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The Power of Persistence

Sometimes one of the most painful lessons in life is that success lies just on the other side of failure.  We don’t know how long or how much harder we have to push in order to have that potential breakthrough…or to keep digging ourselves deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole.  Today we have two stories on the topic:  one is from an all-time classic book, and the other is about Jim from ‘The Office.’ One of the pioneer books on mindset was Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich.’  In the beginning of his book, he talks about the power of persistence and shares a story about R. U. Darby. Darby was a millionaire when Mr. Hill interviewed him in preparation to write this book, but the story Darby shared with Mr. Hill was about a defining moment in his life that was a painful learning experience that taught him to understand the power of persistence. Darby’s uncle had gone west to Colorado during the time of the gold rush and eventually came across gold ore. In the need of mining machinery to dig up more gold, Darby’s uncle returned home to Maryland to secure financing for the machinery. Once financing was secured, Darby jointed his unlce and they left for Colorado to work the mine. Initially things were going well as the first remnants of gold they discovered were shipped to a smelter and the returns provided a promise that they could have one of Colorado’s richest mines. A few more gold discoveries like the first one and they could clear Darby and his uncle of all their debt and leave them very rich.  Darby and his uncle remained hopeful as they continued to drill. Then, unexpectedly, the vein of gold ore they had been successfully drilling disappeared. Confident they would find more gold, Darby and his uncle continued to drill day after day, but they had no luck. Every day of drilling drove them both deeper into debt and until, finally, they both decided to quit. They sold the drilling machinery to a nearby junkman and returned home. The junkman wasn’t convinced that their mine had no gold, so he hired a mining engineer to get an expert opinion before breaking down all of the drilling machinery to be sold. The engineer’s findings were shocking. He found that the vein of gold ore that Darby and his uncle had been seeking was just three feet from where they had stopped drilling!  The junkman decided to continue drilling and that is exactly where the gold was found. Being only 3 feet away, the junkman ended up taking millions of dollars in gold from Darby’s former mine because he sought expert counsel to investigate his hunch. As noted above, Darby eventually became a millionaire later in life and attributes his tenacity and persistence in doing so to this event.

“Before success comes in anyone’s life, that individual is sure to meet with much temporary defeat and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a person, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to QUIT. That is exactly what the majority of people do.  Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning. It takes great delight in tripping one when success is almost in reach.” -Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill

Our second story is about John Krasinski, aka Jim from ‘The Office,’ aka Jack Ryan, husband to Emily Blunt, producer of 3 films, and one of Hollywoods top actors.  He shared his ‘breakthrough’ moment on an interview with Steven Colbert.  Fast forward to 2:30 and hear his story: So it brings up the questions:

* Is there anything you are 3 feet/days/weeks away from a breakthrough?

* Can persistence and digging just a bit deeper into your reserve tank help you reach that breakthrough?

* Is there wise counsel you can see to test whether you are being persistent or going down a rabbit hole?

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