Success 104: How To Persevere

Back To Main
Success 103: Get To Changing

More than anything else, successful people are persistent

Anything worth the reward does not come easily

  • If succeeding were easy, everyone would do it

Persevering comes through finding motivation across an extended period through multiple attempts

  • Persistence is another word for faith or resilience

Perseverance requires self-love, patience, and determination

  • Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself
  • Openly dialogue with yourself about your negative emotions
  • Spend time learning about what you did wrong
  • Write out everything you can think of that could have caused your failures
  • Immediately make plans for your next efforts

Don’t stop visualizing your desired result

  • Feel, taste, touch or experience in your mind what you want to see in reality
  • Sometimes all you need is a five-minute break to regain your composure

Every time you try again, you must want to succeed as much as or more than the last time you tried

  • Success is often a numbers game of trying something until you break through
  • Many people give up right before they’ve achieved results

Prepare to face hurdles

Hardship is necessary but is also beneficial

  • Difficulties help us to become stronger and more capable
  • Even childhood was a challenge, but the passion for discovery usually overrides any frustration from it

Immediately, when you do fail

  1. Keep to your morals and values
    • If you compromise your integrity, you risk losing far more than your failure
  2. As soon as possible, let others know who may be affected by adverse consequences
  3. Immediately make plans to fix anything urgent
  4. Quickly forgive yourself
  5. Avoid taking on any other responsibilities or self-analyzing until after you’ve passed the first wave of feeling failure
    • Dwelling on what happened won’t matter, especially when you’re temporarily irrational
    • Don’t look at your score until the situation has played itself out
  6. Love yourself and give yourself a small consolation prize for doing your best
    • Giving yourself incentives will always go farther than punishing yourself
  7. Get back into your routine as soon as the emotional trauma has run its course

There are only a few ways to deal with failures

Counterproductive methods discourage further attempts

  • Wallowing in it and undermining any chance at self-confidence
  • Personalizing and self-identifying with it
  • Blaming circumstances or others for failings and not taking responsibility

Healthy methods will inspire you to try again

  • Learning from it and seeing that there are many opportunities to grow from it
  • Becoming inspired and challenged to fight and overcome it
  • Reaching out to others to get input or feedback

Physical walls you’ll hit

Physical exhaustion

  • It often takes every ounce of strength you have to succeed
  • When you’re determined, you can go far longer than you think you can

Mistakes and failures

  • Society generally implies that failure leads to punishment, which is often untrue
    • Though failure may lead to setbacks in school, it rarely translates over into most of life
  • Most failures should involve a “duh” moment, but never any self-abuse
    • Failures and mistakes are opportunities for growth
    • Failed attempts increase your chances of success
  • Avoiding mistakes seem obvious in hindsight, but rarely while performing
    • To understand others’ hindsight for yourself, learn from their experiences
  • The only real failure is giving up and not finding a worthy replacement
    • Focusing on a reasonable alternative isn’t quitting

Resistance against what you want

  • Resistance makes you stronger
  • Science has proven that we enjoy the payoff based on how much work we put into something
  • Inconveniences give opportunities for more enriching and unique experiences
  • The most memorable personal life experiences are where things did not follow the plan

Mental walls you’ll hit

Competition from others

  • Competitors can be discouraging, but your most fierce competitor is you against yourself
  • Don’t worry about what others are doing except for how you may need to change your strategy

Uncertainty about the future, others’ behavior, and others’ trustworthiness

  • When in doubt, pause and reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it
  • If you’ve failed, you’ve learned how not to do something, which is usually unavoidable
  • Everything, even the safest possible approach, has an inherent risk, so learn to accept it
  • Once you’ve gained enough self-confidence, risk becomes an enjoyable and exciting experience

Stress, especially what you can’t avoid

Biological fear

  • Anxiety and worry are unhealthy, but you can perform well if you learn to channel your fear instinct
  • The emotional state of fear is in your full power to master
  • Fearfulness is often a cynical approach to an adventure
  • Life without fear feels a bit like a game where it’s more fun to play it than win it


  • You will sometimes succeed but won’t let yourself celebrate
  • Don’t let regret rob your happiness
  • Downplaying victories dampens momentum from your success
  • Keep a journal and periodically read entries to stay motivated

Social walls you’ll hit


  • Most of the hardships from failure come from self-conceit and a sense of entitlement
  • Believing that nobody owes you anything makes handling something going wrong simpler
  • Success comes from service and not selfishness, which means that you must place others’ needs before your own


