Think and Grow Rich, a book by Napoleon Hill is considered one of the most successful business and self-help books in history. It has sold over 100 million copies.  In it, Mr. Hill dedicates a chapter to persistence.  He discussed just how powerful the habit of persistence is to the success of any endeavor.  This is certainly the case with changing your lifestyle.  Here are some excerpts from Mr. Hills book.

Majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune. A few carry on despite all opposition.

Lack of persistence is one of the major causes of failure.  Moreover, experience with thousands of people has proved that lack of persistence is a weakness common to the majority of people.  It is a weakness which may be overcome by effort.  The ease with which lack of persistence may be conquered will depend entirely upon the intensity of one’s desire.

Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.  If you find yourself lacking in persistence, this weakness can be remedied by building a strong fire under your desire.

Without persistence, you will be defeated even before you start.  With persistence you will win.

There is no substitute for persistence.  It cannot be supplanted by any other quality.

Those who have cultivated the habit of persistence seem to enjoy insurance against failure.

There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of persistence.  They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education and but little or no effort.  The necessary steps are:

  1. A definite purpose (goal) backed by a burning desire for its fulfilment
  2. A definite plan, expressed in continuous action
  3. A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends, and acquaintances
  4. A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose

Key Take Away!

To build the habit of persistence, create a compelling desire, follow a plan, do not be discouraged and get help.

Ife Ojugbeli, MD, MBA.