Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Patience, Persistence, & Self-Belief

By: Joseph Norman

Last week I had the humbling and exciting opportunity of delivering a keynote address at the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony at my alma mater, Windsor Central High School.

As I was preparing my message for the speech over the last month, I struggled with getting clarity on what I was going to say. I knew I wanted it to be original and authentic...coming from where I am today; a young entrepreneur working on a dream.

So, courtesy of a recent VIP, John Engels, I told the audience I wasn’t fit to give them any advice about how they should live their lives. (Click here for John's profile) Instead, I shared with them the three most real things in my life right now.

I said, “Whatever you want to do with your life, whoever you desire to become, whatever career or personal endeavor you long to succeed in, I want you to know this. You can get there - I really believe that - but you will be tested in at least these three ways; Your capacity to be patient, your courage to persist, and,arguably the most important, your belief in yourself.”

You’ve got to be patient. Real fulfilling success doesn’t come instantly. It takes time to make big things happen and I’ve learned that it’s important to recognize that in the beginning as you’ll be more apt to set realistic expectations.

As for my message in regards to you, I’m making an assumption that in some form or another, you do have goals for yourself - whether you write them on paper or just have them in your head. First, I challenge you to write them down and second it’s important to remember that accomplishing those goals and finding your own success takes time.

In some cases it can come about very fast, but more often than not, it’s going to test your patience.

You’ve got to be persistent. People aren’t going to call you back. You’re going to get beaten down. You’re going to want to give up. You’re going to want to walk away. But, if what you want to accomplish really means something to you...then you can’t.

Since I graduated from college I’ve faced some trials. I’ve been humbled by the realization that you don’t know what you don’t know. I’ve dealt with the emotional stress of not being able to pay my monthly bills at a few different times. And, I’ve struggled with the absolute mental mess associated with knowing I could get a day job and stop that pain but I choose not too because of a belief in something bigger for myself.

This lifestyle I lead is not for the faint of heart. But the truth is we can all help ourselves by being persistent. Sir Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” It’s as simple as that...just keep going.

You’ve got to believe in yourself. When you’re out there striving for some of your own big, meaty goals, people you’ve trusted and admired your entire life are going to doubt you. Tonight, I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to listen to them. How could they possibly know what’s best for you? Only you know what is best for you.

If you want to be a great engineer, you can be. If you want to be a respected mechanic or craftsman, you can be. And, if you want to be a fantastic teacher or business person, you absolutely can be.

But, first you’ve got to empower yourself and believe you can.

So, remember to be patient. It’s going to take time to accomplish your goals. Recognize that and don’t give up. Be persistent. Even people you trust and admire will try to hold you back and bring you down, but at the end of the day, you control your own destiny. So, believe in it. Believe in yourself. If you believe it, you can achieve it. You hold the power to create your own wildly successful life. Use it.