How to Succeed in Anything | Inspirational Podcasts

Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, published in 1937…

PERSISTENCE is an essential factor of success in life. And the basis of persistence is the POWER OF WILL. Will-power and desire, when properly combined, make an irresistible pair. People who achieve great success are sometimes known as ruthless. Often they are misunderstood. What they have is will-power, which they mix with persistence, to insure the attainment of their objectives.

Most people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard, and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. Only a few carry on DESPITE all opposition, until they attain their goal: the Steve Jobses, the Andrew Carnegies, the Mahatma Gandhis, the Thomas Edisons. While there may be no heroic connotation to the word “persistence,” the quality is to the character of a person what carbon is to steel.

Lack of persistence is a weakness common to the majority. But it is a weakness which may be overcome by effort. The ease with which a 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. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire produces a small amount of heat.

If you find yourself lacking in persistence, this weakness may be remedied by building a stronger fire under your desires. Great fortunes (be they figurative or literal) gravitate to those whose minds have been prepared to “attract” them, just as surely as water gravitates to the ocean.

There simply is no substitute for persistence. It cannot be supplanted by any other quality. Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow. Those who have cultivated the HABIT of persistence seem to enjoy insurance against failure. No matter how many times they are defeated, they finally arrive toward the top of the ladder.

Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test souls through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after defeat and keep on trying, at last arrive; and the world cries, “Hey! Way to go! I knew you could do it!”

But the hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without first passing the persistence test. Those who can’t take it, simply do not make the grade. Those who can “take it” are bountifully rewarded for their persistence. They receive, as their compensation, whatever goal they are pursuing. And that is not all! They receive something infinitely more important than material compensation: that is, the knowledge that “Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.”

Those who embrace the wisdom of persistence do not accept defeat as being anything more than temporary. They are the ones whose desires are so persistently applied that defeat is finally changed into victory. We who stand on the side-lines of Life see the overwhelmingly large number who go down in defeat, never to rise again. We also see the few who take the punishment of defeat as an urge to greater effort, who never learn to accept Life’s reverse gear. But what we do not see, what most of us never suspect of existing, is the silent but irresistible POWER which comes to the rescue of those who fight on in the face of discouragement.

Read The Entire Essay in Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons

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