.
Until we are willing to say “So What!” and keep pursuing the thing that matters to us, we will let our lack of perseverance derail us.
Do you give up too soon?
“Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough
and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Jack Canfield, co-creator of the best selling series Chicken Soup for the Soul, once told me that he and his business partner Mark Victor Hansen were rejected 140 times before they found a publisher who believed in their book idea!
Are you close to giving up on your dreams? Have you lost your belief in yourself or your idea?
The world needs you to hang in there, to not give up, to stay with your amazing book, piece of art or powerful business idea.
I encourage you to follow Disney and Hershey, to say “so What” to your fears and take the next action step towards achieving your goal.
Question: What is the one thing, right now, you would absolutely love to keep moving forward on? Click on the comments box – I’d love to hear your thoughts!