First up, I want to ask you some questions. (Read slowly, and think through each word while you read ahead.)
- Do you have a dream?
- Do you want to achieve it?
- But, are you putting in the fight, the perseverance, and the patience it requires to get there?
Just retrospect, and be honest to yourself about how have you been so far.
A lot of us begin the journey of achieving the dream with a lot of enthusiasm. However, the majority of us are ready to throw away our aims and purposes, and give up at the first sign of opposition or failure.
Do you belong to this majority?
When ‘Rocky’ faced a rocky road
Sylvester Stallone was just a student, residing in suburban Philadelphia, when he first started acting. However, even before completing his college graduation, he moved to New York to give a boost to his acting career. It is said that he never used to miss any chance to audition whenever there was a casting call.
While awaiting an acting opportunity, he shifted his focus to writing screenplays. A few acting roles in the early 1970s helped him build some momentum, but he couldn’t sustain it. However, he did not stop auditioning ever after continuous rejections.
There came a time when he was penniless; he didn’t have the money to even feed his family, nor a place to keep himself warm during the cold days. However, he did not even once budge down against the intimidating odds. He kept on pushing himself.
Claimed to have been inspired by a boxing fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, Stallone came up with a masterpiece – he wrote a screenplay which was then titled ‘Rocky’. But, numerous producers had it rejected several times. And, the situation kept getting worse. He also had to sell his dog to have money for food.
Eventually, someone got interested in his screenplay, but Stallone wasn’t ready to sell the screenplay unless he was allowed to play the lead role of ‘Rocky’ in the movie. He was offered an amount up to $ 400,000 for his screenplay, but the producer did not want to take Stallone in as Rocky. However, Stallone wasn’t a guy who’d sell his dreams for money. And finally, his terms for the screenplay were accepted by the producer for a paltry $ 25,000. And, Stallone played the role of Rocky Balboa.
The rest is history.
“I am not the richest, smartest, or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going.” – Sylvester Stallone
Let’s analyse the causes of lack in persistence before we move ahead.
The biggest enemy to the persistence is the fear of criticism, as to, what other people will think, do, or say, about what you do. You might want to deny this, but I’ll have to admit here that most of my decisions (more often than not) have been driven by my family, close friends and some not so close acquaintances.
One strong reason that might lead to the lack of persistence is that you are doing something that you don’t love, something that you aren’t really passionate about. If you take on something that you really love, you don’t trust yourself about making it big, do you?
Also, you do not trust the process of hard-work. You want it easy, and so you resort to shortcuts, trying to get something without giving a fair equivalent. That’s not how quid pro quo always works, does it?
Sylvester Stallone would’ve easily accepted the offer of $400,000. But by doing that, he wouldn’t have been the star he is today.
Now, how do you get the persistence to sustain?
First, gain clarity about what exactly is it that you want in life. Find the thing that you’re passionate about, money will flow in eventually (if not immediately). Set your eyes on the goal, prepare a definite plan and get into action right away. You don’t have to wait for the right time; your actions will make the time right.
Newton’s first law states that ‘An object, once set in motion, tends to stay in motion, unless acted upon by an external force.’
So once you get in action, make sure that you keep away from the negative and discouraging opinions and/or suggestions of your family, friends or other acquaintances. You can move mountains if you believe you can.
It’s not going to be easy, but achieving something that is easy to get is not worth achieving. However, if you really end up achieving something very easily, then this goes to say that you have unexplored potential and you can achieve much more than what you actually have. Embrace discomfort and fight against your mediocrity. Even though staying in the comfort zone might help you persist, but this persistence won’t fetch you the extraordinary results that you are capable of producing.
You might fail again and again. But you are not backing down. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it won’t. Remember, harder the struggle, sweeter the taste of success.
Persistence fights failure stronger than talent and luck. If you really want something, go out, persist through the tough times, and get it.