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Persistence means never give up

Dr. Jim Surrell

It was a significant learning experience for me and I am sure for many of us, when we finally understood the power of personal persistence.

Personal persistence may be generally defined as follows: “Continuing to work toward a worthwhile goal you have decided to do for yourself until you finally accomplish that goal to your personal satisfaction.” Of course, there are many terms we may use to define and think about persistence, such as; “stick to it,” “keep going,” “never give up,” “get it done,” “do it now,” “press on” and many other popular terms we may hear or say as well.

There are many examples throughout history of the amazing power of personal persistence leading to personal success. Perhaps the greatest historical example of this is found in a review of the persistence of Abraham Lincoln, who, through his dramatic personal persistence, went on to become the 16th president of our great nation.

Over a remarkable period of 28 years, Abraham Lincoln ran in the following 10 elections, and he lost 7 of these 10 elections, resulting in a 70 % loss rate. 1832 – Ran for Illinois state legislature and lost, 1834 – Ran for Illinois state legislature again and won, 1838 – Sought to become speaker of the state legislature and lost, 1843 – Ran for United States Congress and lost, 1846 – Ran for United States Congress again and won, 1848 – Ran for re-election to United States Congress and lost, 1854 – Ran for United States Senate and lost, 1856 – Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination for his party and lost, 1858 – Ran for United States Senate and lost, 1860 – Ran for president of the United States and won. Clearly, he most certainly made the choice to personally persist.

Following is perhaps my favorite quote regarding how we may look at the power of persistence. This quote is from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the U.S. “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.”

The role of persistence leading to personal success has been proven so many times over the years. I would suggest that perhaps the letters in the word “Persistence” could really stand for the following.

P – Prioritize your goals

E – Enthusiasm is key

R – Review your progress

S – Study what others have done

I – I will persist and I will succeed

S – Seek help when needed

T – Teamwork will lead to success

E – Eliminate obstacles by facing them head-on

N – Never give up and your persistence will lead to success

C – Confidence will grow with each small step

E – Enjoy the ride along the way

As we all continue our life’s journey, I believe it is important to for us recall the remarkable power of personal persistence, as has been proven in so many ways to help us along our way.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at sosdietdoc@gmail.com.