  • We all desire to be liked and loved, and therefore nobody likes rejection
  • Fight social pressure and do what nobody else is willing to do
  • You only need one break or one successful shot, so ignore frequent rejections
  • You will never succeed with negative people around you until you replace them with positive ones
  • Your actions will talk louder than anything you can say


  • You will sometimes feel lonely when nobody is around to share in your successes
  • With a legitimate set of goals, remember that your ideas might even change history

Try again after resting

After every attempt, give yourself a rest

Treat rest as a break from the struggle

  • Each person has an individual form of rest to recharge and recuperate
  • However, come back into the fight with tenacity and focus
  • Most people become imbalanced either by never resting or never jumping back in

Your natural urges and desires can lead to nonconstructive activity without rest

  • Don’t to force yourself into what you don’t want to do
  • Avoid berating and condescending yourself or others with deprecating sayings and mantras
  • If you lose all sense of finesse or purpose behind your actions, you might make enormous mistakes
  • Letting any mental neuroses take hold may drive you into a negatively reinforced vicious cycle

Straighten your attitude while resting before you try again

Keep the big picture in mind

  • Think about the stories that you will be able to tell after you succeed
  • Fight the urge to think that the end of the story comes with the next failure
  • If you need to, break out of your comfort zone by not having a backup plan to fall back on

Stay honest about yourself in the grand scheme of life

  • Failing is usually mediocrity, which isn’t commendable but also isn’t shameful
  • You’re not alone in your struggles, and other people have far worse problems than you
  • There’s nothing wrong with giving up if you’ve done your very best

Keep a positive attitude

  • You need positivity to be resilient and tenacious
    • This positivity must come from genuineness, not what you feel you ought to do
  • Convert every negative thought into a positive one that created its opportunity
    • Look at good things that enabled failures
    • e.g., you lost the race was because you qualified to even get into the race
    • e.g., you were turned down for a date because you had the confidence to ask them
    • e.g., the interview didn’t land you the job, but you were healthy enough to go to it

After you’ve rested and before you’ve tried again, re-examine your goals

Make your success easier with a smaller goal

Find creative new ways to attain the same goals

Examine your purpose for your goal

  • Sometimes you may change your purpose and forget to realign your goal

Look at what you can sacrifice to make your goals happen or ask yourself how far you’re willing to go

  • If you decide to drop it after trying for it, you should do it for a better purpose

Periodically revisit and analyze how you’re performing toward your goals

Assess your current status

Keep your short-term goals lined up with your long-term ones

Ask what you’re doing

  • What can I improve?
  • What am I doing that I shouldn’t?
  • What am I not doing that I should?
  • Am I enabling others’ success through my actions?
  • How personally engaged am I with my goals?

Ask how others see you

  • What do others think I’m doing?
  • Am I effectively marketing myself?
  • Am I building networks wherever I go?
  • Am I doing what I said I’d do?
  • What should I be doing?

Create a self-crafted performance review

  • Skill/proficiency in doing what you’re setting out to do
  • Having adequate knowledge to do it
  • Ability to handle the burden of doing it
  • Steadily improving and becoming more efficient
  • Communicating properly with others
  • Handling things independently
  • Handling things cooperatively as a team player
  • Willing to take on more responsibilities
  • Consistent/reliable
  • Having good judgment and common sense throughout it all
  • Behaving fairly towards others
  • Gives timely feedback and clarifies boundaries
  • Hands off responsibilities appropriately
  • Disciplines properly when applicable
  • Takes steps to improve the group dynamic of wherever you are

Look at the positive moves you’ve already made and what you need to do from now

  • Steady improvement over time is inspiring
  • Reassess why you’re doing what you do and rediscover your long-term desires

Be realistic

You won’t accurately predict performance

  • If you’re less skilled, you’ll likely overestimate yourself and underestimate others
  • If you’re more skilled than average, you’ll usually underestimate yourself and overestimate others
  • Measure your performance with numbers instead of comparison to avoid bias

Every endeavor has an infinite supply of future work and challenges, so avoid trying to finish all of it

Your path to success will test your limits

Most limits require creative ways around them

  • Most famous success stories are conventional experiences carried out during highly constricting circumstances

