Mindset Mastery 191 – Persistence Pays

Napoleon Hill‘s recent lessons in persistence show that persistence certainly does pay for those who cultivate the trait and put it into regular practice.

A Long and Varied History

The long and varied history of Broadway is full of stories of success and persistence; another among them is the famed singer Kate Smith, whose career in entertainment spanned five decades and included the stage, radio, and TV. For years she sang, without money, and without price, before any microphone she could reach. Broadway said to her, “Come and get it, if you can take it.” She did take it until one happy day Broadway got tired and said, “Aw, what’s the use? You don’t know when you’re whipped, so name your price, and go to work in earnest.” Miss Smith named her price! It was plenty. A price so high that in one week Smith made more than most people in her time made in a whole year.

It Pays To Be Persistent

To be sure, it pays to be persistent!

And here is an encouraging statement which carries a suggestion of great significance—thousands of singers with more natural talent than Kate Smith still walk the streets of Broadway today looking for a “break”—without success. Countless others have come and gone; many of them sang well enough, but they failed to make the grade because they lacked the courage to keep on keeping on, until Broadway became tired of turning them away.

State of Mind

Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes, among them:

Definiteness of purpose. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.
Desire. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing an object of intense desire.
Self-reliance. Belief in one’s ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence. (Self-reliance can be developed through the principle described in the chapter on auto-suggestion).
Definiteness of plans. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.
Accurate knowledge. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based on experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.
Cooperation. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tends to develop persistence.
Will-power. The habit of concentrating one’s thoughts on the building of plans for the attainment of a definite purpose, leads to persistence.
Habit. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences it feeds upon. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.

Before leaving the subject of persistence, take inventory of yourself, and determine which of these elements of this essential quality, if any, you are lacking. Measure yourself courageously, point by point, and see how many of the eight factors of persistence you lack. The analysis may lead to discoveries that will give you a new grip on yourself.

Time To Reflect

Once again, Napoleon Hill brings us to a point where a little time spent in self-reflection will pay dividends (literally, if you are persistent enough to follow through). Take the time now to analyse how many of these qualities you possess. Come back next time and we will talk more about how to recognize the symptoms of a lack of persistence.

Sean Rasmussen
Success Communicator
Aussie Internet Marketer © 2004 – 2010

About Sean Rasmussen

Sean Rasmussen is a passionate blogger and has been a full time internet marketer since 2005. When he's not with his family, or dog Buddy, Sean is usually blogging or doing something related to the internet.


  1. Hello Sean,

    Good points to consider. Persistence certainly pays off. Interesting how the singer could name her price at the end of the day. Gives us all encouragement to keep on going 🙂
    Strength is within, if we really want the end results enough – Its a matter of finding what you want at the other end, and staying until the goal is achieved.
    Thanks for your insights.
    .-= Lisa Wood´s last blog ..Day 5 Of A 14 Day Water Fast =-.

  2. Jazz Salinger says:

    Hi Sean,

    Persistence definitely pays. I was watching an interview with an NRL player a while ago now. He was saying how when he was a junior there were boys who were more talented than he was, that don’t play at the top level. At the time I was really surprised.

    Now, I understand that it’s the same as Miss Smith’s story. It’s the person who persists that will be successful. I guess if you want something badly enough, you can overcome any deficit you think you have.

    Thank-you for outlining the elements of persistence. I am naturally persistent but I can always work on strengthening the elements individually.

  3. G’day Sean,
    At present, my persistence rating is quite high as I wait for the YOTACADEMY package to arrive, and once it’s here I’ll be glued to it night and day. It seems I’m OK with the 8 points above to a reasonable degree.

    BUT, my biggest problem is developing [ as per SLOA ] EFFICIENT ACTION. Often spend hours at my desk working steadily, by I do not feel as if I’m achieving all that much – for the time spent.

    I have very definite goals written down, such as my commitment to earning $2000 per month from what we are learning by October 2010, sketches of the house I want to build, plus cars and trips etc all fixed on my Vision Boards [ 2 ] situated in front of the computer.

    Time for more head down and more sweat.
    .-= Harry Lynn´s last blog ..BORING LEGAL ADVICE – until you need it ! =-.

  4. Hi Sean,

    persistence pays for sure. A lot of people with talent just rely on that, believing that everybody else will accept that they are the best and that’s it. No effort needed.
    But with that burning desire in you, that Definiteness of purpose, you will do whatever it takes to get where you want to be. And the extra hard work doesn’t really feel like work.

    I guess if we look around there are hundreds of examples like that around us (like the NRL player Jazz mentioned) and each and every one of them is really inspiring.

    Your list of definite causes is great, and it’s worth it to check it on a regular basis. I have done so (again) today.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..Self Improvement – 25 Self Motivation Quotes =-.

  5. The 17 Universal Principles of Success and Achievement is something that I have printed out, stuck on my wall and looking me in my face everyday.

    Habit, is one that I am focusing more and more on. I can say without doubt that since beginning to employ such concepts I have definitely grown my mind. You are where you are because of your established habits, thoughts and deeds.
    .-= Cemil´s last blog ..Following a Entrepreneurs Mindset =-.

  6. Cathy Howitt says:

    Out of the 8 definite causes of a state of mind, the ones I am trying hardest to work on now are willpower and habit. I look forward to the day I wake up and suddenly…..these don’t seem like much of a challenge anymore. These really are about persistence and as we all know, persistence pays!


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