Why Persistence is Essential

– an article by Bob Proctor

Download the pdf version here: http://lindaproctor.com/public/Persistence-Long-Version.pdf

In 1953, a beekeeper from Auckland, New Zealand earned world recognition with fame and fortune to follow. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth for his accomplishment, Sir Edmund Hillary and his native guide, Tenzing Norgay became the first two people to climb Mount Everest and safe return after having tried and failed on two previous attempts.

Hillary had two obvious character strengths which literally took him to the very top … vision and PERSISTENCE.

Without Persistence, all his skills would have meant nothing. These qualities and characteristics are the same as those you need to lead you to the top of your mountain. You are confronted by mountains every day. You can either climb the mountains, or remain in the foothills. Any successful person will tell you that Persistence is absolutely essential to climbing the mountains.

The individuals who remain in the foothills have never chosen to develop this strength. These people dream of being stars. They want to receive the fame and fortune. But fame is not a common suitor. Fame only comes calling after a high price has been paid, and the poor people who march in the foothills refuse to pay that price.

Napoleon Hill wrote in his book Think and Grow Rich:

“There may be no heroic connotation to the word persistence, but that quality is to the character of the human being what carbon is to steel.”

Hill was right. Persistence is a unique mental strength, a strength which is essential to combat the fierce power of repeated rejections and numerous other obstacles that sit in waiting, and are all a part of winning in a fast-moving, ever-changing world.

There are hundreds of biographies of highly successful men and women who have cut a path for others to follow while leaving their mark on the scrolls of history. Every one of these great individuals was persistent. In many cases, it was the only quality which separated them from everyone else.

Consider Ben Hogan. He weighed only 135 pounds, but every ounce was saturated with Persistence. Born into a poor family, Hogan began to caddy at a local golf club as a boy to earn extra money for his family. This led to the birth of a dream. He would become a great golfer.

Through a great deal of hard work, practice and Persistence, Ben Hogan became one of the world’s greatest golfers. In 1948, he won the United States Open Championship. His accomplishments earned him world recognition, but he had not yet faced his mountain.

The next year, Hogan was involved in a head-on collision with a bus, and he was not expected to survive his injuries. He did, but the doctors said he would never walk again. That was their opinion, not Ben Hogan’s. He insisted his golf clubs be put in the corner of his hospital room as he began to visualize himself playing golf again.

One year later, Hogan won the United States Open Championship again. The next year he won three major championships. In all, 54 of his victories followed that near-tragic accident. Does Persistence pay? Ask Ben Hogan.

I had the pleasure of speaking to a group of business people in Fort Worth, Texas many years ago. The meeting I was addressing was held at the Colonial Golf and Country Club. This is Ben Hogan’s home club. Prior to my speech, I had the good fortune of seeing the 54 trophies Ben Hogan had earned AFTER his tragic accident. The trophies are there on display to encourage the weak-minded, and to remind and reinforce the strong.

Another person who has aptly demonstrated how far Persistence can take you is Charlie Boswell. Boswell is a Birmingham, Alabama businessman, salesman, author and golfer. He holds numerous national and international golf championships. But what really distinguishes him is that he is blind. That’s right. Charlie Boswell lost his sight after being blown off a tank in the Second World War. Selling, golfing and writing are all the pursuits Boswell has engaged in since his tragic mishap.

Do you think Charlie Boswell is persistent? Well, do you? If you were to compare an entrepreneurial or sales career to one in the entertainment industry, you would find that every actor or actress holds a dream of becoming a star. Every entrepreneur or sales person holds a similar dream. However, as an entrepreneur or as a salesperson, you have much greater control over your destiny. There’s no capricious director or casting agent who can put their foot on the brake of your progress. You alone decide to quit or to continue when those inevitable mountains loom up on the road to your goal.

Every industry has entrepreneurs and salespeople, and for every star there are at least 20 amateurs. Twenty percent of the salespeople take home 80% of the commissions. The beautiful aspect of sales is that you decide to which percent you will belong, and in the final analysis as an entertainer, you must keep this beautiful truth firmly planted in your mind … that even the capricious directors and casting agents of our world are always overruled by the laws of our Universe.

Whatever you conceive and believe, through persistence you must achieve. Entrepreneurial situation or not, decide RIGHT NOW to be one of those people who make it happen, to be one of the group who receives the lion’s share of the profits.

Understand that to join this select group of big producers, you must begin your Persistence exercises now. Make Persistence your most well-developed mental muscle.

