Sunday, June 14, 2015

Perspective On Persistence

A Navy SEAL's 5-Point Perspective On Persistence

We rarely rise to the occasion when placed under extreme pressure. We sink to the level of our preparedness and persistence.

When I was in a fraternity at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, we used to recite one of my favorite quotes, which still guides my thinking and behavior to this day.

"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men 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.--Calvin Coolidge

After graduating and deciding to make the transition from corporate America to the military, I knew I would need to internally evangelize this concept more than ever.

As one can imagine, nothing in my life tested me more than SEAL training. Until of course that training was tested on the battlefield.

And then again when deciding to become an entrepreneur.

In fact, my level of persistence is tested every day as a business owner, husband, and father.

In my opinion, persistence is not an innate talent but rather a learned competency that has to be worked on and can be developed over time to achieve maximum performance.

Here is a five-point perspective on persistence that every entrepreneur should embrace:

As Calvin Coolidge says in the quote above, nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

In my keynote presentations, I often talk about the difference between skill and success.

As most of us know, there are no secrets to being successful. It is the result of preparation, hard work, persistence, and learning from mistakes and failure.

In SEAL training, it's not uncommon for elite athletes to be some of the first to quit.

Talent and skill alone are not enough to be successful.

Many studies show that those with the highest IQ's aren't necessarily the most "successful."

Success has many definitions, but it's still interesting data.

Similar to talent and skill, intelligence only gets you so far.

It's how we apply that intelligence that counts.

But a winning combination is when a person has both intelligence (in many forms) combined with the drive to adapt despite any obstacles that come his or her way.

There is a saying that "C students rule the world."

I don't know how much truth there is to that, but it emphasizes the point that a degree, or three degrees, doesn't guarantee anything.

I have a undergraduate degree in finance, a master's in real estate finance, and studied English and history at Oxford University in England.

So what?

I wouldn't necessarily attribute my current success to that, outside of maybe needing to be persistent in my studies because of the drive to succeed.

Oh, and I met my business partner in grad school.

We own a marketing agency, not a real estate development company.

At least it was good for networking!

Setting and achieving lofty goals requires discipline.
Discipline to work hard.
Discipline to keep moving forward.
Discipline to not be distracted by things that are out of your control.

This is why I believe health and fitness are imperative for success.

Getting and staying fit requires discipline.

You have to have the ability to prioritize fitness as well as push yourself outside of your comfort zone as much as possible.

Health and fitness are perfect for practicing the art of discipline and will impact other areas of your life.

My favorite quote from the Navy SEAL Creed says, "I will not quit. I persevere and thrive in adversity. If knocked down, I will get back up. Every time. I am never out of the fight."

That mentality is so ingrained in your soul as a SEAL that I literally have a physical and chemical reaction when I think of that quote.

As an entrepreneur and business owner, I face obstacles every day, because I am constantly entering uncharted waters as we move the company forward.

Learning new things each day is great, but determination is the fuel that translates that knowledge into actionable strategies.

Failure and obstacles are inevitable aspects of our personal and professional lives.

Without being persistent and determined, we will get stuck along the way.
Never be out of the fight.


Post a Comment