Something Every Career Success Seeker Needs to Know

Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States.  He was a small government Republican.  Comments on his presidency are eerily similar to what is being played out in US politics today.    Many historians look favorably on the reduction of the size of government programs during his presidency.  Others feel that the federal government under Coolidge should have been more involved in regulating and controlling the economy, and are not so quick to heap praise on his administration.

Coolidge was known as “Silent Cal” as he was a man of few words.  But when he did speak, he came up with some gems.  One of my very favorite life and career success quotes comes from Silent Cal Coolidge…

“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 solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

I was skimming through Napoleon Hill’s classic book Think and Grow Rich the other day when I came upon his thoughts on persistence.  They reflect President Coolidge’s…

“One of the main causes of failure is a lack of persistence.  You may overcome this weakness through effort and intensity of desire.  Will power is the basis of persistence; increasing your will or desire will help to strengthen your persistence…Persistence is not reliant on education or intelligence, and requires only a little bit of time and effort.  There are four simple, but necessary, steps that will lead to the practice of persistence:  1) a stated purpose, backed by burning desire, 2) a definite plan, expressed in continuous action, 3) a mind closed against criticism and discouragement, and 4) a friendly alliance with at least one person who will encourage you to follow through with your plans.  Persistence should become a habit.”

I really like Dr. Hill’s third and fourth points.  Tweet 49 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Surround yourself with positive people.  Hold them close.  They will give you energy and help you create the career success you deserve.”  Tweet 50 says, “Jettison the negative people in your life. They are energy black holes.  They will such you dry; but only if you let them.”

Persistent people, successful people, surround themselves with positive people – people who are both positive by nature, and positive about their life and career success.  Positive people are optimistic; and optimism is the first step in building your self-confidence and life and career success.

As Napoleon Hill points out, positive people help you feel good about yourself and become more persistent, because they feel good about themselves – and life in general.  They help you build your self-esteem because they have a strong sense of self-esteem.  Positive people are there when you begin to doubt yourself or when you want to give up.  They are not threatened by you or your success.  They realize that self-esteem is not a fixed pie.  There is an unlimited amount of it to go around, so positive people are always giving it away.  You can build your self-confidence and jumpstart your life and career success by spending your time with upbeat, positive people.

It’s pretty simple.  When you surround yourself with positive, self-confident people, you become positive and self-confident.  On the other hand, when you surround yourself with negative or cynical people, you become negative and cynical.

The choice is yours.  I choose to surround myself with positive people.  Not only do they help my self-confidence, they are more fun to be around.

I’m a big fan of Mark Twain.  One of my favorite quotes of his gets at the heart of surrounding yourself with positive people and jettisoning the negative people in your life…

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

Mark Twain and Napoleon Hill thnk alike when it comes to negative people.  Negative people are a drag on your goals and your ambitions.  They can hamper your chances of becoming a truly persistent and successful person.  They are quick to tell you what you can’t do, offer little encouragement, and hate to see you prove them wrong by succeeding.  Hold these kinds of people at arm’s length.  Don’t spend time with them.  Instead, invest in friendships with positive, upbeat people; the kind of people who not only don’t belittle your ambitions, but do what they can to help you make them a reality.

Cynics are negative people.  They are also dangerous, because they are seductive.  They always have something witty to say about others – usually others’ shortcomings.  At first, they seem to be funny and amusing.  But spend time with cynics, and you’ll find that they have little joy in life except in pointing out and reveling in others’ problems and failures.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Persistence will help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.  But as Napoleon Hill points out, no one — no matter how persistent — can go it alone.  Follow the career advice in Tweet 49 in Success Tweets.  “Surround yourself with positive people.  Hold them close.  They will give you energy and help you create the success you want and deserve.”  Positive people are great.  They feel good about themselves and life in general.  They are enthusiastic – and their enthusiasm is contagious.  When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll become more positive and enthusiastic.  And, you’ll be on your way to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  Who are the most positive people you know?  Get to know them better, spend more time with them.  Don’t let negative people into your life.  Follow the career advice in Tweet 50 in Success Tweets.  “Jettison the negative people in your life.  They are energy black holes.  They will suck you dry, but only if you let them.”  Avoid cynics.  They are jealous and petty, unhappy when others succeed.  Avoid jerks too  – people who are rude, insulting, sarcastic and two-faced.  They will only drag you down.  Make a conscious choice to spend time with positive, optimistic people.  Avoid negative, pessimistic ones.

That’s my career advice on how positive people can help you become more persistent – and to achieve the career success you deserve.  What do you think?  Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  Thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success.  I really appreciate your support.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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