The Great Value of Persistence Personal Management The Compound Effect Virtues

As taught by Napolean Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich

At Launch Leadership Development we believe persistence is a required skill for successful leadership, and worthy of study and practice.

Napolean Hill devoted a chapter to the study of persistence in his book Think and Grow Rich, where he states that in his study of 500 successful entrepreneurs, persistence was a common trait in these great American leaders. 

I’d like to share with you these ideas he presents concerning persistence:

  • Hill’s definition and thoughts about persistence
  • Qualities of persistence
  • Symptoms of lack of persistence
  • How to develop persistence
  • The benefits of being persistent

Hill has this to say about persistence:

  • The basis of persistence is the power of will
  • Willpower and desire are required for success
  • Lack of persistence is a weakness common to most men and the main cause of failure
  • Persistence is a state of mind, and so it can be cultivated.

Qualities of Persistence according to Hill:

  • Definiteness of purpose. This is the first step: know what you want.
    • Desire – there must be a burning desire to maintain persistence
    • Self-reliance – you must believe in your ability to achieve or obtain your goal
    • Definiteness of plans – organize a detailed plan to obtain your goal
    • Accurate knowledge – knowing, not assuming or guessing “facts”
    • Cooperation – encouragement from others helps build persistence
    • Willpower – build a habit of focusing on the plan and dream, keeping it in front of you
    • Habit – persistence is a direct result of habit.

Symptoms of lack of persistence:

  • Failure to recognize and clearly define exactly what one wants
  • Procrastination
    • Lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge needed to obtain the goal
    • Indecision and/or “passing the buck” on all occasions
    • Habit of relying upon alibis instead of creating definite plans for the solution of problems
    • Self-satisfaction – nothing can be done to help this dilemma, he says
    • Indifference – shows in readiness to compromise rather than stand up to obstacles
    • Habit of blaming others for one’s mistakes
    • Weakness of desire
    • Willingness to quit at the first sign of defeat
    • Lack of organized plans, placed in writing
    • Habit of neglecting to move on ideas or grasp opportunities
    • Wishing instead of willing
    • Habit of compromising with poverty instead of aiming at riches, general absence of ambition to be, to do, to own
    • Searching for all the shortcuts to riches, trying to get without giving
    • Fear of criticism and what others will say or think

How to develop persistence- Hill says you must have these things:

  • A definite purpose backed by a burning desire for its fulfillment
    • A definite plan, expressed in continuous action
    • A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences
    • A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose

Hill says these 4 steps listed above are essential for success in all walks of life because they:

  • Help one control his economic destiny
    • Lead to freedom and independence of thought
    • Lead to riches in small or great quantities
    • Lead the way to power, fame, and worldly recognition
    • Guarantee favorable “breaks”
    • Convert dreams into physical realities
    • Lead to the mastery of fear, discouragement, indifference

As you read through the lists of qualities of persistence and symptoms of lack of persistence, did you do a self-analysis? If not, I encourage you to reread the lists and rate yourself.  If you see some areas where you could improve, I urge you to diligently work on them, as persistence is truly worth the effort and time needed to develop, my friend!

-Jan Jones

Check out this video on persistence!