Have you ever wondered- What’s the difference between someone who is successful and someone who isn’t?
What personality trait enabled Abraham Lincoln amount to anything when he had this list of failures:
Lost job, 1832,Defeated for legislature, 1832, Failed in business, 1833,Sweetheart (Ann Rutledge) died, 1835,Had nervous breakdown, 1836, Defeated for Speaker, 1838, Defeated for nomination for Congress, 1843,Rejected for Land Officer, 1849
Defeated for Senate, 1854, Defeated for nomination for Vice-President, 1856,Again defeated for Senate, 1858
Elected as President 1860.
Do these events sound like they come from a super athlete?
I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Thomas Edison provides us with the answer to a personality trait that necessary for success with two quotes about failure:
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
The personality trait necessary for success is perseverance, which is a steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. I’m not into poems, so I’m not an authority as to what the best poem might be about any topic, but this is clearly a great poem about the value of perseverance:
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It might be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.
I don’t know what challenge in life you are facing where temptation and/or logic leads to you to believe quitting makes sense. I do know it is the presence of preserving, not the facts, that frequently makes the difference between success and failure. A very important question to ask yourself today is: What area of my life currently requires perseverance in order to turn failure into success?
The last and most important question to ask is where can I get the perseverance I need to order to succeed?
Some folks were born with this trait, others developed it over time. It's very possible to achieve great things with your own God-given level of perseverance. For those people, Jesus has a warning:
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? (Mark 8:36-37)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom 5:1-5)
Jesus wants to give you more than perseverance. He takes the things that could destroy you to produce perseverance, character and hope. For me that's offer too good to refuse. Each of us must ask ourselves if you want to enter into a relationship with Jesus, so He could pour His power, His perseverance, His character and hope into your life.
I often marvel how many people turn down this offer and say to the Creator of this universe "I'd rather do it myself!"
I've taken Jesus up on His offer. I can testify that Jesus took me from being frightened out of my mind when I received the diagnosis of prostate cancer and transformed me into an award winning author who shares his transformation with others. I'll be expressing and sharing my gratitude for the rest of my life. What will you do with Jesus offer to you?