Persistent Solider Achieving His Goals

 

Persistence is a habit and habits are not easily developed. However, once formed a habit of persistence will follow you through life and it will be the only thing you will need to achieve all your goals.

In his classic “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill says that the quality of persistence in the character of the man is the same what carbon is to steel.

It makes him unbreakable.

U.S. Navy SEALs can serve as a great proof of this fact.

Out of every one hundred that start the training to become the Navy SEAL only six percent -six individuals- make the grade and join the forces.

There are stronger and faster men among those ninety-four that couldn’t make it, however, nothing can substitute the habit of persistence when going gets tough. Those six who made it were nothing but that much determined to win no matter what!

Take my example. I remember when I decided to start living a healthy life, eat clean and go to the gym every day.

At the beginning of my decision, I was so enthusiastic about it. All I could think of was how this new lifestyle will do me so well.

While the enthusiasm was lasting, I was persistent with my goal.

However, after one month or so I suddenly stopped. I found myself in a struggle to keep going. My old habits were pulling me back so fast, and ultimately, they won.

Deep down in my soul, I knew that this new lifestyle that I dreamed of was a great choice and I wanted to try again.

And I did!

Some time went by, and I was doing good. But then again I slammed against the same wall one more time and decided to quit, again!

That day I made another decision, two actually!

The first one was to find out what is the reason for my lack of persistence and the second one was to learn how to develop this precious personal quality.

I have found both answers in Napoleon Hill’s personal development classic, “Think and Grow Rich.”

While studying his material, I found out that the most successful people in this world are not the smartest ones, or most talented. Those who achieve their goals in life, those who reach the top of the mountain are the people who managed to develop a habit of persistence.

Everything else falls in line when you persist in the face of failure.

 

5 Primary Reasons for Lack of Persistence

Most of the people are ready to quit as soon as they reach the first obstacle on their way. It is in human nature, and it is perfectly reasonable. When going gets tough, it is easier to walk away than it is to put in the effort to break the barrier.

As you already know the habit of persistence must be developed, and to improve it you will first have to understand what is holding you back.

You see, to develop a new habit you will have to dig out the old and negative one who is holding you back. Then and only then you will be able to replace it with a new and better one.

Otherwise, the old habit will keep coming back.

I have learned from my experience that these five were significant reasons for my failure. Moreover, once a made a self-analysis, and I compared my results with other people, I saw that almost everyone struggles with the same problems.

Search yourself carefully for these enemies.

 

1. Unclear goals or vision

It is easy to say I am going to do this or I am going to do that.

Words are cheap!

However, not so many people can describe their goal in as many details as possible to show that they really spent some time thinking about it.

One of the first symptoms of lack of persistence is a failure to define your goal exactly how you want it.

The decision to set a goal will fill you up with enthusiasm for a while, but not forever.

You will have to keep building your dream in your mind, or it will never happen.

An unclear vision means that you don’t have a firm goal in your mind. It says that your goal is nothing but a wish.

Wishing instead of willing will not bring any results.

 

==>Develop Persistence With FREE Printable Goals Workbook and Action Planner<==

 

2. Negative experience 

We all fail. Failure is a part of life.

But what happens when you fail?

You don’t do or get what you have wanted to do or to have. At that moment you have two options.

Some people -majority-  will begin to doubt themselves and their abilities after they fail.

The doubt is a mind disease which slowly germinates and grows without its presence being noticed until it digs itself into the mind of the individual and paralyzes every next attempt.

Some other -rare few- will take a break and step aside to analyze what happened and to learn from the failure.

Then, after the lesson is being made, those people will try one more time. And if they fail one more time, they will try again and again.

 

3. Holding on too many strings at once

Imagine a situation where you have to cook in ten pots at the same time, or to listen to ten people at once.

Oh what a mess, haha!

However, try to cook in one pot, and it will be much easier or focus on one voice, and it will be much brighter.

It’s the same thing with your goals. We want too many things at the same time. And this situation will eventually make you confused, disoriented and, in the end, it will make you give up.

There is an old time saying which is passed on to people who are facing this problem.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

 

4. Self-satisfaction

Self-satisfaction is probably the primary reason why so many people lack in persistence.

It is in our nature to quickly become satisfied when we recognize that we can do something.

Most of the people will try for a couple of times. When they see it can be done, they will decide that they are the kings of the world.

When you are satisfied with any kind of result, the progress is gone. You are sending a message to your mind that the work is done, and your body will act accordingly.

