Persistence trumps talent

This blog post is titled after the fourth lesson from, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, by Dan Pink.

This was the point of last week’s, What’s in common, post.  All of those people whether they are actors, comedians, musicians, business people, or athletes. It doesn’t matter.  All of them are probably talented but what they definitely have in common is that they are all persistent.  It doesn’t matter how talented you are in your chosen profession. You’ll be beaten by a lesser talented but persistent person every time.

In one of my favorite audiobooks, Born Standing Up, Steve Martin puts it this way, “Thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent.”  Steve Martin used to perform his act multiple times a night and he always wanted to perform every day.  Otherwise he felt like he’d lose his timing.

If you’re going to be persistent, then you better enjoy what you’re doing.  It’s great to do something one time or every once in a while, but when you’re trying to complete something every single day. That’s work.  For many years, I struggled with persistence in a number of things.  I still do in some areas of my life but slowly I’ve been chipping away at them.

This blog is one example.  It took my many years to get to the point of publishing a new blog post every day. I started writing because I wanted to become a better writer. I also felt I needed to write and express myself. It allowed me to generate more ideas and work out the problems I wanted to solve.  For me, I can’t write every once in a while.  It’s similar to skipping one day at the gym.  One harmless day turns into a week, which turns in to a month, and the next thing you know a few months have passed.

Persistence is key and I’m working toward it in all aspects of my life. Writing blog posts, giving speeches, reading books, meditating/praying, writing code, and improving other areas that will help me with my family life and career.