No overnight successes…

November 16, 2021

A quote that I saw recently caused me to think about life and a TV show that I occasionally watch. The quote was – “In most things success depends on knowing how long it takes to succeed.”  (Montesquieu)

Montesquieu probably mentally added, “and having the patience and perseverance to get there”.

I occasionally watch the TV show, The Voice. I usually watch only during the initial blind auditions because they feature the backstories of the contestants. It is in those backstories that one sees the patience and perseverance of these artists, many of whom are in mid-life and still waiting their big break in life. Just being on the show can provide that break and certainly winning it assures a different life from that point forward. The main take away from most of these stories is that these people continued to pursue their goal of becoming a professional singer through hardships and setbacks.

Life is full of things that take time and patience, plus perseverance to accomplish. Many people continue to struggle because they don’t have that patience or perseverance. They keep moving on to something else before they even get close to succeeding at the first thing.

From time to time we also see the emergence of a backup player in sports (maybe the quarterback, but it could be at any position in any sport) when they finally get their shot at filling in for an injured starter. Most of these backup players labor away in obscurity year after year, practicing for an opportunity that never comes.

It is important in life to recognize those situations in which success is a long-term thing. And to adopt a mindset of patience and perseverance, rather than being disappointed at the lack of immediate success. There are also some things which are on-going and for which a daily goal of success is required, with the patience and perseverance to accomplish that goal every day. Marriage comes to mind. It isn’t as if there is some goal of “success” out in the future that one can strive for. Successful marriages happen because the parties make a conscious effort every day to make them successful. Parenting is also a long-term effort, but with at least some milestones along the way that allow one to feel successful.

Every now and then in life, it is wise to stop and take stock of where you are, where you’ve come from and where you are still headed. You can take a moment to feel good about what you’ve accomplished and rededicate yourself to the tasks still ahead to achieve those goals.

So, take a pause today and think about where you are going and why. Be realistic about what it will still take to get there, but also be resolute in your patience and perseverance to achieve those goals and you will be successful.

Have a great day on your journey to success. Maybe I’ll see you along the way.


“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” ― H.G. Wells

June 11, 2015

“Ambition is the path to success.  Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”  (Bill Bradley) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

I would add to Bradley’s quote that “perseverance is the fuel that keeps the vehicle going”.  There are a number of quotes that have to do with people quitting when they are in reality just around the next corner from reaching their goal. They had the ambition and they may have been persistent in pursuing their goal for some time, but eventually theystruggle could not persevere through the setbacks that they hit along the way.

On the Dictionary.com site the word to persevere means to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly. In my real estate business life I tell would-be sellers that they need to mind their P’s and C’s. The three P’s of real estate are Price, Persistence and Perseverance. While the Realtor will provide useful information and market guidance to help the seller set the price, it is really up to them. After that they must be persistent in their efforts to keep the house ready to show at any time and they must persevere through what could be a long process, with potentially many disappointments when offers don’t materialized or work out.

The three C’s that are also their responsibility are Condition, Clutter and Cleanliness. They need to take care of the things that could detract from the marketability of the house, whether that be routine maintenance items or something bigger. Of course getting rid of clutter and keeping the place clean for a showing comes with the territory, too. I suspect that there is value in applying those same guidelines to life in general, by keeping yourself maintained (in good health and condition and looking presentable) and decluttering your life. I’m just going to assume that you keep yourself clean (literally and figuratively).

reaching goalAs I revisit the first sentence in today’s little saying I think that ambition is what turns dreams into goals and plans to achieve those goals. We all have dreams about getting somewhere in life or achieving some goals in life, but not everyone takes the next steps with those dreams and creates plans to achieve them (ambitions). Those plans are the road maps (the paths if you will) for how to get there (what you have to do) to achieve those dreams. There may be stops or turns along the way and those may be intermediate goals. Dreams that are never turned into ambitions are sometimes called pipe dreams.

Some people advise us to pray for what we want in life. I would advise that you pray for the perseverance needed to get what you want in life. Pray for the strength to work through adversity, to endure the pains and burdens that you may have to bear and for the belief in yourself that you will achieve your goals if you just work long enough and hard enough towards them. Instead of saying “Lord, do this for me”, pray instead, “Lord, give me the strength, the courage, the faith and the perseverance to do this myself.” Then, as you are on the journey towards achieving your ambitions; when your persistent efforts exhaust you; you’ll know who to turn to in order to refill your tank (to persevere).

Here’s a great little saying by Mary Anne Radmacher –  “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”  That is the courage to persevere. Have a great today and tomorrow.