Tenacity: The Power of Never Giving Up Share:
- Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, September 13, 2021
Tags: #tenacity #goals #success
Think of someone who won. Someone who overcame obstacles and challenges to reach the pinnacle of their field. Are you thinking of an athlete? Or perhaps a businessperson at the head of a market-leading company? Perhaps a political leader?
If we asked 2,000 people on the street, "Name someone who won," we can guarantee there would be one thing every person they mention would have in common:
They didn't give up.
Tenacity goes by many names: grit, determination, doggedness, resolve.
The state of being tenacious includes many qualities. Single-mindedness. Strength of purpose. Indefatigability.
The act of being tenacious is beautifully described in the wonderful Japanese proverb:
"Fall down seven times, get up eight."
You have no doubt seen countless self-help books, all with titles that are variations of the classic, "Seven habits of highly successful people." These authors study and analyze prominent individuals who are subjectively and objectively considered to be successful and top in their fields in an attempt to identify their qualities and characteristics and behaviors. These authors are trying to find that special juice, "Do this and you, too, will be successful!"
Follow their advice and you will be getting up at 5 AM every morning, practicing transcendental meditation, becoming a vegan, quitting school to pursue your passion, or maybe even abandoning courtesy and only speaking the raw and unfiltered truth as it pops into your head regardless of social circumstance. You might even start wearing jeans and black turtle necks during product demos.
Those habits of highly successful people may work for you. They may not. But are these behaviors exhibiting causation or just correlation?
In your own effort to become highly successful, all the advice in the world, both well-intended and questionably whacked-out, can be distilled, focused, reduced and honed into three key points. Follow these, and you've got a fighting chance.
Three Keys to Success
1. Answer this question: What do you want?
Seriously. It's that simple. There are a lot of people who lament their lack of success yet don't really have a clearly defined idea of what that success would be.
If you don't know where you're going, you're not likely to get there.
Big success is rarely randomly found, and random success can never be intentionally duplicated.
Be brutally honest with yourself about what you want to accomplish, clarify it and winnow it down to one core component, and be realistic about your likelihood to achieve it. If you are 5' 2" tall and are devoted to becoming a star player in the NBA, keep looking.
Highly successful people share laser-like clarity about what they are shooting for and never lose sight of that goal.
What is your goal?
2. Identify where you are now, where you need to go, and what it will take to get there. Again, be honest with yourself about the steps required to reach your goal.
Don't be intimidated by the distance between where you are now and where you want to be, as that is common with every big achievement. That's part of the process.
How do you walk 1,000 miles? One step at a time.
This brings us to the final and most important point.
3. Never give up. As long as you keep striving toward your goal, you will never fail. Long journeys aren't easy and by their nature they certainly aren't short. Never lose sight of your destination, no matter how far away it may seem, but you can break the journey down into manageable steps. It's easier to travel 1,000 miles by doing it in ten-mile chunks.
And if you stumble, get up and keep going. "Fall down severn times, get up eight."
Above all, keep at it.
Here's a bit of bonus inspiration to help you stay motivated on your journey toward excellence.
It's about Chris Nikic, the first ever athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. Chris adopted a mantra that has been inspiring people of all walks of life (this author included). His mantra perfectly blends the concepts of tenacity and "one step at a time."
"1%," Chris says. Every day, he strives to be 1% better than he was the day before. He strives to do one more push-up than the day before. One more sit-up than the day before. Like his father, Nik, said, "You just start with one of something, and then do just do one more, and one more, and one more, and you just keep doing it. Until one day, you're doing an Ironman."
- What is your goal? What do you want to achieve?
- Where are you today? Where do you need to be in order to achieve your goal?
- What can you do today that is one more than you did yesterday?
Set a clear and honest goal of what you want to achieve, identify the path you must take to get there, and then take one more tenacious step every day until you get there.
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Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he is an aspiring multi-instrumentalist and composer, a virtual pilot in a home-built flight simulator, and a cyclist.