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Persistence Is the Key
Rather than going with the flow and accepting the ups and downs that life throws at you, people who become leaders of their lives understand the power of persistence.
Earl Nightingale, an American radio speaker and author, says, “Sometimes it appears that somewhere there is a hidden guide whose duty it is to test men and women through all kinds of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after being knocked down and keep trying come . . . A strange thing, but it works. And this hidden guide doesn’t seem to let anyone enjoy great success unless they pass the consistency test. And those who can’t take it can’t make the grade.” (From the book “Transformational Living” by Earl Nightingale)
Nightingale continues, “And those who can take it are richly rewarded for their perseverance. Whatever goal they seek they get as their compensation. And not only that, because they get something infinitely more important than material compensation, even if they get it. But They gain the knowledge that every failure carries with it the seed of an equivalent gain. There are exceptions to this rule. Some people know the strength of perseverance through experience. They are those who do not accept defeat. More than temporarily. They are those whose desires are applied so persistently that defeat Finally turns into victory.”
W. Clement Stone tells the story of Tom, “who was born without half of his right leg and only a stub of his right arm. As a child he wanted to engage in sports like other children. He had a strong desire. To play football. Because of this desire, his parents made him a prosthetic leg. . It was made of wood. The wooden foot was enclosed in a special stubby football shoe. Hour after hour, day after day, he practiced kicking. The football with his wooden foot. He would try and keep trying to make field goals from long distances. He became so proficient that He was hired by the New Orleans Saints.”
Nightingale says, “If someone was born without half their right leg and a withered arm, what would you say their chances of playing professional football are?”
66,910 football fans could be heard screaming “When Tom Dempsey, with his crippled leg, kicked the longest field goal ever in a professional football game, in the final two seconds of the game, to give the Saints a nineteen to seventeen victory over the Detroit Lions.”
“We got beat by a miracle,” Detroit coach Joseph Schmidt said.
The truth of the matter is “they were slain by perseverance.”
Tom Dempsey was persistent and willing to work hard to reach his goals. He fell in love with the process of becoming a better kicker. Although he had different abilities than his peers; He was determined, with a positive attitude, always curious!
How strong is your desire to reach your goals? If you created a 3-step process, what would it look like? What is your first step?
Gail Benson, owner of the Saints, said, “Tom’s life spoke directly to the strength of the human spirit and exemplified his determination not to let his dreams and aspirations stand in his way. He exemplified the same fight and courage as he battled valiantly in recent years. He never wavered in the face of illness and He retained his sense of humor. He has a special place in the hearts and minds of the Saint family.”
Tom Dempsey became an inspiration to others until his death in 2020 and his legacy lives on.
We all feel the pangs of regret when we quit a difficult task, knowing that we somehow undercut our true potential. Conversely, most of us have experienced the joy of hard-earned victory when the future looks bleak.
Earl Nightingale, “Read about the great Knot Rockne of Notre Dame who believed and applied, the reward of perseverance”
“He had a blood clot in one of his legs, and his doctor told him that if the clot broke and went to his heart, brain, or lungs, he could die. But Notre Dame was playing far away from home that day, and he was carried to the game on a stretcher. insisted on being taken. So, they took him to where the game was to be played. And took him to the dressing room where his football players were getting ready for the game. And his face was sweating and he was in terrible pain and he strained his elbows and said , “This team you’re playing today beat us last year.”
“I want you to go out there and win.” He then said, “A team that can’t be beaten, can’t be beaten.”
Rock “then fell back on his stretcher, out of breath and in a lot of pain, and the team went out and won the game and never lost another game as long as Knute Rock was alive, because when they saw the kind of courage he was able to develop, it was on his back. How tenaciously he fought to win despite being flattened, he made giants out of men.”
Nightingale: “And those who stand on the sidelines of life see the great number who go down in defeat, never to rise again. They see the few who take the punishment of defeat as a desire to try harder. And this fortunately never learns. To embrace life’s reverse gear, But what we don’t see, what most of us suspect never existed, is the quiet but overwhelming power that comes to the rescue of those facing discouragement.”
“Now if we talk about this power at all, we call it perseverance and leave it at that. One thing we all know is that if one does not have perseverance in his body, he cannot achieve significant success in any calling.”
To achieve your goal or dream, ask yourself these three questions:
1) Do you have a strong desire to achieve your goal or dream?
2) What is your step-by-step process for achieving your goal or dream?
3) Are you willing to persevere and work like Tom Dempsey?
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