Activity and Persistence

Successful people are outstanding performers.  As I discuss in Straight Talk for Success, outstanding performers have three things in common.  Outstanding performers are lifelong learners.  Outstanding performers set and achieve high goals.  Outstanding performers are well organized.

Outstanding performers also find a way to get the job done.  They don’t let obstacles stop them.  Last week I read a couple of blog posts about concepts that go to the heart of this matter: activity and persistence.   Mike Litman posted on activity and Kevin Eikenberry wrote about persistence.

Activity and persistence are my watchwords for 2009.  I set some very high goals for myself for this year.  I began it in high gear and I plan on kicking it into overdrive.  And, I am going to persist until I achieve all of my goals, no matter what.  I am committed to activity and persistence.

Mike says…

“Activity. Activity. Activity.  Too many people are standing still.  Too much pondering, too little action. Too much scatterness, too little focus.  Too much talk, too little results.  In 2009, commit to a year filled with activity.  Be 1% more active each day in your business.  Start at 1%.

“Activity. Activity. Activity.  When you stand still too long, moving becomes real tough.  Very tough.  Every day, do at least one action that moves you forward.  What I love best about a lot of activity, is that I get to make mistakes and learn what works.  You can do the same.  Activity. Activity. Activity.  2009 is about you being more active then you’ve ever been.  Are you in?  Are you ready to commit to a year filled with activity?”

Kevin writes to leaders, but his ideas apply to anyone who wants to succeed.  He says…

“Let me be blunt.  We can create and engage in the best leadership skill training, we can create the best leadership development opportunities, and we can provide coaching and mentoring that is outstanding, and yet, if all of these programs and leadership activities, don't include an ongoing persistent process of improvement – a way to instill and inspire persistence, we will fall short of what is possible…As a leader, when we practice proactive persistence – persistence that is positive and supports people through both an example and support to pursue the desired objectives persistently, we are truly leading…Ask yourself today what you can do to create greater persistence in yourself and your organization.  Your answer (and the action taken on that answer) will pay you rich rewards.”

These guys are right!  Activity and persistence will make you an outstanding performer.  Activity — even 1% more than you currently do — and persistence — fighting through problems and setbacks — will yield positive results in the long term.  But you have to commit to them. 

The common sense point here is simple.  Outstanding performance is a key to personal and professional success.  Outstanding performers are active and they are persistent.  The law of inertia says that a body in motion tends to stay in motion.  That’s why activity is so important.  Once you get moving, it’s easier to stay moving towards your goals.  And it’s easier to persist in the face of problems and setbacks.  To paraphrase Muhammad Ali — inside a ring or out, ain’t no shame in going down.  It’s staying down that’s shameful.  Persistent people don’t stay down, they get back up and keep moving.  Make activity and persistence your watchwords for 2009.  You'll amaze yourself with how much you will accomplish.

That’s my take on the importance of activity and persistence.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing a story where activity and/or persistence paid off for you.  We’d all like to hear your success story. 

As always, thanks for reading.


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  1. Bud,
    As usual you give excellent examples of the common sense approach to success in ones endeavour.
    I am reading again Straight Talk for Success.

  2. Thanks David

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