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The Power of Persistence

A Key Ingredient for Success in Business and Life

2/9/2024 | Paul Kiewiet, Pursuit of Purpose

In life, setbacks are going to happen. Sometimes life will knock you down and when you get up, it hits you again. But success is not measured by how many times you get knocked down. What matters is how many times you get back up.

In the journey towards success, one attribute stands out as a driving force that propels individuals to overcome obstacles, navigate challenges, and achieve their goals - persistence. This unwavering determination to pursue objectives despite setbacks plays a crucial role in both building a successful business and leading a fulfilling life. We cannot underplay the significance of the power of combining purpose, passion, and core values with rugged persistence to attain remarkable success. 

Persistence is more than just a character trait; it's a mindset that fuels resilience in the face of adversity. It involves staying committed to long-term goals, maintaining focus, and continually striving for improvement. Without persistence, even the most brilliant ideas and ambitious dreams may remain unfulfilled. Successful individuals understand that setbacks are inevitable, but it's the ability to persist through challenges that sets them apart.

To truly harness the power of persistence, individuals must align their efforts with a sense of purpose, fueling their endeavors with passion and guided by core values. Purpose provides a clear vision, passion fuels the fire within, and core values serve as a compass for decision-making. When these elements converge, persistence becomes not just a force but a strategic approach to reaching one's aspirations.

Abraham Lincoln  is a remarkable testament to the power of persistence in overcoming adversity.  Lincoln faced a series of early failures and setbacks in his life. He failed in business, lost multiple elections, and experienced personal tragedies, including the death of his son. Despite these hardships, he persisted in his pursuit of public service and continued to believe in his ability to make a positive impact. Lincoln's political career was marked by persistence and resilience. He lost several elections before finally winning a seat in the Illinois State Legislature. Later, he faced defeats in bids for the U.S. Senate and the vice presidency. However, he did not let these setbacks deter him, and he remained committed to his principles and the cause of preserving the Union. Lincoln's persistence was evident in his commitment to the abolition of slavery. Despite facing political opposition and criticism, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, declaring that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were to be set free. This bold move was a testament to his unwavering dedication to the principles of equality and justice. As President during the Civil War, Lincoln faced immense challenges in preserving the Union and navigating the complexities of wartime leadership. He dealt with criticism, faced opposition from within his own cabinet, and grappled with the enormity of the conflict. Lincoln's persistence in steering the nation through this turbulent period played a crucial role in the ultimate victory of the Union forces. Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address is another example of his persistence in communicating a powerful vision for the nation. Despite the brevity of the speech, it encapsulated his deep commitment to the principles of democracy and equality. The address highlighted his determination to see the nation through the challenges of war and reconstruction.

Abraham Lincoln's life is a testament to the idea that persistence, coupled with a strong sense of purpose and dedication to core values, can lead to enduring success. His ability to persevere through personal and political challenges and to remain steadfast in his commitment to justice and equality has left an indelible mark on American history.

Persistence is the driving force behind success, weaving together purpose, passion, and core values into a cohesive strategy for achievement. Great leaders have demonstrated that success is not only about talent or brilliant ideas but about the ability to persist in the face of challenges. As we strive to build successful businesses and lead fulfilling lives, embracing persistence as a guiding principle can pave the way for remarkable accomplishments and enduring legacies.

Just keep doing the right things, the right way, every day and persist even when results are immediately evident. Step by step gets you to your destination.


Paul Kiewiet MAS+ is an industry speaker, writer, consultant and coach. He serves as the executive director of MiPPA. Kiewiet was inducted into the PPAI Hall of Fame and the MiPPA Hall of Fame. He served as Chairman of PPAI in 2007. A former distributor, he founded Promotion Concepts, Inc in 1982 and worked with some of America’s most valuable brands including Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, and Whirlpool.
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