“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge
I have worked with many successful people; people who have achieved the kinds of lives they have dreamed about. I have also worked with many people who are not anywhere near where they want to be in life. Many times those who are not successful
resent those who are and believe that somehow success was handed to those who have achieved much.
What I have found however is that actually the reverse is true. Those who have achieved much have worked much HARDER than those who are not successful. You wouldn’t believe the stories of struggle that I hear from those who now appear to on “top of the heap.” Yes, they are successful, but no, it wasn’t handed to them! And I find that most of the unsuccessful people who come to me actually haven’t been tenacious at all. I find that with many of the people I speak to who complain about their lack of success simply haven’t persevered and been tenacious. When I ask them questions I usually get excuses. Yes, there are exceptions on both sides, but I find this to be almost universally true.
If you are one who finds yourself dreaming of a better life, or looking at someone who “has it made,” I would ask you to take a long, deep look inward and at your life to find whether or not you have actually been tenacious in pursuit of your dreams. How long have you gone for it? Many people who achieve much go for YEARS before they achieve what their hearts long for? How hard have you gone for it? Most people who achieve much have given up much. They have sacrificed much. They strive valiantly for what it is that resides deep in their dreams. They just plain ol’ work hard!
So what are the principles of tenacity? What do you need to know in order to take your turn at the tenacious? Here are some thoughts to start your fire and get you going!
- Sometimes you just have to outlast the others.
- Sometimes you just have to hold on at the end.
- Sometimes the most beautiful results come from dull things under pressure.
“Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” William Feather
I have found that many people start on their dreams but most never finish. Then those who stop resent those who make it. The truth is that most people who become successful have simply mastered the art of keeping on keeping on! I myself can remember early on in my career when I would get discouraged and I literally said to myself, “One more week. Just give it one more week.” Quite frankly, this is what got me through a couple of years of my work early on. I hung on as others let go.
It is easy to get disheartened. Ask those who have achieved success if they ever got disheartened and you will find some of the most amazing stories you have ever heard. Give it a try: Go to the most successful person you know and ask them if they ever thought about quitting. Ask them how they kept on going. You will be amazed at what you hear.
“When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin Roosevelt
I wonder how many people have quit just as they would have begun their entrance into success? Sure there are many who quit at the first sign of hard work, but what about those who, after the tenth time of trial then give up, just as fate would have seen them go through one last hurdle and then into the promised land? How many people were on their last hurdle and decided not to jump? How many people had just one more mountain pass to go? Or just one more river to cross?
Of course we will never know, but certainly some of the people who quit are doing so on what would have been their last trial, right?
So what does this mean for you? For me it means I do not quit because I would hate to find out later that all I needed was just one last effort and I would have achieved my goal. What if it isn’t my last trial? That’s okay because as long as I keep going, eventually I will get to my last trial, I will overcome it, and I will enter the Winner’s Circle.
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” Malcolm Forbes
If coal wasn’t an inanimate object it would certainly scream, “Stop! I want out!” But that coal, when facing incredible pressure, is turned into one of earth’s most precious possessions. Ugly, dirty old coal is transformed into beautiful diamonds.
Instead of looking at pressure and trials as the reason to quit, get tenacious and see them as the very thing that will make your life the beautiful thing that you desire it to be. See it as your opportunity to learn, to grow, and to be transformed. See these trials as the very things that will enable you to have the life that dream of!
Trials will surely come. Life will get hard. You will want to quit.
Then you will have a choice: Will you give up? Or will you take your turn at tenacious. The choice you make will determine much of the rest of your life. My advice? Take your turn at tenacious. You will become stronger, and you will end up living the life you dream of!
Relationships are really what makes the world go ‘round, aren’t they? I mean, good, positive, healthy and meaningful relationships provide us with the richest experiences we have here on this old earth of ours. Your loving spouse who shares everything with you;
that best friend who connects with you like few others do; the people at work who appreciate you and help you to become the best that you can be; This is what brings joy to life!
But… relationships can also be the bane of our existence! What really brings more pain in this life than a broken relationship, especially when it isn’t just broken but downright ugly!
So, it behooves us to do all that we can to keep our relationships zipping right along, doesn’t it? If we put our very best into our relationships we can almost guarantee getting the very best out of our relationships!
Through the years I have spent hundreds of hours working with people in their relationships: Marriages, friendships, working relationships and social relationships. Through it all I have seen some wonderful things and some terrible things. It truly is the good, the bad and the ugly!
But I have been able to find three core elements of successful relationships. These are things that, when done over time, begin to create for you the kinds of relationships that you truly desire. They are the kinds of relationships you have always dreamed of.
