Success Means Never Ever Giving Up

Persistence is the foundation of success. Although there are many ways to describe success, there is only one definition of failure ? giving up. Whatever your meaning of success, you will only achieve it through persistence.

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men 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."
-Calvin Coolidge

Babe Ruth had more strike outs than anyone else in history. When asked about the key to his success he said, "I just keep swinging."

In the mid 1960's, Martin Cooper, an electrical engineer at Motorola, had a vision of a phone that could be carried around and powered by a battery. His concept was scoffed at by many of his fellow engineers. After 15 years in development, Motorola brought the cellular phone to market.

In 1864, he was born the son of slaves on a Missouri plantation. He grew up not knowing his parents. With persistence and determination he put himself through college. To combat the racism he encountered, he excelled in everything he did. George Washington Carver became one of our nation's leading scientists and revolutionized agriculture.

At 205 pounds and standing 5'10" tall he was below average size for a pro football player. To build his strength and endurance he ran up steep hills while playing high school football. As a professional player he ran up an 80-yard hill, set at a 45-degree angle, 25 times a day. Determined to be the best he could be, he watched films of opponents until he could predict their moves. Football Hall of Famer, Walter Payton tied or beat seven NFL records during his 13-season career.

You are born without the concept of failure. How did you learn to walk? The first time you tried you immediately fell. But you didn't know you couldn't succeed and immediately tried again. And again you fell down. But you never gave up. Hundreds of times you repeated this process until you learned to walk.

Persistence is getting up one more time than you fall down. Unfortunately, you are taught to give up and fail. How many times have you heard one or more of the following?

"Why bother, you'll never be able to do that ? it'll never work"
"Don't rock the boat, just do what you're supposed to do"
"Why take chances?"
"You'll never amount to anything"
"Stop dreaming -- come back to reality"
"Why don't you give up already?"
"I tried that already, it doesn't work".

If you had believed any of the above when you were learning to walk you would still be crawling! You didn't listen to bad advice then so why listen to it now?

When you feel like giving up, you must keep going. Only by continuing, when most others won't, will you achieve your goals. Don't join the ranks of those who have given up just around the corner from success. You never know where your corner is so you must never stop.

copyright 2005 Bryan Golden

Bryan Golden is a self-development and motivational expert, author, and adjunct professor. He is the author of "Dare to Live Without Limits," and writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column. For more information please visit: or

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