Maybe you will eventually want a bit more, but your self-satisfaction will stop you from moving forward.

Unfortunately, most of the people are not aware that this is one of their major problems in life. Seems like that very few can nurture ambition for a long time.

Instant self-satisfaction is the reason why there are too many dabblers out there and not so many masters of the trade.

 

5. Fear of criticism

Try to remember how many times you didn’t act on your goal just because you were afraid of what will “they” say.

Fear of criticism and any other kind of fear will destroy one’s chances for success in a matter of milliseconds. It kills one’s persistence to the point where it is almost irreparable.

As soon as it enters one’s mind, the game is over.

People usually start well before they begin to think about other people opinions. However, if a critic shows up -and it will because it is just a matter of time- the criticized person starts to decrease in activity and ultimately gives up.

Unfortunately, most of the time those critics come from closest friends and relatives.

 

How to Develop Persistence and Achieve Your Goals

 

Now, you know what is holding you back from staying persistent with your goals. The next part of the post will help you to develop this rare personal quality.

These four steps to develop persistence are coming from one of the most excellent personal development books of all time, already mentioned,  Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.”

Hill spent 25 years of his life working with and studying some of the most influential minds of his time such as Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.

In his classic book, he puts emphasis on the importance of having the persistence to achieve any goal in life.

He said that he didn’t found any other quality in those two men to explain significant success, except persistence. Moreover, he goes and says that persistence was the only thing Ford and Edison had when they started their careers and it was the only thing they had to have to build their empires.

Next four steps are exact footsteps used by Ford, Edison, Carnegie, and every other man or woman who succeeded in life having nothing but a goal and persistence.

 

1. A definite goal backed by burning desire for its fulfillment

We already stated that unclear purpose is nothing but a wish. The wish will lift you up for a brief time, and it won’t last long enough.

On the other hand, a desire is a mature form of the wish which has the power to keep you going until you achieve your goal. A strong desire will develop persistence in one’s character.

So how to develop desire then?

First of all, you have to have a goal of some kind.

Then, your task in this first step is to think about your goal.

You will have to take your goal, putting it in writing and speculate on your target. You will have to let your imagination to go wild. Visualize your goal from all possible angles.

You will have to know every detail.

It will take some time to reach the stage of desire. If you really wish for it, then it won’t be a problem.

For example, my fitness goal was nothing but a wish at first, an unclear vision of me working out. However, I knew that I want it!

After some time spent thinking about it, I asked myself a few questions. Why do I want to go to the gym? What do I want from this new lifestyle? What kind of body do I want? How much time am I willing to devote to the fulfillment of this goal? Do I need any type of help or special knowledge? What is my diet going to look like?

Those question didn’t come to me all at once. With every day that I had kept my wish in my mind, a new question popped out.

Those questions turned my wish into a small obsession. Those thoughts were slowly taking over every part of my being.

In the end, my desire was born!

I wasn’t wishing for it anymore. Now, I had a full picture in my mind of my goal and a burning desire to work on that picture to get it in my reality.

You see, a desire is a fuel which moves us into action. It is a starting point for every achievement. A small desire will give a small amount of movement just as the small fire will provide a small amount of heat.

And on the other hand, a burning obsession will move you far and beyond.

That is what everyone, including you, will have to do if they want to develop persistence to achieve any goal in life.

 

==>Turn Your Wish Into an Obsession in Just Six Minutes a Day<==

 

2. A definite plan expressed in continuous action

Napoleon Hill emphasized on a definite plan of action to be a crucial step in the development of persistence.

I agree and disagree because many people misinterpret the word plan, so they get confused by it. They think it has to be something special. However, the truth is it hasn’t.

When I read those words “definite plan” I was discouraged at the moment, and I thought “I never had a plan for anything, how the hell am I going to have one for this? What is the plan?”

And then, after some time I found my answer. It was so simple!

A plan can be, and it usually is, a simple straight line which connects A and B. In other words, a place where you are and a place where you want to be.

A plan is a thing you are going to do to achieve your goal.

That line will be straight in the beginning, and then it will start to get curvy as you go further. Success is never a straight line, keep that in mind all the time!

A funny thing happens when the road gets curvy. At those moments you develop more and more plans to keep you going. In the end, when you look back, you realize that along the way you managed to create a definite plan.

Steve Jobs said:

 

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you will have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

 

In other words, keep on working and trust the process.

For example. I turned my fitness goal into a clear vision. I knew almost every detail of my goal. I knew the weight I want to achieve, the timeframe in which I am going to make it happen, the diet I will apply, etc.

