Last month I shared my favourite quotes on the topic of consistency. Today I want to write about her cousin, persistence.
Like consistency, persistence is absurdly hard for the chronically ill. I swear, every time I get in the rhythm of something and think I’m finally achieving things, I get sick or have a flare or need a new dose of depot or something that throws everything out of wack. It can be really hard to claw your way back into life after a derailing like that. Other times, it can be hard to fight on through the black cloud of misery that attaches to the reality of the word “chronic.” But, by and large, we do. Nevertheless, they persisted.
Now, I have a lot of problems about the rhetoric chucked around about persistence. So much of it focuses on “success”, and seems to define success in a pretty narrow, business/entrepreneurial way. For me, I’ve succeeded if I’ve made it through the day upright and the kitchen is only mostly messy instead of buried under dirty dishes. I also don’t think that we should practice good qualities, like persistence, because they bring an inherent reward – we should do it because it is the right thing to do, and because being able to say “I persisted” is a reward in and of itself.
I also have some problems with quote #8, because I think, when the battle is so very hard, even a strong person can be beaten , so I’d ask people to take that one with a grain of salt. That being said, I do think persistence is a demonstration of strength, even if the strong don’t always succeed at it.
As always, I’ve tried to include quotes that look at different angles of the subject – most quotes on persistence are just variation on “persist and you’ll succeed!!!!” Sometimes, though, we need to know when persistence has just become stubbornness, and when it will hurt us rather than help. We also need to acknowledge that you can persist only so long without ceasing. Sometimes, persistence includes resting for a while before you pick your burden back up – it’s the getting back up that makes it persistence, not the notion of doing it constantly.
Regardless (or nevertheless), here are some quotes about persistence to get you through the next little while:-
- “Persistence pays off.” – Jeffrey Dean Morgan
- “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” – Hal Borland
- “Nothing in this world will 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
- “We are made to persist…that’s how we find out who we are.” – Tobias Wolff
- “Success is not the absence of failure; it’s the persistence through failure.” – Aisha Tyler
- “Never let your persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance.” – Anthony J D’Angelo
- “A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success.” – Elbert Hubbard
- “Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement and impossibilities: it is this, that in all things, distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” – Thomas Carlyle
- “Throughout human history, in any great endeavour requiring the common effort of many nations and men and women everywhere, we have learned – it is only through seriousness of purpose and persistence that we ultimately carry the day. We might liken it to riding a bicycle. You stay upright and move forward so long as you keep up the momentum.” – Ban Ki-Moon
- “With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life. In fact, that’s how most bonfires begin – as a simple spark.” – Dieter F Uchtdorf
- “Some people mistake grit for sheer persistence – charging up the same hill again and again. But that’s not quite what I mean by the word ‘grit’. You want to minimise friction and find the most efficient way forward. You might actually have more grit if you treat your energy as a precious commodity.” – Reid Holfman
- “To make our way, we must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. We must gear ourselves to work hard all the way. We can never let up.” – Ralph Bunche
- “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.” – Napoleon Hill
- “The real issue is not talent as an independent element, but talent in relationship to will, desire and persistence. Talent without these things vanishes and even modest talent with these characteristics grows.” – Milton Glaser
- “In life, an abundance of confidence gives us higher motivation, persistence, and optimism and can allow us to accomplish things we otherwise might not have undertaken.” – Whitney Tilson
- “Persistence and determination are incredibly important. But sometimes you need to analyse the situation and understand when you’re wrong. You need to be able to cop to being wrong, learn to change, and continue to grow as a human being.” – Sasha Grey
- “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
- “I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.” – Og Mandino
- “A failure is not always a mistake. It may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.” – B F Skinner
- “You go on. You set one foot in front of the other, and if a thin voice cries out, somewhere behind you, you pretend not to hear, and keep going.” – Geraldine Brooks
- “If you won’t fly, then run; if you can’t run, then walk; if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr
- “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill
- “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering, I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
- “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
- “My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur
- “as long as there is breath in you – persist.” – Bernard Kelvin Cline
- “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of the hard work you already did.” – Newt Gingrich
- “To persist with a goal, you must treasure the dream more than the costs of sacrifice to attain it.” – Richelle E Goodrich
- “Life is made up of a series of tests, trials and great opportunities. Some are momentary, but most take endurance.” – Michael K Simpson
- “In order to persist, you have to ensure that you surround yourself with positivity.” – R L Adams
- “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth try.” – James A Michener
Do you have a favourite quote that pushes you to keep going when you think you can’t take another step? What makes persistence a battle for you?
Next month I’ll be collecting quotes about integrity, so stay tuned.