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The Importance of Persistence

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Over my lifetime, I have observed numerous people who have made a positive impact on the world: great scientists, scholars, artists, actors and writers. All of these influential individuals share a common thread: they possess persistence. Persistence is the most essential ingredient of any great success. Talent, beauty, and genius are all but fleeting qualities if they lack this key trait.

Today we live in a world of instant communications of all kind, and our lives have grown used to instant answers. The once-famous tale of the "Little Engine That Could" is no longer a common story among children. It is important that this lesson returns to us and the mantra, "I think I can, I know I can, I knew I could," returns to our daily endeavors - for persistence achieves greatness, and greatness is what we all continually strive for.

There was a young boy labeled stupid and unintelligent by his teachers and parents alike. He spent his youth drifting through odd jobs, never finding his niche. This same boy had a passion for inventing and throughout his life obtained 1,093 patents for one of the most indispensable objects today: the light bulb. Thomas Edison's persistence was exemplified in his famous quote, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."

There was a young single mother living in a cold one-room apartment, barely making enough money to survive. She had a desire to tell stories. She wrote her precious book and when completed, took it to twelve different publishers, all of whom turned it down. She persisted and submitted it to one final company, who then agreed to print it. Her name is now famous around the world: J.K. Rowling, the creator of the "Harry Potter" series.

Like the proverbial oyster, we all have daily attacks of unwanted problems. We must learn, through persistence, to coat them and make them our points of strength. Over time, these trials will be transformed into "pearls" - accomplishments otherwise unthinkable.