We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:
1. A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment.
2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action.
3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.
Persistence is a Matter of Habit
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the principles of this philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit.
These are the steps by which one may control one’s economic destiny. They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought. They are the four steps which guarantee favorable “breaks.” They are the steps that convert dreams into physical realities. They lead, also, to the mastery of fear, discouragement, indifference.
There is no substitute for persistence!
It cannot be supplanted by any other quality!
Remember this, and it will hearten you,
in the beginning, when the going may
seem difficult and slow.
There is a magnificent reward for all who learn to take these four steps. It is the privilege of writing one’s own ticket, and of making Life yield whatever price is asked.
In the confrontation between the stream and the rock,
the stream always wins — not through strength
but by perseverance.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Does Persistence Empower One with Supernatural Forces?
What mystical power gives to men of persistence the capacity to master difficulties?
Does the quality of persistence set up in one’s mind some form of spiritual, mental or chemical activity which gives one access to supernatural forces?
Does Infinite Intelligence throw itself on the side of the person who still fights on, after the battle has been lost, with the whole world on the opposing side?
These and many other similar questions have arisen in my mind as I have observed men like Henry Ford, who started at scratch, and built an Industrial Empire of huge proportions, with little else in the way of a beginning but persistence. Or, Thomas A. Edison, who, with less than three months of schooling, became the world’s leading inventor and converted persistence into the talking machine, the moving picture machine, and the incandescent light, to say nothing of half a hundred other useful inventions.
When you know what to think and do,
then you must use your will to compel yourself
to think and do the right things.
— Wallace D. Wattles
Persistence: The Source of Stupendous Achievements
I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore, the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.
As one makes an impartial study of the prophets, philosophers, “miracle” men, and religious leaders of the past, one is drawn to the inevitable conclusion that persistence, concentration of effort, and definiteness of purpose were the major sources of their achievements.
Developing the Power of Persistence
Consider, for example, the strange and fascinating story of Mohammed; analyze his life, compare him with men of achievement in this modern age of industry and finance, and observe how they have one outstanding trait in common, persistence!
If you are keenly interested in studying the strange power which gives potency to persistence, read a biography of Mohammed, especially the one by Essad Bey. It is one of the most astounding examples of the power of persistence known to civilization.
Persistence is a state of mind,
therefore it can be cultivated.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin,
a member of Penguin Group (USA).
Think and Grow Rich: The Master Mind Volume
by Napoleon Rich. (contains reprints of the original 1937 edition)
About the Author
Napoleon Hill was born in 1883 in Virginia and died in 1970 after a long and successful career as a lecturer, author, and consultant to business leaders. Think and Grow Rich is the all-time bestseller in its field, having sold 15 million copies worldwide, and sets the standard for today’s motivational thinking. Napoleon Hill established the Foundation as a nonprofit educational institution whose mission is to perpetuate his philosophy of leadership, self-motivation, and individual achievement. Visit www.naphill.org for more information.