Do you have a goal you want to achieve? A relationship you want to improve? A promotion you desire? Or perhaps you want to be happier, thinner, or stronger.
I have found that one of the essential ingredients to achieve anything meaningful, anything great, anything worthwhile is persistence.
I define persistence as the continuous and constant focus and investment of flowing and positive energy towards a desired result. And let me tell you, I am an expert in persistence not because I teach it but because I have had to live it and experience it throughout my life. Just ask my wife. I remember the first time I met her.
I was 24 years old and just opened a restaurant/bar in Buckhead, Atlanta. I was standing outside sharing the energy, hoping to attract customers. As she walked towards me it was definitely love at first sight. We talked for a little while and then she said she had to leave. I wondered if I would ever see her again.
Then, a week later while attending a charity fundraiser I saw her across the room. Now, I’m a big believer in “signs” so I felt this was a sign. I ran up to her while she was eating her favorite cheesecake. She was definitely not into me. She was into her cheesecake. But I persisted.
I said. “I would love to take you out to dinner. You have to give me your phone number.” Hoping to get rid of me, she would later tell me, she gave me her business card. I went on my way with her phone number and the hope of a possible date. I called her the next day and asked her out but she said she was busy. I called the next day and she was busy that night as well.
The next day I called and we had a great conversation. I was making progress. We scheduled a date but when I called the day of the date… she cancelled on me. I was crushed. We scheduled another date but she cancelled on me yet again. We scheduled another date and when I called her during the day to confirm she tried to cancel on me for the third time… but this time I was ready.
Something came over me and I said, “Look, you have cancelled on me several times already. Here’s the deal. Either we go out tonight or we’re never going out.” She was silent on the other end of the phone- surprised by my ultimatum. I was even surprised myself. Even though I desperately wanted to go out with her, I was willing to let it all go.
Sometimes being persistent means you have to knock down the door and other times it means waiting for the door to open so you can walk through.
Tired of forcing the situation I was now ready to flow and trust that if we were meant to go out she would say “yes” and if not she would say “no.” When you are persistent you also want to make sure you are knocking down or walking through the right door.
If you are open, the signs will always show you the way. A quiet “okay” came from the other end of the phone. “Let’s go out tonight,” she said. The rest is history. We were engaged 8 months later and have now been married over 9 years.
Persistence certainly pays off. So the next time you face a “No” at work or a big obstacle in your life, keep going forward with positive energy. While others may give up, you keep investing and focusing your energy on the desires that are in your heart.
Take continuous action, let go of your attachment to the results and trust that the best outcome will always materialize. Remember people like Thomas Edison who when asked how he managed to persist in the face of continued failure, answered, “I didn’t fail. I’ve just found 10,000 ways not to invent the light bulb.” Realize that most people fail simply because they gave up too soon. If they would have kept at it, success would be theirs.
So if you are trying to lose weight and the weight is not coming off don’t get discouraged. Stay persistent and you’ll lose the pounds. Don’t stop writing if your book gets rejected. Don’t stop selling if a potential customer says no. Don’t give up on that promotion you always wanted. Don’t stop trying to improve your relationship. Don’t stop striving to be the person you want to be and don’t give up on the great things you feel called to do.
Persistence is the energy that transforms desires into reality and in my case “love at first sight” into my wife and mother of my children. When you persist anything is possible.
by Jon Gordon