Persistence cannot be replaced by any other quality. Superior skills will not make up for it. A well-rounded formal education cannot replace it. Nor will calculated plans, nor a magnetic personality. When you are persistent, you will become a leader in your industry.

I picked up a piece of literature years ago which illustrates that point perfectly. Let me share it with you. It was written by Calvin Coolidge. It’s called Persistence.

“Nothing in the 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.”

The people who never tackle the mountains, who perpetually wander in the foothills most of their lives have, in my opinion, lied to themselves and everyone else who would listen so often and for so long that they are no longer even aware of what they are doing.

They say they are content with their results. They will say that climbing a mountain is not important to them … that they are getting by just fine the way they are. Odds are, they secretly started the climb the mountain years ago and got scared. They hit the terror barrier, quickly retreated to their comfort zone, and have been hiding behind their own false rationale ever since.

They frequently justify their sick, mediocre performance with statements like, “Why should I go all out? When I get there, the boss will just want more.”

These poor, non-productive individuals are lost, or at best, misguided. If you are not able to wake them up, make certain that you do not permit them to pull you into their trap. In fact, when you come in contact with these poor souls, let them serve as a triggering mechanism to mentally double your commitment to yourself to become more persistent.

My Webster Dictionary has this to say about Persistence: “To continue, especially in spite of opposition or difficulties.” To this point I have had quite a lot to say about Persistence … those who have developed it and the necessity for Persistence.

But there’s something missing in this message. HOW TO. How do you become persistent? That’s a good question. Persistence is never developed by accident. You’re not born with it and you cannot inherit it, and there is no one in the entire world that can develop Persistence for you.

Persistence is as interwoven with success as the chicken is with the egg. And I’m talking about REAL success as it’s covered on the cassette I have recently made on success.

Ultimately, Persistence becomes a way of life. But that’s not where it begins. To develop the mental strength, Persistence, you must first want something. You have to want something so much that it becomes a heated desire, a passion in your belly. You must fall in love with the idea. Yes, LITERALLY fall in love with the idea. Magnetize yourself to every part of the idea. Then, Persistence will be automatic. The very idea of not persisting will become hateful, and anyone who even attempted to take your dream away from you or stop you, or even slow you down, would be in serious trouble. Difficulties, obstacles, mountains will definitely appear, and on a regular basis. But because of your Persistence, they will be defeated by you every time.

All right, where does this leave you? It leaves you at the crossroads that every self-help book, every motivation cassette, every seminar leads to. You must decide what you want … what you really want way down deep inside, or you’ll remain in the foothills surrounded by losers.

This is a subject I have studied all my adult life, and I can tell you one thing I know for certain. Very few people have admitted to themselves that THIS is what I want.

This is what I REALLY want, and I’m prepared to give my life for it.

That last statement may cause you to sit up and say, “Wait a minute!” And that’s fine. But you should seriously think about it, because you’re already giving your life for what you are doing.

What are you doing? What are you trading your life for? Are you making a fair trade? Remember, whatever you’re doing was your decision. Or was it? OR WAS IT? You could possibly be one of those poor people who have been wandering in the foothills leaving the decisions of where you are going and what you are doing with your life to other people … just following … always following.

That is where most people live. If that is the case, that’s okay. Don’t let it bother you for one more valuable second of your life. Forgive yourself AND that way of life. Just let it go … forever.

Treat this message on Persistence as your wake-up call. This red-hot message on Persistence will help you get out of the foothills and lead you to the very top of the mountain, all the way to the summit. It’s not a chair-lift. It will not make the climb any easier. You’ll still attract the necessary problems, and they’ll come to strengthen you. But this message will definitely make the climb to the top of the mountain a lot more fun! It will also help you develop the granite strong attitude, the certainty, the inner knowing that you will get to the top. The summit will be yours, and the view from the top is going to be awesome! It will be reward enough for all the problems that you encountered to get there.

Talking about summits and Persistence, let’s go back and think about Ed Hillary. What kind of a passion do you suppose he felt for his goal? He must have truly wanted to climb that mountain. Think of the physical and mental abuse he was subjecting himself to! He was obviously prepared to give his life for what he wanted. Every person who had ever seriously attempted to climb Everest, as far back as our history records go, either failed miserably or experienced a tragic death trying.

Most people, when they think about Sir Edmund Hillary and his expeditions ask, “What kept him going year after year?” He WANTED. That’s what kept him going. That is why he was Persistent. He wanted, really wanted at a gut level wanted something enough to keep going.

