Outstanding Peformers Never Give Up

Today is Wednesday, so this post is on outstanding performance.

Napoleon Hill wrote one of the most widely read success books of the 20th century: Think and Grow Rich. The book is still in print and sells thousands of copies every year.  I subscribe to the Napoleon Hill Foundation Yesterday and Today Newsletter.  You can subscribe by going to http://mailer.napoleon-hill-news.com/common/SignMeUp.html?cusotmerId=3.

Last week the newsletter had a great quote from Mr. Hill:

  • “Most failures could have been converted into successes if someone had held on another minute or made more effort.  When you have the potential for success within you, adversity and temporary defeat only help you prepare to reach great heights of success. Without adversity, you would never develop the qualities of reliability, loyalty, humility, and perseverance that are so essential to enduring success. Many people have escaped the jaws of defeat and achieved great victories because they would not allow themselves to fail. When your escape routes are all closed, you will be surprised how quickly you will find the path to success.”

I particularly like the sentence, “When your escape routes are all closed, you will be surprised how quickly you will find the path to success.”  I have found this to be true in my life.  I perform best when my back is to the wall.  I remember spending a couple of days developing a presentation for the CEO of one of my client companies.  I learned about 5:00 the night before the early morning presentation that he wanted a different focus than I was originally led to believe.  I redid the presentation in a couple of hours – and it turned out to be better than the first one.

I realize that not everyone works well under this type of pressure, so I don’t recommend backing yourself into a corner on every deadline.  But I do believe that many people give up too quickly on their goals.  This goes to the first part of the quote, “Most failures could have been converted into successes if someone had held on another minute or made more effort.”

Tony Maddaluna is a very successful guy.  He is the VP of Manufacturing for Pfizer Europe.  Ever since I have known him, he has displayed a quote in a little stand on his desk.

  • “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan ‘press on’ has solves and always will solve the problems of the human race."  — Calvin Coolidge

Tony is one of the most persistent people I know.  He is a living embodiment of President Coolidge’s quote.

The common sense point here is simple.  The next time you find yourself wanting to give up on a goal, remember Napoleon Hill, Ccalvin Coolidge and Tony Maddaluna.  Persist.  Keep at it.  Work hard enough to make yourself succeed.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website www.BudBilanich.com for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: www.SuccessCommonSense.com for common sense advice on becoming the career and life success you are meant to be and to get a copy of my new ebook Star Power: Common Sense Ideas for Career and Life Success.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to www.FirstGiving.com/TheCommonSenseGuy to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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  1. On the one hand, yes, persistence does help you achieve your goal. But at the same time, I think you need to know when to quit. Sometimes if you’re doing something that you don’t really believe in, or something that you’re not going to achieve in, you need to quit and focus your energies into something else. Basically like “The Dip” philosophy of Seth Godin.

  2. Derrick:
    Thanks for your comment.
    I agree that it is never a good idea to persist at something if you don’t believe in it. However, I think that too many people fool themselves into thinking “this was a bad idea in the first place, so I’ll just give up”.
    I think that before deciding to give up we all should ask ourselves if we are quitting because it really is something in which we don’t believe — or because it is too hard. Personally, I know I have often given up on something that was too hard and convinced myself that I didn’t really believe in it.
    All the best,

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