One of the most important traits we can develop in ourselves or encourage in our children or grandchildren is that of Persistence. I would wager if you probe the life of anyone you believe has accomplished something extraordinary in their life, whether in sports, the arts or business you will find a person who is persistent.
You might recall Napoleon Hill. He was challenged by Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900’s to study 500 of the most successful people in America. After over two decades of persistent effort, Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich, arguably the most influential personal development book in history. He had met and became personally familiar with an amazing list of high achievers. He later made a fascinating observation that the one thing which separated Henry Ford and Thomas Edison from the rest of us was their incredible persistence. They had a vision of what they wanted to achieve. Against the conventional wisdom, criticism, and countless disappointments they refused to give up. The rest, as they say, is history.
It is persistence which allows each of us to accomplish greatness in our own lives. It begins with our having a vision and desire to have or do something that ignites our imagination. It can be anything of value to us. We then create a plan for its execution with a determination to refuse to allow negative or discouraging influences to deter us. Having at least one person who will encourage us to follow through is an invaluable help (each of us can be that person to encourage someone else).
There are many inspiring stories of those who overcame difficulty and failure by the strength of their persistent effort. Finding them and sharing them with our kids would be a terrific gift.
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't.