“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people 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”
~ Calvin Coolidge
I was recently reminded of how the Asian Bamboo trees grow. You plant the seed and water it and water it for 5 years, nothing just watering, weeding and waiting. Then is a span of about six weeks, it grows two and a half feet a day until it reaches 90 feet or higher. It has been said, “It grows so fast, you can actually hear it grow.” For all those years the growth was barely visible, then wow. What if the gardener gave up after a month, a year, two years etc.? The Bamboo tree was taking it’s time developing a massive root system that later would support its magnificent growth. It takes time to get rooted. It is said that as tall as a tree is above the ground is a deep as its root go beneath the ground.
How often we give up just before we are about to achieve success? Remember the lines from the famous poem quoted in a recent blog post January 6th; There is No Failure Only Feedback (For full poem check out post):
“Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.”
I have this picture I took off Facebook with famous failures, it reminds us of some of the great hero’s and shero’s who beat the odds because they persisted and did not give up, here are a few examples: Michael Jordan after being cut from his high school basketball team went home locked himself in his room and cried; Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas”; Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a news anchor because “she wasn’t fit for television.”
I cannot stress to you enough the power of perseverance. I looked up the word in the dictionary and it says, “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” ~ dictionary boss.com. In another dictionary it says “to pursue through severe.” Clearly no easy path is called for. History is replete with people who did not give up even though they did not see results, they persevered.
“Imagine for instance, how easy it would have been for this young man to bow his head and given up. He failed in business in ’31, he was defeated for legislature in ’32, he was elected to legislature in ’34. His sweetheart died in ’35, he had a nervous breakdown in ’36, he was defeated for speaker in ’38, he was defeated for elector in ’40, he was defeated for Congress in ’43, he was elected for congress in ’46, defeated for Congress in ‘48, defeated for Senate in ’50, defeated for vice president in ’56 and for Senate in ’58. But fortunately he was elected president in 1860. His name was Abraham Lincoln.” ~ Alan Loy McGinnis from his book, Bringing Out the Best in People
I have this big picture of an ocean wave hitting the shore hung in my living room; it has the word persistence written in large letters and this quote: “Challenges are what make life interesting, overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson. Think of all the amazing people who did not give up even though they had to overcome challenges, and go for your dream no matter how big. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! If you don’t give up and you persist you will capture the victor’s cup, rest if you must but don’t you quit!!!!
My challenge: Choose something you really want and make a decision to persevere and stick to your course no matter what obstacles, difficulties of discouragement you face decide you will not be shaken. Keep a daily journal of your journey and wait for that bamboo tree to take root and grow, watch it reach the sky. It will be worth the wait, so are you!
Maria Elena Escobar