“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men 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.” – Calvin Coolidge
One day I decided to challenge myself. I went zip line and rock-wall climbing. I was so excited although my heart was pounding out of my chest. I got myself all strapped in and waited patiently. As I waited, I witnessed people get all the way up to the wall, grip the first hook, and decide that it was just too hard. I sat there terrified as time and time again people fell apart.
I imagined that they stood there just like me initially excited as their eyes focused on the wall in the sky then their eyes would zip down the line causing great panic. Trust me I was so scared. Actually, the scariest part for me was when I had signed the disclosure. It’s something about signing a disclosure that makes things real, it most definitely cements the deal!
Anyway, I made my way up to the wall. I looked to the top where someone cheered me on and encouraged me as I gripped my first hook. I had one foot on the ground and the other on the wall when I began to curse myself. After about three very long and challenging stepping-stones I began to understand that if I keep focusing on the what’s below or what’s before me, I’ll cause myself discouragement. So like my personal cheerleader at the top said, “don’t get comfortable, keep reaching, blah, blah, blah.” Eventually I made it. Standing on that platform was both fulfilling and horrifying because I realized that it wasn’t over!
I stood facing yet another challenge, which was to zip line down. Here I was back in the thick of it. Just when I got comfortable with being safe on the landing it was time to make my next move because that was not the bigger goal, just a stepping stone. I needed some coaching but I did let go. Funny because when I reached the bottom I thought, I really worked myself up and it wasn’t all that bad. (I was expecting more of a Divergent type of experience, lol.)
In the end I persisted because of those stepping-stones. For every stone I gripped, the more confident I became in my ability to successfully finish the course. Without the stepping-stones, I am not sure if I could have continued. Stepping-stones are powerful and serve as reminders that things are possible. They keep you focused and ignite a winning attitude.
Persistence separates those that achieve from those that fall short. Ambition and passion has it’s highs and lows but if you persist and use the power of stepping stones you will find that your end goal becomes that much more obtainable.