Nothing in this 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
I am a bit amazed that I would use a quotation by Silent Cal. This was a President who will not go down in the top tier of Presidents. However, that does not make this quotation any less important or insightful. Let me give you a few examples:
I remember when I was at RE/MAX and there was one agent who exemplified this quote and who had persistence and determination in large quantity. She was a high school educated ex-hairdresser who would never be confused with someone with an off the charts IQ. What she always had was a desire to succeed and no mistakes was going to fill her with doubt, it only made her try harder. She sold millions of real estate and never looked back. It is at this point I need to point out that as important as persistence and determination are extremely important for success, it has to be put into context. In her drive she also did not respect the rules and eventually led to her downfall. She felt that being number one was so important that she also approached real estate with blinders. If caused her to have to leave the business. Make sure that these qualities are harnessed to doing the right thing.
My second example is for one of the nicest person I know. This guy is so smart when it comes to his IQ that he was head of his local Mensa chapter. The problem was that he had to determination or persistence. I would call it being lazy and without ambition. It frustrates me that he is without motivation because I have always admired extremely intelligent people. But if you have ever read books by Daniel Goleman like Emotional Intelligence, you realize that EQ can be more important than IQ. The sad part is he is also a brilliant musician and songwriter that I wish could harness that talent and try to do something with it. The problem is when you see successful musicians they have often failed miserably but never gave up.
We all have different abilities, different personalities and varying EQs and IQs. Life is a blink of an eye and to waste what we have is for me a tragedy. I think of retrospective songs like A pirate looks at 4o or Yesterday when I was Young. I am getting towards the December of my years and as I look in retrospect I have made a lot of mistakes, but it has never slowed me down or made me quite trying. I am still determined to succeed, to produce, to give to others, and to enjoy life. I really don't live with regrets and I will stay persistent to the end of my days. When my life is done I will look at it life being the person that breaks the tape first in a race. This is a race we should all win.