The key to remembering these three items is the acronym Z.I.P. Z.I.P. stands for three things you can do – and begin to do immediately – to improve any and all of your relationships. They are:
Put some ZEST into your relationships. Cultivate more INTIMACY in your relationships. Develop a PURPOSE in your relationships.Let’s take a closer look at each of these three:
Put some ZEST into your relationships.
By Zest, I primarily mean fun. Relationships were meant to be fun! We wouldn’t have been made with the capacity to have fun if relationships weren’t supposed to have a little zest in them!
Think about it: Don’t you usually start out most healthy relationships with a lot of fun times. Whether it is going out to dinner or a ballgame, or spending time playing a game or even just a lively talk, you usually have fun as a major part of the relationship. Fun is some of the glue that bonds the relationship.
But as life goes on, specifically in a marriage, but in all relationships really, the fun starts to go by the wayside. More and more it is about getting the job done, whatever the job may be.
To restore the relationship, to put a little zip into it, we need to reintroduce the idea of “zest.”
What about you? Have you lost the zest? What can you do to get it back? Think of a specific relationship you have: What were the fun things you did at the beginning of the relationship that acted as the glue that bonded you together? Now, commit to doing those again and see if your relationship doesn’t begin to soar again! If you can, develop new fun things to do together so you can both start an adventure of fun together!
Cultivate more INTIMACY in your relationships.
First a couple of clarifications: One, I don’t just mean intimacy in the currently common understanding, that is, sexual intimacy. I mean for all intents and purposes, taking your relationship to a deeper level. Second, I don’t mean that you have to start doing group hugs with your workmates or having revelation sessions where the tissue flows freely.
What I do mean is that every relationship that is mutually satisfying has a level of depth to it that provides meaning. This is really what the search is for in our relationships: meaning.
Remember when you first started your relationship, whether with your spouse or friend. All of that time was spent opening up, telling who you are, where you were from, what your likes and dislikes are. There was a deep sense of satisfaction with the relationship – that is why it continued. You liked who they were and you enjoyed being known by them.
But then something happens. We get to a certain level and the pursuit of depth ends. We stop sharing feeling, likes, and dislikes. We stop sharing joys and dreams and fears. Instead, we settle into routine. The daily grind takes over and we stop knowing one another and we simply exist together. Now don’t get me wrong, every time you get together doesn’t have to be deep. Remember, I am the one who advocates in the previous paragraphs just having plain old fun sometimes. But there is a need for regular times of intimate connection where we go deeper with others.
This is particularly hard for many of the male species like myself but it is not only possible but healthy and needed! If we want to have the kinds of relationship we were made to have, we have to open ourselves up to having others know us and for us to know others.
True meaningful relationships come when we are loved and accepted for whom we are at our core, not simply for acting the right way in our relationships so as to keep the other person in it.
Think about the relationships you would like to see improvement in. Take some time in the coming weeks and months to spend time just talking and getting to a deeper level in your relationship. Specifically, let the other person deeper into your world. You can’t force the other person to be more intimate and you certainly can’t say, “Let’s get together and have an intimate conversation,” because that would be too contrived. But you can make a decision for yourself that you will let others into your world. Perhaps this will be the catalyst for them doing the same.
You can guard yourself from intimacy but then you won’t go much deeper and you will feel a longing in your heart for more, or you can begin the deepening process and see your relationships change for the better.
Develop a PURPOSE in your relationships.
The most meaningful relationships we have are those that are held together by a common purpose and vision for what the relationship can accomplish, not only for those involved but also for a greater good.
Let’s face it, when people have a common purpose they feel like they are part of a team and they feel bound together in that relationship. Even when people may be disappointed in the people they are in relationship with, if they have a purpose, such as raising the children, they are much more likely to stick it out. Purpose creates bonds.
So what happens if we are proactively involved in seeking out a common purpose with those who we want to have a relationship with or those who we already have a relationship with but we would like to see it go deeper with? Well, it gets better and stronger.
Think about your strongest relationships. Aren’t they centered around at least one area of purpose or a common goal?
What about a relationship that has cooled? Think back and see if perhaps you used to have a common purpose but it has gone by the wayside.,/p>
And what of your desire to see a relationship grow? Take some time to begin to cultivate a common purpose. Sit down with that person and tell them that you would like to have some common goals, some purposes that you pursue together. As you develop these, you will see your relationship strengthen in ways you never imagined!
Let’s recap: You want your relationships to show a little “zip?” Then put a little Z.I.P. in them:
- Put some ZEST into your relationships.
- Cultivate more INTIMACY in your relationships.
- Develop a PURPOSE in your relationships.