Persistence: Firm or abstinent continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Persistence – PGA Style
Jimmy Walker, professional golfer, has not had an easy path to the highest echelon of golf. Though he first played on the PGA Tour in 2005, he was frequently sent back to the equivalent of the minor leagues and had to requalify for the (PGA) tour three times. It was not until 2011 that he began to establish himself on tour. Walker competed in 187 tour events before claiming his first victory at the end of 2013. To date Jimmy Walker has 6 tour wins, 41 top-ten finishes and has earned over $21 million dollars. Such is the power of persistence.
So how does Jimmy Walker’s story and success relate to you and me? The answer is much in many ways.
Keep On Keeping On
First, in any field of endeavor and in any culture, there is one consistent characteristic of successful individuals, and that characteristic is persistence. The ability to keep moving forward, when everyone else slows down, or gives up, is the mark of an Outperformer.
Second, persistence is a learned trait. Achievement results from believing in yourself and believing in your dream – in spite of opposition and/or failure(s). Abraham Lincoln failed in business more than once, and failed in running for political office several times before being elected President at age 52. Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs were two other famous Americans who knew a little something about failure – and about success. Why? Persistence.
In order to be an Outperformer you must develop and/or strengthen you ability to persist.
How to Develop Your Persistence Muscles
- Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and understand why. The more specific your vision the better. You’ve heard me talk about having a S.M.A.R.T. vision statement because clarity is key. Here’s why, clarity stimulates belief and belief stimulates action. But, behind the vision is always the motivation. Have an ethically sound reason why you want what you want.
- Have a success strategy. Have a clear plan of action for how you intend to make your vision a reality. Proper planning prevents poor performance. Having a map and a compass will keep you on the right path and moving toward your vision.
- You’ve got to do the work. Here’s an oft-quoted statement: “The harder I work the luckier I get.” Taking action on “High Value Activities “ (HVAs) is the foundation of success and achievement. Knowing which activities make the greatest contribution to goal achievement must be scheduled daily.