What do you think matters more in terms of achieving success: talent or effort? One can say that both matter, and that’s probably true in most cases. However, there are some cases when one matters more than the other. Sometimes, having natural ability matters more. Other times, persistence leads to success.
Based on what I have seen over the years, persistency and wealth have some correlation. The more persistent you are, the better your likelihood of success will be. If we are driven and relentlessly pursue a goal, it can really pay dividends. Literally, in some cases:) If we go through the motions and try hard but don’t really push ourselves, we may end up just settling for a consolation prize, to speak. Or, in some cases, failure.
Now, I know that some folks might be quick to point out that just because someone is driven to succeed, it doesn’t mean that they can do anything they put their mind to. I totally agree with that broad statement. There are things that, no matter how badly we want them and are willing to outwork anyone in the world to get, we simply aren’t good enough.
For example: I’m 6’0” tall and of average athleticism. No matter how hard I might have tried when younger, I had zero chance of playing professional basketball. Or, for that matter, college basketball. It never would have happened even if I worked harder than anybody alive.
That being said, there are other areas in life that don’t require exceptional skills. Additionally, there are other goals and accomplishments that we can achieve that don’t require any natural talents than what we already have. Many of these can be achieved through persistence rather than talent.
Examples of situations where persistency can lead to improved net worth:
- Studying hard to get good grades and receive admission to a good college (since education impacts wealth).
- Working to uncover scholarships and aid to attend college.
- Working hard to get into a great graduate school or land a job in your desired field after college
- Getting that promotion at work
- Networking to find a better job
- Pushing an entrepreneurial venture forward
You get the idea. It’s not like all of these things require innate quantifiable and measurable ability in order to succeed.
It seems to me that at many stations in life, there are plenty of people that have the requisite talent to succeed. Some may be a little smarter than others, but if you’re smart enough, you’re in the game. Then, it comes down to other factors, one of which is how much you want to succeed and how much you will do to make that happen.
Think about it all the people you have known who have achieved high levels of success in school, in their careers, or as entrepreneurs. Have they all been naturally brilliant?
I doubt it. Sure, some might have been . But I’d be willing to be that many were not necessarily more talented than others, but just had incredible persistency.
Sustained, relentless effort – coupled with a sense of knowing where you have a chance to win – seems to be achievable for most of us, right?
My observations of such people are that they take common approaches, such as these 10 aspects of persistency that can lead to success and wealth:
- Setting ambitious goals. It’s important to have a clearly defined goal or sense of what we want to ultimately accomplish.
- Visualizing success . Envisioning success in one’s mind, orienting thinking to that place and thereby aligning behaviors to that end.
- Planning. Once the goal is in mind, plans are made to reach those goals. Planning – while building in room for flexibility – provides a roadmap and goalposts to shoot for.
- Being able to ignore naysayers. There are often people who tell us that something can’t be done, whether they really believe it or just secretly prefer that we don’t succeed in order to make themselves feel better. Being persistent involves knowing when to ignore such obstacles.
- Being resilient. When roadblocks emerge – which they will in one way or another – it’s important to be able to be tough, get through them, and move forward.
- Working hard. This one is obvious, but persistence involves the willingness to put in the time and energy it takes to reach your goals. One saying that I have heard a few times is that if you’re not working hard, somebody else is.
- Efficiency. While we all need balance, it’s important sometimes to cut nonessential activities in pursuit of a goal. This could be cutting out that hour of TV at night in order to study, or it could be packing a frugal lunch each day instead of eating out in order to pay down debt.
- Discipline. If you want something bad enough, you will discipline yourself to avoid slacking in order to reach the goal.
- Passion. I think that a big part of actually being able to charge toward achieving something is truly having that burning desire to get it done. Personally, times where I have really excelled have been when I genuinely, deep down wanted to win and reach a goal that mattered.
- Casting aside fear. This could mean fear of success, or fear of failure. Both could derail people. In the times where I really wanted something and did it, I had no fear of success or failure.
It’s taken me some time over the years to be able to realize all of this, so I’ve had a mixture of successes and being completely average. And, times I’ve failed. For the latter, I’d like to think that when factoring out luck and chance – which does play a role in things – that being truly persistent could have made the difference. For times where I succeeded, I know it did. Lessons learned!
My Questions for You:
Do you think that persistency is a key component to success?
Do you agree with the assertion that in a many everyday situations, that truly relentless hard work can overcome better talent?
In situations over the course of your life where you have truly achieved a high level of success, did being persistent play a role in it? Perhaps contrast that with times where you were average or fell short.