When a person does not understand that, they’ll usually ask, “WHY? Why did he want it?” He didn’t know why. He didn’t have to know why. “Why” wasn’t important. “Want” was important.

Persistent people never know why they want. They only know that they want and they must have it, and to have it, they must do, and to do they must be, and they want it so much that they keep imaging it until they become the living, breathing embodiment of whatever the want represents, for those are steps which MUST be followed for the creative process to work in our life.

Ed Hillary BECAME the mountain climber. The “whys” in our life are a blessing from spirit. Let me repeat that … The whys in our life are a blessing from spirit. They are spirit’s way of turning us into a perfect instrument for spirit to express itself through. Spirit is always for expansion and fuller expression. The essence of YOU is spiritual. Spirit is saying to your consciousness, “Here. Want this. Really want it. When you want this enough, you’ll grow into the person who is capable of doing great work. You are worthy of having whatever you want.”

That is why ordinary people have always done extraordinary work, because … LISTEN CLOSELY … This is one of the greatest liberating truths you will ever hear. The ordinary people did extraordinary things because they consciously recognized what they wanted, and they refused to suppress or dismiss it. They would not let it go, even if failure, rejection, bankruptcy or death was staring them in the face. It would have to be that way, or the ordinary person would never DO the extraordinary. They would never persist. The power of their want and the intensity of their Persistence caused them to draw on resources they previously were not aware they possessed. They expressed what they had within … GREATNESS.

When the want is weak, you’ll quit at the first obstacle. The proper want is essential to Persistence. A proper understanding of these concepts will virtually guarantee you a successful life. The playthings like cars, houses and money will automatically come to you. They rarely represent real success.

Come with me as we review Ben Hogan. A very ordinary young fellow became such an absolutely extraordinary inspiration to millions of people. In one line, the answer is obvious … He had a dream.

Every time I think of people like Hogan and Hillary and their dreams, I think of what another very ordinary man who has done an extraordinary think said about situations like this. “If the dream is big enough, the facts don’t count.”

Sam Kalenuik said that and he knows what he’s talking about. Sam is a good friend and one of the owners of Matol Botanical, an extraordinary company which has helped hundreds of thousands of people.

It is too easy just to say that Ben Hogan had a dream. Ben Hogan’s dream had become an obsession. Ben was not USING the dream. Possibly in the very early stages he was, but not for long. No. The dream was using Ben.

The great psychologist, Alfred Adler, nailed it when he said, “I am grateful to the idea that has used me.” I love that. I really do!
The very idea of Persistence filled every cell of Ben Hogan’s being, but that was because his want was so strong. Remember, Persistence is the real focus of this message. It’s important that we keep that in mind because we could very easily get lost climbing Mount Everest with Ed Hillary, or playing golf with Hogan. They’re not the stars of this movie. They’re playing a supporting role. Persistence is the star.

Properly digest it in your mind … Persistence will make you a star. It will give you that number one hit worldwide. How does an idea, a want, a dream get such a grip on a person that Persistence becomes a natural outgrowth of it?

Napoleon Hill explained this very well. Hill said at first the idea, the want, has to be coaxed, nursed and enticed just to remain alive, but gradually the idea will take on a power of its own and sweep aside all opposition. It will then coax, nurse and drive you.
He went on to explain that ideas are like that. They have more power than the physical brains that gave birth to them. They have the power to live on long after the physical brain that’s created them has turned to dust.

Wow! Isn’t that beautiful? This is not a verbatim quotation, but I know it’s accurate. I have studied Napoleon Hill’s philosophy for over 30 years. That’s what happened to Ben Hogan. I guess if the truth were known, Ben Hogan did not have much of a choice! Years before, he had turned his will over to the idea of becoming the greatest golfer in the world. NOTHING could shake Hogan loose from that idea. His entire mental being was directed toward doing whatever was required for that idea to move into physical form.

Have you decided what you want? Is your want that strong? It is almost a waste of time attempting to develop Persistence if the want is not there. The problems of life will defeat you.

It’s a well-known and documented fact that the problems in life are numerous. They come frequently and are often giants. But … Yes. There is a “but.” When the dream is big enough, the problems will be beaten and the facts won’t count.

Sam is right. I really do love that and I must remember to thank Sam Kalenuik every chance I get for teaching me that beautiful truth. Think about it. When someone presents you with a fact … a big, bad negative fact which shows you, which PROVES to you why you can’t do what your heart tells you that you must do … do as I do, smile at the carrier and quietly remember what Sam said, “My dream is so big that fact doesn’t count.” Then persist.

