Every great journey starts with one small step but persistence gets you there
We are all familiar with the saying that any great journey starts with one small step and quite often taking that first initial action is a massive achievement which should be applauded. However, the only way to achieve progress towards your goal is to continue, step after step after step after step.
Commitment, motivation, passion and focus are all valuable assets required to achieve any goal set but the absolute key ingredient is persistence in the actions you take. These actions can take many forms. For example:
- It might be taking very small manageable steps such as making a telephone call or making a different choice.
- It could be choosing to support yourself by adjusting your priorities to ensure you remain balanced and well.
- It might also include taking time out to gain clarity of thinking before choosing the next course of action.
- It may be increasing your self-awareness to understand what limiting beliefs or fears might be holding you back.
- It might even be having the courage to pick yourself up after a knock.
- It will almost certainly include reflecting on the results of previous actions so that you remain flexible in your approach.
All of these are directly or indirectly proactive steps to move you forward to ensure you are in the appropriate place to take the next step. Whatever form the persistence takes it is the consistent refusal to be beaten which results in massive progress being made both in personal growth and achievement of goals.
"Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." Conrad Hilton
One of the important assets persistence provides is the momentum to keep going when the outcomes are not always what had been hoped. Failure or mistakes are extremely useful for progress. If nothing else it has taught you what didn’t work. However, this gives you valuable information on how you can improve next time, whether it be preparation, identifying aspects that did work, understanding other factors which affected the outcome, how others responded to your actions or what this has taught you about yourself. Whatever the lessons learnt, without doubt, it has created experience.
The more experience you gain from the actions you take the more your path can be adjusted accordingly and the faster your progress.
Consider the amazing story of persistence by Colonel Sanders, the creator of the chicken recipe that went on to be the basis for Kentucky Fried Chicken. At aged 65 Colonel Sanders found himself broke and alone. He asked himself what he could do well, to give to people and earn an income. The only thing he could think of was his chicken recipe and after some thought decided that he would travel America, live out of his car and try to sell his recipe and show restaurants how to cook the chicken to this recipe. He went out there and started knocking at restaurants and offering his chicken recipe. The astounding part of the story is that he got refused 1,009 times before he got a ‘yes’. And the rest is history.
"It's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal that will enable you to attain the success you seek." Mario Andretti, Race Car Driver
I hope you all don’t have to persist 1,009 times before you successfully reach the goals you set yourself but if that’s what it takes, what an achievement that would be.