Persistence Is the Key

The people who are the people in their lives, instead of going along with the flow and accepting the scraps life throws at them, understand the importance of perseverance.

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”)

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Nightingale goes on to say, “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.”

W. Clement Stone tells the tale about 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 states, “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?”

The crowd of 66,910 footballers could be heard shouting “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 fact is that “they were beaten by perseverance.”

Tom Dempsey was persistent and determined to put in the hard work required to achieve his goal. He was enthralled by the challenge of becoming the most effective kicker he could be. Even though he was not the best player capabilities than his teammates, He was determined, and had an optimistic attitude and always striving to improve!

What is the intensity of your determination to achieve your target? If you could create a three step plan, how do you think it would be like? What would be your first step?

Gayle Benson, Saints manager, 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 continues to live for generations to come.

We’ve all experienced the sting of regret after we’ve given up on a task that was difficult and realize that we’ve unintentionally slighted our potential. However, the majority of us have experienced the satisfaction of a hard-earned victory even when the prospects seemed dark.

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

“He was suffering from an undiagnosed blood clot in his leg. His doctors advised him that if the blood clot ruptured and grew larger, it could cause death should it land in the brain, heart, or the lungs. However, it was the Notre Dame team was playing away from home that day and he demanded being transported to the game on an ambulance. They then took him to the stadium where the game was going to be played. They then took him down to the dressing room , where the players of his team are getting their gear ready to play. The sweat was flowing down his face, and the pain was intense and he sat onto his elbows with great effort and declared, “This team you’re playing today 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 fulfill your dream, ask yourself the following three things:

1.) Do you feel a burning desire to achieve your goal or fulfill your dream?

2.) Which is the step-by-step procedure to reach your desired goal or your dream?

3.) Are you prepared to persevere and complete the job like Tom Dempsey?

Madeline Frank, Ph.D., is a Best-Seller Speaker, author as well as a business owner, teacher, artist in concert, and mother. She assists businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Business”. Her insights will show you the blueprints you need to make improvements and keep your business profitable.

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