November 29, 2012

Calvin Coolidge was not one of our most loquacious presidents.  There was good reason he was called “Silent Cal “.   But, every so often he came out with something truly exceptional.    His quote I like best is about persistence“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.  The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Thomas A. Edison once said:  ‘Most of my work is trial and error, in other words, its 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration’.

In the book “Outliers”, the author states he has discovered a 10,000 hour rule where it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice, work, effort, etc.  before a person of talent can truly perfect that talent and “play” on the world stage.   He uses examples such as Mozart, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Yo Yo Ma and others to illustrate this rule.   Individuals of lesser persistence and determination will be “also- rans”, even though talented, they simply do not have the “stuff” to stay with it—go the distance, pay the price.

QUESTION:  Are Asian student brighter, born with more intellect than Westerners?  If not, why do they succeed when others fail?

ANSWER:  They work harder, longer and they are much more persistence and determined than their Western counterparts.   They are born with no greater ability than any other normal child placed upon this Earth.

The bottom line:   In the western world, we give up much too quickly and much too often.    During my university days, all mechanical engineering students were required to obtain, before graduation, a minor in mathematics.  This was quite a revelation to me since my strong suit in high school was definitely not math.  I will never forget one course—Infinite Series—in which the professor on the very first day, gave each student a “Pink Pearl” eraser.  ‘The very best mathematicians make a lot of mistakes.  They better have a big eraser’.  His words exactly!   He made us prove it in that course.

We equate difficulty with ignorance when in reality, the most satisfying feelings come when we master a subject AFTER difficulty, some times great difficulty.  There should be no time limit on achievement.   We were built to strive, maybe not for absolute perfection but certainly for a degree of success.   When we tell ourselves, ‘this is too hard; it will take too long’, we place insurmountable limits on potential successes when time and effort will generally prove we can succeed, we can accomplish.


2 Responses to “PERSISTENCE”

    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Return man 2–Many thanks for taking a look at Persistence. I had fun writing this one and I can attest to the fact ( I have three children and five grandchildren ) persistence is needed in our culture today. Again, many thanks. B.


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