A definite plan for acquiring my goal was simple. Every day, after work I went straight to the gym and worked with those weights.

At some days I found it to be easy, and some other times it was hard to move a muscle. On those days when it was hard, I was looking for ways and means to continue, and the search yielded more and more plans.

Therefore, you don’t have to have a plan worked out on ten pages or so.

All you have to know where are you going, what are you going to do to get there, and do it every single day.

No exceptions!

 

3. A mind closed tightly against negative and discouraging influences

Sometimes you will get distracted by people who are not in harmony with your goal. They will tell you that you are crazy or that you are wasting your time.

We have a name for them.

Pessimists or naysayers. Those are the people who don’t have faith, and faith is just another word for persistence.

Some other times it will be you who will discourage yourself by your own inherited habit to think negative instead of positive.

However it may be, you will have to train your mind to think positive on your goal. Every day keep reminding yourself that you are doing good and that nothing and no one can stop you from achieving your goal.

Close your mind so tightly against everything that can ruin your persistence because that is the only way how you can achieve your goal. Think about your goal and nothing else except people and things which are in harmony with your goal.

A mind closed tightly against all negative influences is a focused mind, and concentrated mind is a powerful mind.

 

4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow both plan and goal.

Chapter 10 in “Think and Grow Rich” is “Power of the Mastermind.” In this part of his philosophy, Hill says that when two minds come together in harmony to achieve a shared purpose, they produce something which is referred to as the “third mind.”

Then the power is born, and everything is possible.

It is a known fact that if you put two trees of the same kind to grow next to each other, they will push each other to improve in height. One tree alone can never reach the same height as it would if it has another one working in harmony with it.

To convince yourself in this fact take a look at the oak forest. And on the other hand, take a look at the oak tree growing alone in an empty field.

It is the same with people. When two or more people join forces to achieve a goal the progress is always faster.

For example, when I was going to the gym to work on my fitness goal, and I was alone in my mission, the degree of my persistence was low. Two times I quit.

However, once I found a goal buddy, which was my younger brother who had the same goal as I, the speed of results was fast, even too fast!

When I couldn’t lift anymore, he was pushing me to do one more rep. When he was lazy to train I was driving him to move his but. Together we grew stronger and faster.

Another analogy which explains this power comes from “Think and Grow Rich.”

One battery will give a certain amount of power in a certain amount of time. However, a few cells joined together will provide much more significant force for a longer time frame.

It is the same with human brains. One brain alone can do few things, two or more minds joined together are limitless.

 

Summary of four steps:

  1. A definite goal backed by burning desire
  2. A definite plan expressed in continuous action
  3. A mind closed tightly against negative and discouraging influences
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage you to follow both plan and goal.

In the words of Napoleon Hill, these four steps are the only thing you need to develop a HABIT of persistence.

Once you master these steps -and you can learn something only by constant time and space repetition, in other words, with practice- you will have the power in your hands to control your own destiny.

You will get the privilege of writing your own life exactly how you want it to be, and make the Life to pay the price.

When I first got my hands on these four steps, I thought there must be something more to it. But I was wrong.

It took me some time to realize that the most simple things in life are the best things.

I tried this formula from “Think and Grow Rich”many times so far, and I have convinced myself that they are sound and they work in my favor if I follow them exactly as the author recommends.

 

Great Examples of Persistence

I will give you three examples of persistence which had the most impact on my mind and had helped me to realize that nothing can substitute this golden habit.

Reread these examples for a couple of times, meditate on them, try to imagine the road these men took to achieve their goals. When you do that, you will understand how and why persistence may be the only thing you will need to succeed in life.

 

Thomas Edison’s example

The first one was dated back in 1879. That was the year when Edison patented the first commercially successful light bulb.

Many people before Edison had experimented with this invention but without success. However, unlike those men, he had a definite goal. He had a clear vision to perfect this invention and distribute it to every household in the world!

Edisons plan was simple. It was to work on his invention every single day until he finds a solution -definite plan-  how to make a cheap and the reliable light bulb.

Now, he didn’t succeed overnight, no. Times and time he failed. Many people were telling him to leave it alone, that his idea is unrealistic, that he is wasting his time.

However, Edison was not listening to them.

Norman V. Peale, the famous author and a father of positive thinking was a close friend to Edison family. He wrote in one of his books that Mrs. Edison was the only person who believed in his invention when no one did. She was his close ally.

Finally, Edison succeeded after 10 000 failures! And the light bulb was born!

