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Quotes And Stories About Perseverance: Inspiration To Keep Going

Updated on February 1, 2020
k@ri profile image

Kari was an operating room nurse for 25 years before she retired. Uplifting quotes are always wanted and Kari collects them.


What is Perseverance?

Perseverance is hard work mixed with patience. Having the grit and endurance to reach the end through all difficulties. It is having a dream and through dedication, diligence and determination reaching your goal.


Perseverance is never giving up. It is the will to go forward after failure. Getting back on that horse who threw you. You just get up, brush your pants off and try again. There are so many cliches for perseverance. Here is another, going forward against all odds.


Persistence does not imply an easy path. Nor does it mean smooth sailing. Perseverance is all about having the pluck and stamina to keep going during difficulty.

When we think of persistence we think of people like Lucille Ball or Abraham Lincoln, both of these people persisted through great odds.


I was trying to figure out which is worse, ignorance or apathy.

Then I realized I don't know and I don't care.


A Woman of Perseverance

The woman known as the "Queen of Comedy" was once considered a failure at performing. She left her small town life in 1926 to go to New York City where she attended the John Murray Anderson School of the Dramatic Arts in New York City. She was sent home a few weeks later, deemed a failure. Her teachers told her that she was too shy and thus had no talent as a performer.

She then returned to New York City again and through persistence and perseverance finally obtained a job modeling. She became a moderately successful model for Hattie Carnegie who owned an internationally acclaimed dress salon.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Life was good until a new boulder was set in her way. Lucille Ball became incapacitated by rheumatoid arthritis. She returned to her rural home and for three long, hard years she fought to overcome the disease. Finally, now with her left leg a little shorter than her right, she again returned to New York to pursue her acting career. Her persistence and perseverance paid off as she went from bit parts to starring roles.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn't pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore faith in yourself.

— Lucille Ball

Love and Fame, Won Through Perseverance

In time she fell madly in love with one of her co-stars and they married. But the strain of differing schedules and being apart drove this marriage to the brink of divorce. Love won through in the end when, in an attempt to spend more time together and save their marriage, the two created a TV show about a crazy redhead married to a Cuban musician.

CBS refused to produce the show claiming it would never succeed. The couple persevered and formed their own production company. "I Love Lucy" began it's successful six year run in October of 1951. It immediately became America's favorite TV show.

Lucille Ball Persisted

This woman, who is the embodiment of the word perseverance, was Lucille Ball. Widely loved as the kooky redhead, "Lucy" from the "I Love Lucy" show, she won the hearts of people around the world. Re-runs of "I Love Lucy" are shown in more than 80 countries in the world. Twenty years after her death she is still winning hearts!

Lucille Ball believed in perseverance over luck. She was not lazy or apathetic. She always had spunk, moxie and pluck. She lived her life with determination, drive and tenacity. Her success is more a product of her stamina and doggedness than simple luck.

Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it, and I'm afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work -- and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't.

— Lucille Ball

A Few Of Lucille Ball's Accomplishments

Lucille Ball was a hard working and dedicated professional. Through perseverance she became a legend and died a millionaire. Here are some of her accomplishments:

  • She was the first woman to own a production company.
  • She received the Women's International Center (WIC) Living Legacy Award posthumously in 1990.
  • She appeared on 39 TV Guide covers, more than any other person.
  • She was featured on a stamp by the United States Postal Service in 2001.
  • She was one of Time magazine's "100 Most Important People of the Century".
  • There is a museum dedicated to her in her hometown of Jamestown, NY.
  • She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2002.

Lucille Ball also received 4 Emmy Awards, a Golden Globe, and in 1975 was voted Entertainer of the Year. She received many more awards and distinctions than are listed here.

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done."

— Lucille Ball

I Love Lucy

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People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them MAKE THEM.

— George Bernard Shaw
"I don't stop when I'm tired; I stop when I'm done."  --James Bond
"I don't stop when I'm tired; I stop when I'm done." --James Bond

"History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats."

