Successful People Stick With It

Commitment to taking personal responsibility for creating the successful life and career you want and deserve is one of the four keys to success in my Common Sense Success System.  I discuss it in detail in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, I Want YOU…to Succeed, Star Power, Your Success GPS, and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.

You demonstrate your commitment to taking personal responsibility for your success by doing three things.  First, you must take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a success.  You need to be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, you must set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.

The points above remind me of one of my favorite quotes from Malcolm Forbes…

“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”

It takes thousands of years and tremendous amounts of pressure to turn coal into diamonds.  While you don’t need to spend thousands of years creating the successful life and career you want and deserve, you do have to stick with it.  If you give up every time you run into a problem, setback or roadblock you’ll never become a diamond.  If you can’t take the pressure, you’ll never become a diamond.  You have to stick to it and bare up under the pressure.  You need to be persistent.

Have you seen the movie Avatar?  I haven’t because I’m not a sci-fi or special effects fan.  I like movies about real people coping with real everyday life.  However, Avatar won the Golden Globe for best picture and is the favorite to win the Oscar best picture award.  I bring it up here because the making of Avatar reinforces my point about sticking to it.  James Cameron, the writer and director, first began working on it in 1994.  He worked actively on it for three years (2006 – 2009) before it was released in theatres.  James Cameron stuck to it, and produced a very popular and profitable movie.

I am a fan of the Olympics.  This year I’m following Lindsey Vonn, an alpine skier who makes her home in Vail; so she’s a local as far as I’m concerned.  Already she is the most successful American woman skier in World Cup history.  She’s 26 years old and has been skiing for 24 of those years.  She moved away from home and her family at a young age to pursue her dream of being a world class skier.  She started skiing competitively at 7 and competing internationally when she was nine.  She is devoted to her sport.  She says, “When you fall down, just get up again.  If you fall get up stronger, hungrier, more ambitious.  Setbacks help you concentrate.  When success falls into your lap, you lose sight of your goals.”  She fell hard earlier this year and had a terrible bone bruise on her arm.  She didn’t miss an event.  I’m hoping she wins a gold medal or two in Vancouver in February.

James Cameron and Lindsey Vonn are two people who can be likened to lumps of coal that have turned into diamonds because they’ve stuck to their jobs.  Remember their stories the next time you feel like giving up on your job and your dreams.

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for their lives and careers.  You take personal responsibility for your life and career when you do three things.  Doing whatever it takes to succeed – including sticking with it and dealing with pressure.  Setting high goals and then doing whatever it takes to achieve them.  Responding positively to the negative people and events in your life.  James Cameron, the writer and director of mega hit movies like Avatar and Titanic and Lindsey Vonn, currently the best woman skier in the world are two people who exemplify Malcolm Forbes quote, “Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”

That’s my take on sticking with it and success.  What’s yours?  Please take a minute or two to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


PS: If you liked this post, you’ll love my free 90 minute DVD on career and life success.  To get your free copy, go to  That’s  Go there now and get started creating the successful life and career you want and deserve.

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  1. The other analogy I often hear used is turning iron to steal. If you think of raw potential as iron then the determining factor as to whether you become steal or not is your willingness to stay in the fire.

  2. Great point about iron and steel. I’m a Pittsuburgh guy. I know about this. I worked for US Steel when I was in college.

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