What separates successful people from others?
When it comes to persistence, Thomas Edison serves us well. His 1,093 patents remain a record and his famous remark says it all, “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Edison said it and most folks in the US agree.
Over 90% of Americans agree that “willpower and hard work” are primary reasons why a person’s life turns out well or poorly.
Roughly 67% believe hard work plays a bigger role in “getting ahead” than luck or help from others.
Persistence is key to moving forward and making progress. The cool part is that making progress not only helps us succeed, it can make us happy too.
Progress only brings about happiness if you are moving toward inspirational goals that reflect your vision, and if you progress at a pace you consider acceptable. It is clear (from research) that progress and persistence are crucial to happiness, even if we are far from our goals.
So we are making progress in ways that align with our vision and goals, and in ways that inspire us. We’re moving along at a comfortable pace and it feels good.
But, how do we make progress when things aren’t going well?
We need to be persistent.
How Do We Increase Our Persistence?
Here’s two ways backed by research.
Surround Yourself with Excellence
Among adults, social support is one of the most powerful influences on physical and psychological health. For virtually every cause of death, from heart disease and cancer to accidents and suicide, those with significant social support (for example, are married or have close friends) have lower death rates and are less at risk than those who are socially isolated.
We need to find social support and surround ourselves with excellence to be successful. If we surround ourselves with people who help us grow, challenge us to improve, and build us up, success will be ours.
Awesome. We’re surrounded by excellence. What’s next?
Reshape Your Physical Environment
Changing our environment can enhance our lives.
Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
From Japan to China, the ancient Chinese secrets of Feng Shui can help create energy flows to support productivity for success too. Feng Shui principles help to create a home that will please your eye, relax your body, inspire your mind, and lift your spirit.
Interestingly, one’s environment plays a big role in the battle against alcoholism. Research shows that environmental factors can mitigate genetic risk for developing alcohol problems.
In some 12 step AA programs, the process of success goes well beyond surrendering to a higher power and keeping alcohol out of the home. Often times, AA members boost their chances of success by finding new and different environments for socializing. A change in the environment keeps the drinking triggers away.
From the US, to Japan, to China and in every AA group in between, reshaping our physical environment is a key to staying persistent.
Now, let’s see how Bob added persistence to his success journey.
How did Bob succeed with the first 4 steps?
Step #1. Vision. Bob envisions a healthier future for himself. He see himself 15 pounds lighter with a stronger core, an improved work-life balance and a healthy lifestyle for next ten years.
Step #2. Strategy. Bob’s strategy is loaded with approach goals. He gets new recipes, experiments with a low carb diet, researches how to find safe and effective supplements, hires a trainer, gets his family involved with fitness, and runs with a friend.
Step #3. Belief. Bob begins with baby steps and guaranteed successes. He commits to personal training twice a week. It works for him. He and his trainer get started with goals he can achieve to be a success. Bob builds his belief with guaranteed successes, which fuels positive emotions for him to move forward.
Step #4. Persistence. To increase his persistence, Bob reshapes his home and work environment with a healthy nutrition focus. Bob starts in his kitchen. He leaves a healthy bowl of organic nuts on his kitchen counter and in his office to remind himself to snack healthier. He also surrounds himself with excellence in several ways. He and his wife hike weekly, he meets with his trainer twice a week and he runs with a friend a few times a month.
To further his progress, Bob goes to Step 5.
- Research shows that persistence is a key to success and progress towards your goals brings happiness.
- To increase your persistence, surround yourself with excellence. Surround yourself with people who challenge you to grow, build you up and support your success.