Persistence Is the Key

People who are leaders of their lives rather than simply going along with the flow and accepting all the life’s scraps that are tossed at them, understand the importance of persistence.

Earl Nightingale, American radio author and speaker says “Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden guide someplace whose duty it is to test men and women through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up and keep trying after getting knocked down arrive. It’s an uncanny thing, but it works. And this hidden guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the persistence test, it seems. And those who can’t take it simply don’t make the grade.” (From the book by Earl Nightingale entitled “Transformational Living”)

Nightingale isn’t done, “And those who can take it are bountifully rewarded for their persistence. They receive as their compensation whatever goal they’re pursuing. And that’s not all, because they receive something infinitely more important than material compensation, although they get that. But they get the knowledge that every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage. There are exceptions to this rule. A few people know from experience the soundness of persistence. They’re the ones who have not accepted defeat as being anything more than temporary. They’re the ones whose desires are so persistently applied that defeat has finally changed into victory.”

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W. Clement Stone tells the story of Tom, “who was born without half of a right foot and only a stub of a right arm. As a boy, he wanted to engage in sports as the other boys did. He had a burning desire to play football. Because of this desire, his parents had an artificial foot made for him. It was made of wood. The wooden foot was encased in a special stubby football shoe. Hour after hour, day after day, he would practice kicking the football with his wooden foot. He would try, and keep on trying, to make field goals from great distances. He became so proficient that he was hired by the New Orleans Saints.”

Nightingale declares, “what would you say a person’s chances of playing professional football were if he were born without half of a right foot and a withered arm?”

66,910 football fans could be heard screaming “when Tom Dempsey with his crippled leg, kicked the longest field goal ever kicked in a professional football game, within the last two seconds of the game, to give the Saints a winning score of nineteen to seventeen over the Detroit Lions.”

Detroit coach Joseph Schmidt said, “We were beaten by a miracle.”

The truth it was “they were beaten by perseverance.”

Tom Dempsey was persistent and determined to put in the hard work needed to reach his goals. He was enthralled by the challenge of becoming the best kicker he can be. Even though he was not the best player abilities than his teammates, He was determined, and had an optimistic attitude and always seeking to improve!

How strong is your burning desire to accomplish your desired goal? If you were to create a 3- step plan, how does that look like? What would be your first step?

Gayle Benson, Saints owner says “Tom’s life spoke directly to the power of the human spirit and exemplified his resolute determination to not allow setbacks to impede following his dreams and aspirations. He exemplified the same fight and fortitude in recent years as he battled valiantly against illnesses but never wavered and kept his trademark sense of humor. He holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saints family.”

Tom Dempsey continued to be an inspiration to many until his death in 2020, and his legacy will live on.

Everyone has felt the pain of regret after we’ve given up on a difficult task, knowing that we have missed our full potential. However, the majority of us have felt the satisfaction of a hard-earned triumph when things seemed dark.

Earl Nightingale, read “about the great Knute Rockne of Notre Dame who believed and applied, the rewards of persistence”

“He had a blood clot in one leg. His doctors warned him that if that blood clot broke it could be fatal should it land in his brain, heart or lung. However, his Notre Dame team was playing far from home that day and he insisted on being transported to the game on a stretcher. Then, they took him to the stadium where the game was to be played. And they took him down to the dressing room , where the footballers are getting their gear ready to play. And sweat was falling down his face. the pain was intense and he propped himself to his knees with a tremendous effort and declared, “This team you’re playing today has defeated us last year.”

“I want you to get out there and win.” Then he said, “The team that won’t be beat, can’t be beat.”

Rockne “then fell back on his stretcher, out of breath and suffering terribly, and the team went out and won the game, and they never lost another game as long as Knute Rockne was alive, because when they saw the type of courage that he could develop, how persistently he fought to win even though he was flat on his back, it made giants out of men.”

Nightingale: “And people that stand on the sidelines of life see the overwhelmingly large number who go down in defeat, never to rise again. They see the few who take the punishment of defeat as an urge to greater effort. And these fortunately never learn to accept life’s reverse gear, but what we don’t see, what most of us never suspected existed, is the silent but irresistible power which comes to the rescue of those who fight on in the face of discouragement.”

“Now if we speak of this power at all, we call it persistence and let it go at that. One thing we all know, if one does not possess persistence, one cannot achieve any noteworthy success in any calling.”

To achieve your goal or your ideal, you must ask the following three things:

1.) Do you have a burning drive to reach your goal or dream?

2.) How do you define your step-by-step process for reaching your desired goal or your dream?

3) Are you ready to be persistent and do the job as Tom Dempsey?

Madeline Frank, Ph.D. is a Best-Seller Speaker, author Business owner, educator, concert artist, and mother. She works with organizations and businesses to “Tune Up their Business”. Her experiences will provide you with the blueprints required for you to enhance and make your business successful.

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