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Persistence and Overcoming Obstacles

Few truly worthwhile things are attained without adversity, obstacles and conflict all of which can make us stronger, smarter, better, and tougher. In Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill writes:

More than 500 of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them…Opportunity ‘often comes disguised in the form of misfortune or temporary defeat…Thomas A. Edison “failed” ten thousand times before he perfected the incandescent electric light bulb. That is— he met with temporary defeat ten thousand times, before his efforts were crowned with success…Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test men through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries, “Bravo! I knew you could do it!” The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the PERSISTENCE TEST. Those who can’t take it, simply do not make the grade.”

Napoleon Hill lists a Lack of Persistence as one of the major reasons for failure and he says “The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on DESPITE all opposition, until they attain their goal.” The following Excerpt from Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill tells how to develop persistence:

HOW TO DEVELOP PERSISTENCE

There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:

1. A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.
2. A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.
3. A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE.

These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life.

The ease with which lack of persistence may be conquered will depend entirely upon the INTENSITY OF ONE’S DESIRE. The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this constantly in mind.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a valuable guide of strategy for winning while facing competition, conflict, or obstacles. It says that the first factor in determining which side will win a conflict is who has the “Moral Law” on their side. The central theme of The Art of War is to overcome conflict without direct confrontation.

Much of The Art of War is about how to fight wars without actually having to do battle: it gives tips on how to outsmart one’s opponent so that physical battle is not necessary. Sun Tzu’s approaches are all about achieving goals with minimal effort, minimal conflict and maximum operational efficiency. The strategies are based upon the laws of nature, both human nature and nature at large. Since all of life are subject to these laws the book is a universal template to triumph over life’s conflicts that stand in the way of reaching your Goals. The book follows a direct path that escalates until victory is assured from analysis and projection, through planning and positioning, and on to confrontation.

No Goal can be achieved without strong motivation. Motivation comes from the “spirit of the mission” and the strength of your belief that your purpose is morally sound. This rallies a fighting spirit and generates a firestorm of positive energy. The worthiness and integrity of ones objective is critical. During planning when evaluating which army will win a battle the first of the five elements Sun Tzu considers is what he calls “Moral Law”. He says that “The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.”

This article is reprinted from My Goal Manager which is an interactive service that follows the strategies and philosophies of some of the most respected resources throughout history to help you: identify and utilize natural talents, create a personal success roadmap, fuel the fires of motivation, keep Your finger on the pulse of progress, confidently make complex decisions, maintain complete organization over your schedule, and much more. Check out My Goal Manager and begin an exciting journey today!

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