When a reporter asked him “how does it feel to fail 10 000 times?”, Edison replied “I didn’t fail 10 000 times. It took 10 000 steps to create a light bulb.”

Are you willing to fail 10 000 times before you reach your goal?

 

Arnold Schwartzennegger’s example

When Arnold was a kid, he had a wish to become a bodybuilding champion of the world and the highest paid action movie star.

He was living in Austria, and he had nothing to start with except his clear vision and a burning desire to bring his goals to life.

Arnold backed his goals with desire and a plan to work like crazy and to outwork his competition. And he did! However, it was not an easy task for him either.

After years and years of hard work, his bodybuilding goal came to life. But when he continued to pursue the second part of his dream, that is to become an action movie star, things were far from easy.

People from the movie business were ridiculing him at every step of the way. Agents told him he would never make it, that he has a huge body which doesn’t fit into the movies. They said to him that he will never make it with his accent and his last name, Schwartzer-schnitzel.

Arnold was not listening to them.

He closed his mind so tightly against all negative influences. Moreover, he surrounded himself with people who were willing to help him learn how to act and correct his accent.

He was persistent in carrying his plan until finally, he got his first big break. A role in the movie “Conan The Barbarian.”

Everything after that is history.

The persistence paid off in dividends.

Are you willing to stand behind your goal no matter how much ridiculed you will be?

 

Napoleon Hill’s Example

When young reporter sat down to interview the worlds wealthiest man, Andrew Carnegie, he didn’t have a clue that this event will alter the course of his life forever.

Carnegie proposed Napoleon Hill to compose a complete success philosophy which will help change millions of lives, some still unborn.

At that moment, the young reporter had nothing except a will to do it. He told Carnegie yes he will do it. However, he said him also that he has nothing except his will. No money, no experience, no knowledge.

Carnegie told him that all he needs is a clear purpose and faith.

Hill listened to him and went to work risking his whole future and life to fulfill his goal.

People told him that he is nuts, but he was not listening. They said he will go broke, but he was not listening to them either. A whole army of negative voices turned against young man and a dream that Carnegie gave him. However, his mind was closed tightly.

Twenty-five years later, in the year 1937, “Think and Grow Rich” was published.

Still today, this book is a Bible between all other success philosophies.

Are you willing to be patient and persistent for twenty-five years to see your goal materialized?

 

Practical Test to Develop Persistence

Now, if you have answered yes to all three questions from our three examples then you should give yourself a test to see are you serious or not.

I want you to take this simple test for a full thirty days.

If you carry on and make this test, you will discover a whole new world for yourself. A world where everything is possible.

This is what you will have to do:

  • I want you to write on a card a small goal you wish to accomplish. Make sure it is a goal which you had never done before.
  • Carry that card with you wherever you go, and look at it as much as you can during the day. You don’t have to show it to anyone. Keep it for yourself for the next thirty days.
  • Every morning when you wake up, and every evening before you go to sleep, take out that card and read your goal out loud so you can hear your words.
  • Don’t put any pressure on yourself during these thirty days. The key is to stay calm, cheerful, and relaxed.
  • Visualize yourself doing the thing you want to do or having the item you want to have as much as you can in a calm, cheerful, and relaxed way.
  • If, however, you fail during those thirty days, make sure you start all over again and begin with new thirty days.

Always remember, no matter what is happening, that you must stay calm, cheerful, and relaxed while visualizing your goal.

Take this test, and you will learn what the word persistence really means.

Good luck!

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below, and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Ivan

yourpersonaldevelopment.org

24 comments

  1. Frasier

    Reply

    What an amazing post! The funny thing is that I’ve just downloaded an ebook on Think and Grow Rich and you just happened to mention it.

    I’ve changed direction in my life recently and I am keeping on track with my goals. I am looking forward to the end result of it.

    Have you heard of this book called The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy? It talks about developing good habits and getting rid of bad habits. It’s a great read for me.

    I now look forward to reading Think and Grow Rich’s book 🙂

    Thanks Ivan!

    • Reply

      Your welcome, Frasier. I am happy that you have your goals firm and you have made decision to stick with them. Now, just go for it!

      Never heard of the book, however, it is going on my To Read list! Thanks for the recommendation. And, enjoy the Think and Grow Rich, you are going to love it!

