The Importance of Perseverance and Determination

“The Importance of Perseverance and Determination” written by Bren Koger.

Three-feet from gold is a story in Napoleon Hill’s classic book, ‘Think and Grow Rich.” It’s a story about a man named R. U. Harby, and is usually told as a lesson in perseverance and determination.

Perseverance and Determination in Think and Grow Rich

As the story goes, Harby’s uncle had gold fever, so he staked his claim and started digging.  After a lot of hard work, the uncle found a vein of ore, so he covered up his find and returned home to raise the money for the machinery that he would need to bring the ore to the surface.

They raised the money and Darby traveled with his uncle back to the site to make their fortune.

Things started well and before long, they had enough to clear their debts.  They were excited, everything from here on would be profit and things were looking good.

Then the supply of gold stopped.  The vein of ore had disappeared.

They kept on digging, but found nothing.

After a while, they quit in frustration and sold their machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars.

With Perseverance and Determination There Comes Success After Failure

After they went home in disappointment, the astute junk man called in a mining engineer who checked the mine and calculated that there was a vein of gold just three feet from where Darby and his uncle had stopped digging.

The junk man went on to make millions from the mine.

Darby returned home, paid back everyone who had lent him money, and was determined to learn from his mistake in giving up too soon.

He went on to become a phenomenally successful insurance salesman, more than recouping what he would have made from the gold mine.

Some might have allowed this event to define them for the rest of their lives. He didn’t allow this, but instead  learned from it, and went on to become very successful; not in spite of his failure but because of it.

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Perseverance and Determination in Moneyball

In the movie “Moneyball,” with Brad Pitt,

Trying Something Different Can Meet Resistance and Temporary Failure

Pitt plays the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team who is trying to assemble a winning team.  In the film, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) hires a young Yale economics grad, Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) with a radical idea on how to assess players using a “sabermetric” approach. They select players based almost exclusively on their on-base percentage.

The team’s scouts were at first dismissive of, and then hostile towards, this non-traditional approach to scouting players. Rather than relying on the scouts’ experience and intuition, they select players based almost exclusively on empirical analysis, and they did this despite vehement objections from the scouts and managers.

Perseverance and Determination Through Failure Yields Results

Early in the season the team, The Athletics, performed poorly.  This lead to critics dismissing the new method as a dismal failure. Beane convinces the owner to stay the course and the team’s record begins to improve. The Athletics then go on to win 19 consecutive games, tying for the longest winning streak in American League history.

This is based on a true story and in real life Beane is then contacted by the owner of the Boston Red Sox, who realizes that the sabermetric model is the future of baseball, and is offered a job as general manager of the Red Sox. Beane passes up the opportunity, despite an offer of a $12.5 million salary, which would have made him the highest-paid general manager in sports history. He returns to Oakland to continue running the Athletics. In 2004, two years after adopting the sabermetric model, the Boston Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918!

Billy Beane was a Major league player before becoming a general manager, but had a disappointing career as a player.  If he hadn’t failed early on in his career as a player or given up after his failure he would never had the strength and grittiness to buck the system. He had to go against the scouts, the owner, the fans  who were all skeptical and critical of this new approach. He was at times in danger of losing his job and his reputation.

How did he have the strength and determination to stick to what he knew was right?

I think not in spite of his early failure, but because of it.

The Takeaway Lesson of Perseverance and Determination

If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.

The truth is, everyone has failed. Everyone has failed miserably.

Failing is a part of the game that is life, but you must pull through and persist with your vision. We need failure to succeed.

Failing is trying. Without trying we never have a shot at succeeding. The quicker you can deal with failure, the quicker you are ready for success. Each failure is a building block to success. Some people cannot deal with failure, so they never try anything. The result: nothing. Nothing can happen without action. Life is all about action, and taking risks.

It is the stepping off point to your biggest adventure.

Expect mistakes. We are all going to go through failures and mistakes. If not then you’re not playing big enough.

Learn to see the seed of opportunity you will gain knowledge, insight, and experience – wisdom that only those who tried something can lay claim to.

And then share your story.

You have a unique message to share with the world. When you share it with honesty and humility, you will have the opportunity to provide hope, strength, and encouragement to others.

P.S. If you gained value from this post be sure to comment below, and please share this post on Facebook or Twitter!

Suggested Articles:
1. Everyday is Wisdom – Interview with Scott Hansen
2. Don’t Put Baby In a Corner – When You Are Lacking in Self-Confidence
3. What is the Ideal Body Type for Men or Women? Thoughts About the New Wonder Woman

The Importance of Perseverance and Determination - Bren Koger

Bren Koger

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Mike Marko

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