Why Success Rewards Persistence and Punishes Quitting

Success is an auditor. It measures the precursors to success to determine who gets to obtain it—and for how long. It is quite often that people misunderstand what success is measuring, mistaking luck and circumstances, things outside of their control with the things that are within their control.

  • Talent: Some believe that talent is what is necessary for success. While ability is helpful, it doesn’t seem to weigh very heavily in success’s ultimate analysis. Countless people waste their talents, and in doing so, never achieve what their ability might make possible.
  • Hard Work: Others believe hard work is the key to success. Success values hard work and rejects anything less. Hard work carries a lot of weight, but success finds it necessary but not sufficient. By itself, hard work is not enough.
  • Resourcefulness: Of all the human attributes, this is the linchpin. It is creativity in action. It allows one to solve problems and adjust their strategies and tactics. When plan A fails, resourcefulness gets you through the rest of the alphabet. Sadly, ingenuity is not always enough by itself, even though success demands it of you.
  • Pluck: The word indicates a sort of determined courage. It’s an indication of one’s spirit, that indescribable attribute that you recognize when you see it. If you want to get success’s attention, your big, bold goals and the courage to pursue them might be enough to draw its eye. Your courage matters, but you need something more.
  • Luck: The very nature of luck prevents you from being able to command good luck somehow. Being born with talent is mostly luck. Being born with resources is also luck. If there were a way to will good luck, taking a lot of shots would rank among the best strategies, but success may smile on you for a minute, but luck isn’t sustainable.

Success Values Persistence Most

Success seems to value persistence with a weight more significant than most other factors. It seems to favor those who are willing to keep going when others quit. It also seems to require your persistence to be deployed as the natural response to missteps, mistakes, and setbacks. It’s a test to see whether you are prepared to pay the price in full and in advance for what you say you want.

Persistence is used to sort out all the dabblers, dreamers, and do-nothings, those who talk a big game but play a small one. It is used to challenge those with the talent to reach their full potential, judging their persistence by their willingness to excel when they could easily coast.

So you worked hard for weeks. Congratulations. The ability to persistently and doggedly work hard over an extended period is evidence of your willingness to grind it out and persist. Believing you have paid the price and deserve your success is evidence that you haven’t paid the price.

You’ve been resourceful. You have been willing to figure things out, and you are moving closer to your goal. Success will see this as evidence that you are ready to give up what you wished worked for something better and reward you, but not the first time you adjust your approach. Success is not that easily impressed.

You’re plucky. When you have crashed into adversity, you were not dissuaded. Your courage will be rewarded. Eventually, anyway.

Luck isn’t quickly or often rewarded by itself. It is fleeting, and as far as success is concerned, it will carry some weight, but not if you aren’t ticking all the other boxes above. Success is happy to crown a few one-hit wonders, but luck doesn’t provide for much more than that.

If you want success, whatever that means to you, you are going to have to persist, longer than you want, and longer than seems reasonable. You are going to have to keep going when you want to give up, and when others tell you it’s time to quit, something they would have already done, were they you. Your persistence separates you from those who want something without being willing to pay the price in full and advance.

The secret is that there are no secrets. Just keep going.

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