“Durability is more important than ability.”
Buddy Ryan, football coach
Before I gave my presentation at IBM, the Vice President of Sales got up and asked his 2000 salespeople, “Did the Wright Brothers quit?” “No,” they responded. “Did Charles Lindbergh quit?” “No,” they shouted back. Did Muhammad Ali quit?” “No,” they bellowed even louder.
And then the Vice President asked, “Did Thorndike McKester quit?” There was a long confused silence. Then a salesperson shouted, “Who in the world is Thorndike McKester? Nobody’s every heard of him.” The Vice President snapped back, “Of course you haven’t — that’s because he quit.”
As the old slogan indicates, “Quitters never win, and winners never quit.”
True enough. But how do you get that kind of persistence, perseverance, and no-quitting, never-give-up mentality working for you? I address that exact question in great detail in my new book, “The Payoff Principle: Discover the 3 Secrets for Getting What You Want Out of Life and Work.”
In fact, even though the book will not be available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble until March, 2015, the publisher is allowing my “Tuesday Tip” subscribers to get their copies right now.
To bolster your persistence, start with these tips.
1. Remember your greatest accomplishments come AFTER persistence.
That truth applies to everything … your sales performance, your professional productivity, your health, finances, and the quality of all your relationships on and off the job. Persistence precedes payoff.
Admiral Robert Peary attempted to reach the North Pole seven times before he finally succeeded.
Oscar Hammerstein produced five shows on Broadway that were flops before staging “Oklahoma,” which was seen by almost five million people during a record-breaking run of 2212 performances.
It’s even said that Walt Disney’s request for a loan was rejected by 301 banks before he finally got a “yes”. Yet he went on to build the world’s most famous theme park.
You can even go back 2000 years to read about a man called Paul, who showed incredible persistence. Even though he had been shipwrecked, stoned, beaten, imprisoned, betrayed, hungry, thirsty, sleepless, cold and naked over and over again, over the course of several years, he refused to give up on his purpose of spreading good news around the world. He wrote, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
2. Listen to the voice of your GREATER self.
There’s a legend about a soldier being court-martialed before Alexander the Great. Believing the verdict was unjust, the soldier said he wanted to appeal his case. The conqueror informed him that there was no one higher than him to whom he could plead his case. “Then,” the solider replied, “I want to speak with Alexander the Great instead of Alexander The Small.”
In a similar sense, you have a “lesser self” and a “greater self” struggling for supremacy inside of you. The lesser self is telling you to quit and take the easy way out, while your greater self is encouraging you to do the right thing. You need to be aware of those two voices, and you need to consciously decide who you will listen to.
For example, your lesser self says, “I’ll never make it. No one believes in me.” Your greater self says, “With faith in myself and my Higher Power, I can make it”
Your lesser self says, “It’s taking too long to reach my goals.” Your greater self says, “Goals are achieved one day at a time.”
Your lesser self says, “Enough is enough! I’m outta here.” Your greater self says, “I’ve come too far to give up now.”
Your lesser self says, “I don’t have the strength to hold on any longer.” Your greater self says, “Hold on a little longer; the darkest hour is just before the dawn.”
You absolutely need to let your greater self speak out. Then you will be able to exhibit the courage … and achieve the payoffs … that orator Robert Ingersoll spoke about. As he pronounced, “The greatest test of courage on Earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.”
3. Decide to be a finisher instead of a starter.
The great American philosopher said, “The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings.” What about you? Are you merely a starter, or are you also a finisher?
Quitting says more about WHO you are, than where you are, or what you’re up against. Oh sure, we all have our excuses. We can pretend that people, things, and situations outside of ourselves are to blame for our lack of success, but in reality most failures are the result of a lack of bulldog tenacity. More often than not external things don’t stop us; it’s what happens to us on the inside that kills off our persistence!
So one simple strategy you can deploy is to decide that you are indeed a finisher. Take on the mind set of Leonardo da Vinci. He said, “Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed on a star does not change his mind.”
The only thing … (Did you get that?) … the only thing that absolutely guarantees your failure is to stop trying. But with these tips implemented in your life, you will have the persistence you need to get the payoffs you want.