One of the most important characteristics that successful people have is self-discipline. Self discipline is having the strength of character to do what must be done when it needs to be done even if you really don’t want to do it. It is a truly important aspect of success. Self discipline comes from persistence. So, why is persistence so important to success?
We will stomp to the top with the wind in our teeth. George Mallory 1924.
Last night I watched a film about George Mallory and his continued attempt to conquer Mount Everest. It was a sheer die hard, never give up determination that eventually allowed him to reach his goal. George Malloy was determined beyond all shadow of a doubt that he would become the first man to reach the summit of Everest.
Why most people fail.
Most people fail because they never try. They often don’t have the strength of character to achieve what they want to achieve beyond what is easy. It is human nature. Persistence is a self taught discipline achieved by only a minority of great people.
So, why would most people fail where Mallory achieved greatness? Well, firstly, most people wouldn’t have been up the challenge. That’s probably got rid of 99.9% of all people already. Out of those 0.1% of people who were up for the challenge many would have given up at the 8 week journey to Tibet in the 1920′s. Out of those that made it to Tibet a few would have given up when they faced the extreme cold. And, out of those people only one or two people would continue after the first attempt which saw Mallory lose seven colleagues in an avalanche. Those two people at the time were George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. It was pure determination to succeed that has allowed Mallory’s achievements to perpetuate his name in the records of mankind.
When asked ‘why do you want to climb Mount Everest?’ he said ‘because its there’. In my interpretation it is the sheer determination of a man wanting to achieve a goal with no fear of failure and pure confidence that this can be done. The highest mountain in the world was to be conquered and it was to be by him. Even if it killed him, which sadly, it did.
Why persistence is so important?
The greatest challenges you will have in business is when the going gets tough. Many entrepreneurs start to believe what others say and allow negativity to creep in when things get tough. However, it is the greatest challenges and the toughest times that build character. It is the hard north winds and storms that built the strength in the Vikings and made them so formidable.
Battling through adversity and rebuilding from disappointment builds the habit of persistence. Persistence builds strength of character and develops self discipline. Self discipline builds the steel quality of success. It is this mentality that is built over a period of time that will carry you forward through any obstacle that life will throw at you.
The characteristics of successful people
When people see a successful person they often associate this with luck or being in the right place at the right time. They rarely see all the many small failures and obstacles they faced week after week for years until they eventually ‘made it‘.
All of us have bad luck and good luck. The man who persists through the bad luck – who keeps right on going – is the man who is there when the good luck comes – and is ready to receive it. Robert Collier
Persistence is your friend
Your greatest asset in business (and life) is your ability to do one task and stick at it till it is complete. If you can do this you will succeed. B.C Forbes who founded Forbes magazine and built one of the most successful publications of modern times once wrote ‘History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they trumped. They won because they refused to become discourage by their defeat.‘
Therefore, as many a greater mind than mine has said through the years that it is adversity that makes the man. Advertisy is merely natures way of testing who is up for the challenge. It is purely a filtering process. Herodotus, the Greek philosopher said ‘adversity has the effect of drawing out strength and qualities of a man that would have lain dormant in its absence‘. Tough times will bring and and allow you to develop your greatest qualities.
Every time I have a major challenge I will think of George Mallory faced with the impossible task of climbing Mount Everest in hob nail boots gritting his teeth, and stomping all over that there mountain.
Persistence. The key to all success.