  2. Reply

    Ivan,
    A powerful story and one I hope my children achieve. Sometimes all it takes is just waking up and realizing that the road may be fun but it has a bad end. Time to change roads and I salute you in being able to do so. Truly amazing how our “friends” are always with a hand out when we have a little but are never around when we need them.
    Your story gives hope and some great advice.
    Sanders

    • Reply

      Thank you, Sanders, I salute you back! There are many roads in life, some with bad ends some with great ends. It is in our power to consciously choose the one to better future, better life.

  3. Reply

    Wow, Ivan, you’ve inspired me. I’ve just followed the link and watched the video, and I can’t wait to receive more of them. And I *will* buy that book and read it. Thank-you so much!

  4. Reply

    Hi Ivan,
    thanks for sharing your story. I think it is the great attitude to share good and bad things of your life. Your openness is respectable.

    Think and Grow Rich is a bestseller I was reading it as well. There are many great books of same or similar messages out there.

    But, I have to add, you may read al best books in the world but if you don’t stick to it what you read, if you don’t take action upon what you have learned, and finally if you don’t correct your mindset, it will be hard to achieve good or big results.
    That is why I totally agree with you, Persistence and action are (among others) the most important pillars of success.

    Daily, even smaller, but consistent and focused actions, can in return yield, after a certain amount of time, great results. Daily persistence can grow in yearly persistence. Set up your mind in that direction and everything is possible.

    Besides, it is a great post and I like the design of the site.

    I wish you best luck and much success in the future.
    Keep up the good work.
    Best regards!

    • Reply

      To simplify what you have said. It is easy to talk the talk but walk the walk as well. However, it must start from somewhere. One book made me read another one; one action made the second action, one change made the second change… I agree with you, and the constant and focused work is one of the keys to success. Persistence can lead a long way as well. I like how you have said it “Daily persistence can grow in yearly persistence.” That is what I want to show to people like me, who are coming from the bad background, that they can change on better only if they’re going to listen and learn and eventually lead them selfs towards something better in life.

      Thank you very much for this comment. I am glad to have you here.

  5. Reply

    Hey Ivan,
    This is an amazing post! It is exactly what I needed at the moment. I have been suffering from lack of motivation lately. I already know what my goal is. I already have a plan how to get there, but it’s just really hard to stay consistent and be persistent. I will try your tip on how to start getting more discipline into my day-to-day tasks. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Reply

    Hi Ivan, lovely post and very thought provoking, its so easy to just get wrapped up in the day to day and not focus on what is important. Particularly liked the bit about wishes not coming to fruition unless you turn them into goals – proper, achievable goals that you can set a plan around making reality. I’ll be looking out for more posts.

    Cheers
    J x

  7. Reply

    I really enjoyed the article!

    Some very wise words from a very wise man.

    When you read an article like this it just brings it home to you just how simple life actually is, or how it should be.

    There are only 2 options in life, “this way or that way”, “the right way or wrong way”, “yes/No”, “success or failure”

    How easy and straightforward life could be if only we stopped sticking massive obstacles in our way!

  8. Reply

    What a great post! I would love to be able to use this sometime on my blog as well… It gave me some great ideas to keep me on the path to success when it comes to my own goals. As well as ideas to help others with theirs. Keep moving forward with every step you take 🙂
    Sabrina

  9. Reply

    Agree with you 100%. Many of us wish too often, but never set realistic goals, and worse do not follow through. Great advice for those who are willing to see these things that hold them back, and take action the way you’ve pointed out.
    Thanks!

  10. Reply

    Awesome post! I can summarize it in one quote by T. Harv Eker, “The number one reason why most people don’t get what they want because they don’t know what they want.”

    It’s all about clarity and setting great goals!

  11. vivek

    Reply

    Another great post Ivan! Goal setting is often a factor in persistence because if you set unrealistic goals, it harms you and your willpower to carry on reduces. Its something I’ve struggled with in the past to be honest and I’m still figuring it out

    • Reply

      Hi Vivek!

      There is some true in your words, however, in my experience, there are no unrealistic goals. Only big and small. And, to reach those big (unrealistic) goals we have to break them down into few smaller ones to create a plan, plus they take much more time, therefore, they seem to be unrealistic. These big ones can really strengthen your willpower or harm it, all depend on how you approach it at the birth of an idea.

      I have a great post about goals on my blog, very helpful, give it a read.

      All the best,
      Ivan

  12. Lance

    Reply

    Hey!
    very inspiring and helpful article! Persistence is a habit that we all can form, even those of us who consider ourselfs “lazy”. Set a good goal and stick with it, it will become easy!
    Thanks for the read. Liked the video.

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