12 Examples of Persistence Paying Off

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Brooke Miceli
Vice President
Published Jan 2014
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“The best way out is always through.” –Robert Frost

Persistence is the quality of continuing steadily despite problems or difficulties. It is one of the qualities of high achievers. The longer you stay committed to a task or goal, the more likely something good will happen for you. And believe me- the Universe will test your commitment to your goal. You develop yourself and learn new lessons, you face challenges and obstacles, but the payoff comes when you refuse to give up.  Have you heard that anything worth having is worth working for? It’s true. Some of my most difficult situations preceded tremendous breakthroughs. There are tons of examples of underdogs or heroes of ours who persisted, stayed on course, and met or even exceeded their goals.

Let’s look at some examples.

  • NASA experienced 20 failures in its 28 attempts to send rockets to space.
  • Tim Ferriss sent his breakthrough New York Times bestselling book 4 Hour Workweek to 25 publishers before one finally accepted it.
  • Henry Ford’s early businesses failed and left him broke 5 times before he founded Ford Motor Company.
  • Walt Disney went bankrupt after failing at several businesses. He was even fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination and good ideas. WALT DISNEY?!
  • Albert Einstein was thought to be mentally handicapped before changing the face of modern physics and winning the Nobel Prize.
  • It took Thomas Edison 1,000 attempts before inventing the light bulb. His teachers also told him growing up that he was too stupid to learn anything.
  • Lucille Ball was regarded as a failed actress before she won 4 Emmys and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennedy Center Honors.
  • Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 publishers before it was accepted.
  • American author Jack London received 600 rejections before his first story was accepted. That is some thick skin!
  • Vincent van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, though today, his works are priceless.
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team for not being good enough.
  • Oh here is one of my favorites- J. K Rowling was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, and a single mom, who went to school while writing Harry Potter. Rowling went from needing government assistance to being one of the richest women in the world in a 5-year span through her hard work and PERSISTENCE.

You get the idea. There are thousands of stories like these. The more stories I read, the more I am encouraged to press on towards accomplishing my goal.

How do you keep on track to meeting your own goals?

-Do you read about other success stories?
-Do you review your past accomplishments?
-Do you talk to a friend or mentor?

Let us know in the comments below.

What topics would you like to see us write about next?