Come back to Ben Hogan and you’ll understand better what Sam meant. Ben Hogan was in a head-on collision in his car. He saw it coming and could not prevent it. His wife was in the front seat of the car with him. In an attempt to protect her, which he did, he threw himself in front of her. Ben’s body was crushed. The police who came to the scene thought he was dead. There was debris all over the highway. The debris included his golf clubs which were strewn all over the place.

When they were putting Hogan in the ambulance, Mrs. Hogan asked a police officer if he would please pick up Ben’s golf clubs for her. The officer looked at her and replied, “Lady, he’s not going to need these sticks anymore.” Mrs. Hogan quickly advised the policeman that he obviously did not know who he had just put in the ambulance.

When they got Ben to the hospital he was alive, but not expected to live. The best doctors in the country were flown in to operate on him. It was their opinion that IF he lived, he most certainly would never walk again.

Ben Hogan did live. He insisted that his golf clubs be placed in the hospital room where he could see them. He then demanded that an exercise bar be rigged up over his bed. This was in spite of the fact that he could not even move his arms, let alone lift his body.

Do you remember what Sam Kalenuik said about facts and dreams? The hospital staff brought in Ben’s exercise bar just to humor him. They felt sorry for him. Negative facts versus wants, dreams … persistence. Now, you know what will win … the dream, of course … every time.

One year to the day from the date of the accident, Ben Hogan tied one of the greatest golfers who has ever played the game, and is still playing the game in a tournament … Sam Snead … a tournament that many golfers dropped out of because of driving rain.

Ben Hogan went on to write his name in the history books of golf by winning 54 major tournaments AFTER that accident. Think of what Persistence did for Ben Hogan. It saved his life! It GAVE him life. Persistence will save your life. It will give you life.

If you’re having trouble with Persistence, your want is probably puny. It isn’t big enough. This is probably the cause of your problem. Look around. It’s a common problem. It’s a human problem. Lack of Persistence is almost always a symptom of the real problem. You must give these two concepts priority in your life … wants and Persistence.

Your life will be shallow if this is not given top priority. You’ll live like minnows in the shallows. I want to entice you to come out here in the deep waters of life. The view is spectacular. The people you meet are tremendous. They are focused, dynamic, creative individuals. The energy is hot, hot, hot! Persistence will cause you to express what you’ve got. And when you do that, fame, which is not a common suitor, will most certainly have your number and will come calling. Fortune will be yours to hold. Oh, yes, it will!

“You beat resistance with persistence.” The poor people in the foothills have not learned that. Resistance keeps beating them, causing them to whine and blame. They have not learned that they are the only problem they will ever have.

Because of their losing, “I feel sorry for me. This is why it won’t work” attitude, they never stay until the job is done. They quit. They are beaten.

Listen to the next line. “Your reward will be fulfilment.” Fulfilment? Fulfilment. The poor people in the foothills have never experienced the glory of fulfilment. Their reward? They never get rewarded. Ask them. They’ll tell you. They’re always being taken advantage of. It’s “poor me”. And then the line, “You’ll know inside that you have won.” Know inside? The people in the foothills don’t go inside. They’re too consumed by what is going on outside. Those other people cause the problems that they’re faced with. It’s Proctor’s fault, or Sam Kalenuik’s. They just don’t understand.

I have had the people in the foothills look me square in the eye and tell me, “Bob. You don’t understand, do you? You just refuse to look at the figures.”

Zeigfeld, from Zeigfeld Follies said, “People that count are unhappy people.” It’s Persistence. Persistence, that’s it. Make your want big and you will persist. Try to convince the person in the foothills that you are not doing what you are doing for fame and fortune, that you are doing it for fulfilment, and they’ll shake their heads. They firmly believe that you are lying.

Fame and fortune are nice and they’ll help you increase you physical comfort and probably contribute to your creativity, but the real reward is fulfilment. It’s knowing inside, and knowing that you know. Oh, yes. It’s definitely fulfilment. Have you got it? Let’s really sing it.

Decide what you TRULY want and you will be persistent. Remember what Sam said. “If the want’s big enough, the facts don’t count.” And also remember what Napoleon Hill said. “There may be no heroic connotation to the word “persistence,” but the quality is to the character of the human being what carbon is to steel.” Go and do it. Study success. Choose your want and persist. Life will then be what it’s meant to be.

Download the pdf version here: http://lindaproctor.com/public/Persistence-Long-Version.pdf