Successful people don’t give up. If Henry Ford, Bill Gates, or Bruce Springsteen would have given up, we would have no Ford, Microsoft, or Rock & Roll. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating about rock & roll. Still, the fact remains that without Super Habit #14 and persistence, there’d be a lot of missing shit in the world.
Maybe you don’t care about success by traditional standards. You just want to live the life you want to live. Guess what? That takes some persistence, too.
Persistence Means Not Giving Up
I’ll admit that I haven’t always been as persistent as I’d like to be. It’s true that I write a crapton, and make music like it’s water. I’m pretty good at practicing persistence in regard to my creative work. But when it comes down to figuring out how to market stuff, I get overwhelmed. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up though. I continue to work toward creating more income through creative works. Because if I quit, it’ll never happen.
Here are three key qualities to persistence:
- Know what you want: Here’s where a lot of us get stuck. We might claim we know what we want, but our wants change like we change our underwear. You really need to know yourself. Over the past ten years I’ve started blogs about at least seven different topics. In hindsight, most of them weren’t what I really wanted. I actually knew that, but thought I had to find a niche in order to create a successful blog. In the end, I’m a creative: writing, music, poetry, and design all float my boat.
- Take action: Once you really know what you want to do, you have to take action. Things won’t magically happen while you sit on your ass. You have to research, create a plan, and get started one step at a time.
- Be disciplined: And here’s what separates the men from the boys. Discipline. There will come a time when you want to quit. There will be days that you’d rather watch TV than write another page. You’ll get discouraged when your startup blog is getting no traffic. But if you want to stay in the game, you have to keep going. You have to get up every fucking day and do the work.
So What If You Don’t Make a Million?
Some people give up because they don’t reach their goal. Whether your goal is to run a super marathon or to make a crapload of cash, not reaching it is not the end of the world.
When I was younger I wanted to be a rock and roll star, like Bruce. Today, the fact is, I’m never going to be a rock and roll star. Hell, rock and roll itself is practically dead. But I can still create music to my heart’s content. I can practice persistence as a musician, continuing to hone my craft. I can get up every day and write 500 words, even if only a few people ever read them.
Being successful isn’t about how much you sell, it’s about your passion, your discipline, your love for your work. And if you stick with it, you’ll shine in your own way.
Whatever it is you really want, don’t stop. Keep doing what you do. The world may just become a better place because of your work.
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