“So long as there’s breath in me, that long will I persist. For now I know one of the greatest principles of success; if I persist long enough I will win.” Og Mandino
“I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn’t give up you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you.” Harrison Ford
These two observations are perfect together, aren’t they? In slightly different ways, they’re saying the same thing: Persistence is power.
When we persist, we open the door to success. When we persist, we outlast the people who don’t—who turn away and go onto other things. When we persist and keep on persisting, despite how we feel and despite circumstances, eventually, we win. It’s that simple.
It’s all about staying power—about going forward with velocity. How do we find that staying power?
We keep going, no matter what!
We keep going when we feel tired: When we do, we always discover there’s more in the tank. We’re never really on empty. Often we’re feeling mental fatigue when we feel like stopping. If we push on, we become engaged again and our mental fog melts away.
We keep going when we feel lonely: Writing requires solitude and sometimes that feels isolating. But we’re never really alone. We have inner guides who can help us, the spirits of writers we admire to embolden us, and the characters we create to keep us company.
We keep going when we feel discouraged: Losing heart—that’s what being discouraged means. Says it all, doesn’t it? We lose heart. Our writing seems flat, uninspired. How do we reignite it? By writing more, not less. By being playful, instead of anxious. By “getting fascinated instead of frustrated,” as my friend and mentor Dr. Robert puts it.*
We keep going when everyone and everything tells us to stop: So often our persistence ebbs away because of what other people think. They think we’re working too hard or on the wrong thing. They have opinions and advice for us. They entice us with distractions. We need to “Just say no,” (memo to Karin!), and dive back into our work.
OK, now we’re pumped! Now, we’re juiced—and we can all write on!
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*Check out Dr. Rob Gilbert’s fabulous Success Hotline at 973.743.4690.