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What is the most important ingredient to success? What is the key element you absolutely have to possess if you wish to be successful in any endeavor?

Sometimes people think it’s education, or rather, the lack of it that makes some of the less fortunate to fail. How untrue! The world is full of educated failures. Some of them have even multiple academic degrees. Yet we see some of the most successful people have no formal education whatsoever. Carnege, Ford, Edisson, they all only went a few years to grade school.

Others point on talent. Talent helps a lot of course, but why do we hear someone called as an unrewarded genius so often? Something must be much more important than talent. What could it be?

persistence stepsPersistence is paramount to attaining any success. If you are talented it helps, but without persistence and determination no talent is strong enough to give you the result on a silver plate.

And it’s not just a question of trial and error, doing something so many times that sooner or later it simply has to work. To break into success we also have to change our subconscious programming, and this is what takes time and persistence.

NASA’s Experiment

A few decades ago NASA had an interesting experimental training program. They wanted to prepare astronauts for the real space experience where one of the difficulties is floating upside down in a weightless environment.

In order to simulate this, the astronauts had to wear special glasses—goggles that made everything look upside down. The goggles were on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After about 25 to 30 days an interesting thing started to happen. The astronauts who wore special goggles, had their vision switched back normal again when the glasses were on. They now saw the world upside down when took the special lenses off! Their subconscious mind had decided to make the shift after the situation had lasted for a full month.

The prerequisite of this shift was persistence. The astronauts had to wear the special lenses all the time, without interruption. Those who took them off for just five minutes during the 30-day period did not experience it.

Our subconscious mind needs to be persuaded by uninterrupted change, only then it adapts to new situation. A break in it means that the 30-day cycle starts from the beginning.

When There is Not Enough Persistence

Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich lists a lot of “symptoms” when you know there is not enough persistence. Among some others there are:

  1. Non-ability to define exactly what you want.
  2. Procrastination.
  3. Indecision.
  4. Self-satisfaction.
  5. Indifference, readiness to compromise.
  6. Blaming others.
  7. Searching for shortcuts, trying to GET without GIVING.

To overcome the lack of persistence we need to know exactly what we want. The goal should be clearly in front of us, and we should never make any compromises with it. The strategy and tactics to get to the goal may change, but not the goal itself.

Another “building block” to persistence is self-reliance. You must believe in your ability to accomplish the set goals, and you should never blame someone else in your failings. If you do, you give your energy and control away, and in your subconscious mind you become a “slave” of that other person or circumstance.

Yet another important thing is to have organized plans. Even if the plans are no good, their mere existence encourages you to act.


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