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Philip E. Humbert, PhD

Author - Speaker

Personal Coach

Chapter 9:
Golden Secret #8: Patience and Persistence!

Success requires intensity, impatience, action and focus!  And yet, people who live extraordinary lives, never seem to be in a hurry.  They have time to "smell the flowers", talk with children, and wait for the seeds they plant to mature into a rich harvest.   They know that life is too short to be rushed!

Think about how many books and newsletters (including this one!) encourage us to "take action now!"  It's one of my favorite themes!   It keeps me moving toward my goals, and pushing through whatever obstacles, frustrations or doubts get in the way.

But, in a culture that values speed over experience, and too often confuses activity with progress, too much action can get in the way of success!

The key we are looking for is "balance".

Extraordinary success is usually the result of deliberate, persistent actions over time, rather than a hurry-up, take-action-at-any-cost mentality.  We all know people who are in such a hurry for success, they wouldn't recognize it if they tripped over it!  They are building businesses, making deals, looking for the next hot investment, but making little progress toward real success.

Do you remember the best-selling book, "The Millionaire Next Door"?  It documents that most millionaires are not very exciting people!  They live quietly, go about their business, accumulate extraordinary wealth, and their neighbors are not impressed!  Millionaires are patient and persistent.  They have a plan.  And they grow wealthy while their neighbors are too busy trying to figure out the "secrets" of success!

From that, I've become convinced there is a secret, "hidden", reason why a written plan is one of the most powerful keys to success.

We all know the obvious reasons for having written goals and plans.  A plan keeps you focused.  It tells you what the next critical ACTION steps are, and it brings you back to your key strategies when you get side-tracked or confused.  And, of course, once you write your dreams down, and develop a plan for their attainment, you release the tremendous creative power of your brain to make things happen!

We all know that!

But there is a second, "hidden" benefit from having a written plan.  Written plans take time!  It takes time and thought to decide what we really want in life.  It takes tremendous courage, and most of us don't have that much courage all at once!  We have to think about our goals.  We end up procrastinating for a while, sleeping on it, putting it off, and waiting until we are "sure".  And, that is a huge key to your success in life!

Highly successful people have shared their dreams and goals with family and friends.  They've asked for feedback.  They've changed their minds, re-examined their assumptions, postponed decisions, and considered their alternatives very carefully.  They get suggestions and ideas from people they trust, and they recruit talented folks to help them along the way.

"Rome wasn't built in a day," and neither is success.

There's an old song that says, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread!"  Too often we become impatient for success.  Every week, I talk with highly successful people who think they are failures because they haven't already achieved some dramatic, life-changing victory.  They have lost perspective, and are at risk of losing their way!

Success takes time.  It takes patience and persistence.  Here are a few suggestions to add perspective and power to your success journey:

1. Slow down! Most of us are impatient, we want success "now"!  Life doesn't work that way.  Get used to it!

2. Dream more dreams!  What do you love? (See last week's article on "The Ability to Work Hard - Effortlessly!")  Pay attention to your dreams, give them time to mature and expand.  Where are you going, and what do you want 10 years from now?   If you can imagine it, you can have it!

3. Keep a journal!  Write your dreams down.   Take notes!  Jot down the quotes and ideas that have power for you, and review them from time to time!  (See the "Top 10 Reasons to Keep A Personal Journal")

4. Practice random acts of kindness!  Successful people have time to send a card.  They have time to make a phone call, take their spouse to lunch, or visit an old friend.  Why not practice being successful?   Get used to being "rich", and share your life with someone who might appreciate being remembered.

5. Collect road-maps to success.  Pay attention to the people you admire, the ones you respect, the ones you enjoy being with.  Notice what works for them.  Observe their actions, their attitudes and their values.   Don't copy anyone!  But learn from the wisdom of others - and write it down!

6. Think.  Sometimes the easiest thing in the world is to rush out and take action, while the most difficult thing is to stop and think about life's challenges and carefully choose your next step.  Take time to reflect, to evaluate.  Living well means living on purpose!

7. Have great advisors!  Everyone needs a mentor to show us the way.  It may be a "mastermind" group, a professional coach, or a collection of people who support and encourage you along the way.  Learn from people who have already done what you want to do!

8. Work your plan!  Develop a definite major purpose and goal, and a plan to get there.  And, patiently, daily, make it happen!  It may take a while, most of the valuable things in life do.  But never, never, never give up!

Far too many people think that if they aren't already successful, they must be failures!  I don't believe that!  Success is not about having arrived, it's about moving forward every day.  Success is loving your life, caring for the people around you, surrounding yourself with beauty, and being thankful.   And, of course, it's about financial rewards, travel, nice homes or early retirement.  Success is about following a plan as quickly as we can, and as patiently as we must!

Highly successful people know that if their lives are not over, they've only just begun!  They understand that where they are today, or where they were yesterday, can not determine either their direction, or their destination!   They have a map, they know where they are going, and they will arrive one day!



Quotes of the Week:

"There is only one success - to be able to live your life in your own way."
                                                               - Christopher Morley

"Every person is the creation of himself, the image of his own thinking and believing.  As individuals think and believe, so they are.
                                                               - Claude Bristol

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."
                                                               - Abraham Lincoln

"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work."
                                                               - Richard Bach

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Copyright 1999 by Philip E. Humbert. All Rights Reserved. May be freely copied and distributed as long as you include  the following information:  "The author is Philip E. Humbert, PhD.  His Internet site has many articles like this one, free reports, and a free motivational screensaver!  Visit him at:


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