Wayne is the epitome of persistence. He is also famous. Born in Detroit, he was an orphan until the age of ten. His tenacity allowed him to obtain his doctorate from a local university. But his greatest accomplishment was the writing of his first book, which sold over thirty five million copies and has been touted as one of the best-selling books of all time.
Dr. Wayne Dyer, a world re-known self-help author and speaker, published Your Erroneous Zones in 1976. Up until then, he had been a high school guidance counselor and a university professor. But his persistent drive for success, along with the encouragement of a literary agent, prompted him to write his first book and travel all over the United States for interviews and appearances in countless bookstores. The story has been told many times, he literally sold his books from the back of a car. His drive and determination are the cornerstones of his persistent attitude.
As is true with most success stories, Wayne Dyer and thousands of others like him, was a normal person. He wasn’t born rich, nor did he inherit riches. But he does have at least one gift, talent, or characteristic, whatever you want to call it, that separates him and others like him, from the rest of the population. Wayne Dyer doesn’t give up. He has written dozens of self-help books and helped thousands of people in the process.
When the topic of persistence comes up, many people realize what it is and what it means, but most people don’t stop to think about how persistence is present in the lives of almost all successful people, if not all, famous people. Clearly, the definition of success and fame is subjective, but most everyone would agree that persistence is a common ingredient in each of those definitions.
Author and Coach Dixie Gillaspie has developed four techniques for you to consider when you become frustrated from the lack of success in your quest for achieving a goal or accomplishing a task for your company. In other words, when you have run into the proverbial brick wall, then what do you do?
-When your current approach is not working, take some time away from it, then come back refreshed, renewed and ready to go at it again. Or take a different approach. Either way, you need to re-engage after some time away. “If the horse is dead, it is time to dismount”. Maybe the goal you have set is realistic, but the time or manner in which you are trying to achieve it is wrong. Following the horse metaphor, maybe it is time to dismount and get another ride.
– If you are pursuing your goal, but quickly reaching the point of exasperation for lack of success, there might be wisdom in re-visiting the goal itself. Hit reset and re-visit how and why you set the goal in the first place.
– Have you been flying solo? If so, maybe it is time to assemble a team. Or you might want to seek the wisdom of another person. If you are a member of a team, it might be time to call a team meeting to discuss the possibility of next steps.
– Finally, consider what would happen if you stopped persisting all together. As Gillaspie says, “test drive life after quitting.” How would you handle it? If things would be okay, maybe you can let it go, if things would be an unmitigated disaster, then you had better get back on the horse and ride.
Persistent people refuse to give up, they will not let go of what they are trying to achieve or accomplish, irrespective of the obstacles and barriers they encounter. From an historical perspective, no one conveys the example of persistence better than Abraham Lincoln. He consistently lost or failed at most of his attempts in business and politics. He failed in his business endeavors and he lost eight, that’s right eight, different attempts to win an elected office. Then he became President of the United States of America.
Most people do not walk into a successful business immediately, they work hard and watch that business grow. There is an ancient Japanese proverb that says “Money grows on the tree of persistence.” Staying at your particular task might not provide you with monetary gain, as the proverb says, but being persistent, usually results in achieving your goal, helping you grow your business.