Ever wondered what it takes to lead a major organization, become a NASA astronaut, or an Olympic athlete?
The one attribute that all these champions are likely to have is persistence: the ability to get up from their failures, dust themselves and keep trying. Regardless of talent and genius and education, persistence is often the most important characteristic that separates successful people from those who aren’t.
To succeed at anything you must be ready for the long haul, willing to apply a huge amount of effort over a lengthy period of time. Very few people who are at the pinnacle of their chosen fields got there without a struggle.
So how do these individuals find the strength to try one more time over and over again?
Be Prepared Being prepared requires that you think through all the possible reasons why someone would not agree with your ideas. Being prepared gives you the unshakeable mindset that you are ready for any question that comes your way. It requires investigating all the reasons why your endeavor will not be successful, and then coming up with arguments against those points. In other words, become your own devil’s advocate and you are much more likely to find a positive response to your next request.
Be Adaptable Being adaptable is what will stop you from cowering in the corner when someone kicks you to the curb. As Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle Corporation says: “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for people telling you that you are nuts.” You have to be adaptable enough to adjust your thinking and processes to change, while not straying from your core ideas and values. Don’t completely ignore the naysayers; look for the nuggets of wisdom in what they have said and use them to your advantage the next time you try--ignore the rest.
Be Confident You may be surprised that confidence is not the first attribute we consider, but the reality is, you need to have a plan in place that you can trust and support before confidence will help you through to success. Confidence in yourself, your family, and your ideas -- as well as a burning passion to make a change in the world -- are what can help you continue on even when it feels as though there's no path forward.
Do the Work Unfortunately, there are few things in life that can replace hard work. Whether that hard work is from an athlete completing the same moves repeatedly for months or even years or a business leader who is told "No" more times than they can count, the ability to simply buckle down and execute on your vision is critical to long-term success.
Inspire Others Perhaps one of the most rewarding things you will ever do with your life is to inspire others to be their best. Take the time throughout your life to inspire others. When you realize how many people you have impacted and how many are watching your success, it's a lot easier to find the strength to try again in difficult times.
Finally, in the words of Thomas Edison: "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." Shouldn't you give it one more shot?