Most of your creative means to overcome will create post-traumatic growth

  • Some behaviors spur post-traumatic growth
    • Forgiving and resolving the past
    • Acknowledging personal limitations and losses
    • Accepting pain inherent to a vocation
    • Responding positively to failures and setbacks
  • Signs of post-traumatic growth show quite clearly
    • Priorities change to where you’re unafraid to do what makes you happy
    • You feel closer to friends and family
    • You understand yourself better and know your true self
    • You have a new sense of meaning and purpose
    • Focusing on goals and dreams becomes effortless
  • Post-traumatic growth comes from four major kinds of strength
    • Physical resilience (shown in staying productive)
    • Mental resilience (demonstrated in focus, determination, and willpower)
    • Emotional resilience (has three positive feelings for every bad one)
    • Social resilience (the ability to connect with others)

Experience the same problem might be the sign of an addiction

The 12 Steps create liberation from addictive behaviors

  1. Admit you are powerless over your substance and that your life has become unmanageable
  2. Come to a belief that a power greater than you can restore you to sanity
  3. Decide to turn your will and life over to the care of God
  4. Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself
  5. Admit to God, yourself, and another human being the exact nature of your wrongs
  6. Become entirely ready to have God remove all those defects of character
  7. Humbly ask Him to remove your shortcomings
  8. Make a list of all persons you’ve harmed and become willing to make amends to all of them
  9. Make direct amends to those people wherever possible except when doing it would injure them or others
  10. Continue to take personal inventory and when wrong promptly admit it
  11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, try to carry this message to other addicts and to practice these principles in all your affairs

When you succeed, never forget who and what started it

You only sabotage yourself when you’ve reached your peak and start growing complacent

  • Keep a constantly vigilant perspective for where you may fail

Successful people are more likely to succeed, and past successes will fuel your future ones

Never gloat when you out-succeed others

  • By gloating, other people made sacrifices for you
  • You started at humble beginnings
  • Everyone is still intrinsically equal, even when some do more with it than others

Don’t sell yourself out

  • Do what you love, not what you believe pays the most
  • Near-overnight success is the most likely risk of sabotaging your original vision

Make achieving greatness more attainable for anyone

  • You could corner the market on your success, but your most significant contribution will come from freely giving it away
  • Nake every person you meet better off for having met you

Anything that will destroy you becomes harder to avoid the more you succeed

  1. Abusing money or power
  2. Abusing sex and sexuality
  3. Abusing alcohol, drugs, and any other substances
  4. A bitter attitude from your past hardships

It takes years to build an excellent reputation, but one poor decision can destroy it

  • A legacy and reputation influences much farther than money
  • It’s likely a bad idea if you need to justify it or hide it from others
  • Wait on any significant decision for at least 24 hours

You can’t succeed alone

You will naturally become the average of the five people you spend the most time with

Create a network that supports your endeavors

Mentors who guide and instruct you about the best approach

Coaches that give specific day-to-day direction

Peers to share successes with and share a natural competitive spirit

Subordinates and mentees to devote time to pass on experiences

Associates that can provide knowledge, resources, and additional connections

Miscellaneous individuals that provide new input, new viewpoints, and opportunities to learn

People respond to others’ successes with a few major themes


  • Bitterly resents someone for their success
  • Subsequent successes fuel the fire
  • Avoid jealous people entirely since they will bring you constant negativity and dysfunction

Negative competition

  • Tries to outperform others out of conceited selfishness
  • It’s possible to coexist but is usually challenging
  • They will sometimes become rivals


  • Gives credit for the accomplishment
  • Praise can range from apathetic to positive
  • Most mentally well people praise others, so don’t dwell heavily on their statements

Positive competition

  • Tries to imitate the person out of a desire to integrate good habits
  • Positive competition is the highest form of flattery and is usually worth allowing into your life

Increase your sphere of influence

Delegate tasks to non-subordinates

  • Friends and associates can more readily or capably perform some tasks better than you
  • The Benjamin Franklin Effect involves building rapport with others by requesting them to do frequent small favors for you

Your network should be a diverse group of people

  • Pull from a diverse variety of backgrounds and professions

You will find your big break when someone wants to take a chance on you

  • On anything, the hardest success to achieve is the first one
  • Your most intense suffering is when people see your most valuable attributes

Don’t seek praise, seek criticism

  • The best people in your life are challenging you to grow, not affirming you
  • You need constant feedback to understand where to go

You may achieve results, but you need a community to turn an idea into a transformative process

Next: How To Get Along With Others