— B. C. Forbes, Founder Forbes Magazine

Abraham Lincoln Experienced Multiple Failures But Kept Trying and Ended Up President

Lost Election for State Legislator
Failed in Business
Sweetheart Died
Defeated for Illinois State Speaker
Failed to Obtain Party's Nomination
Rejected for Federal Land Officer in Illinois
Defeated for U. S. Senate
Defeated for Vice President
Defeated for U.S. Senate
Elected President

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

— Winston S. Churchill

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln went through an enormous amount of pain during his life, starting early on. In 1816, when he was 7, his family moved from familiar Kentucky to unfamiliar Indiana. Indiana was less settled than Kentucky. Making the new farm required much hard work and tenacity.

His Mother Died

In 1818, Abe's mother died. The abrupt and unexpected death of his mother must have been a crushing blow to Abraham. For a family starting off in a new land, the loss of an experienced woman left an enormous hole. His 11 year old sister, Sarah, was expected to do all the tasks her mother had done.

A New Mother and A New Home

Abraham's father remarried in 1819. It is said that Abe loved his new mother and they became very close. She encouraged Abraham to read which led to a new love in Abe's life. He would walk for miles to borrow a book. Others did not understand the love and would call him lazy because he preferred reading over hard labor.

In 1830 the family moved to Macon County, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln was 22 but still went with them. He was growing more distant to his father every year. Most likely because his father was illiterate and did not understand Abe's love of books.

Ann Rutledge

Abraham left the family and moved around some. He eventually ended up in New Salem, Illinois. Here he met Ann Rutledge. Some stories say they became engaged, some stories say their relationship never got that far. All stories seem to agree that her death in 1835 devastated Abe.

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”

— Abraham Lincoln

Persistence Pays Off

Abraham Lincoln went through all the setbacks listed on the table above. Through all of it he never gave up. He was a man of strong beliefs, willing to fight for them. Reading books and observing at the courts, he managed to pass the bar exam and become a lawyer. It was during his time practicing law that he became known as "Honest Abe".

All his hard work and determination saw him elected President of the United States of America in 1860. In 1864 he was re-elected for a second term. Abraham Lincoln never gave up. Though there was a great deal of disappointment in his life, he persisted and found satisfaction.

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't."

— Henry Ward Beecher, Social Reformer

"Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do."

— Jackson Browne

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."

— Albert Einstein

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours."

— Ayn Rand, Novelist

A Song on Perseverance-"My Way" by Frank Sinatra


Abraham Lincoln. Wikipedia. Accessed 10/20/17 at https:// /wiki/Abraham_Lincoln

"". Accessed at

Mikkleson, D. (02/12/2015) "Abraham Lincoln and Failure". Snopes. Access on 10/21/2017 at

"". Accessed at

© 2009 Kari Poulsen


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    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      2 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Peg. I had a book on Lucille Ball, I think it was just entitled "Lucy". Reading it increased my respect for the woman greatly. :)

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      3 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      I loved the examples you gave here along with the quotes. Abe Lincoln was one of my childhood heroes that I used to read about and I learned so much here about Lucille Ball that I never knew. We grew up watching the "I Love Lucy" show and I remember seeing "Yours, Mine, and Ours" at the theater, too. Great article with a lot of inspirational messages.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      3 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you very much Ruby. I would love if you share it. :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I came, I read this article, I coerueqnd.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Belief is one of the few things we actually own. Thannks :)

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      5 years ago from Ohio

      Thank you so much.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The word CANT is not allowed to be used while training. I have a woman that today cannot run, but told me that one day she will run with me. The fact that she believes she will, will allow her to one day say "iCan Run"

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      If you cant find them, make them!! that word really change my beliefs, it is not just for circumstances but for a lot of things. I really admire you, I have to post it somewhere. This is the perfect thoughts hub.

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • Sun-Girl profile image


      9 years ago from Nigeria

      I honestly enjoyed reading this interesting article because it means that someone out there also see thing the from my own perceptive too and it makes me feel OK.I agree with you that determination is the key way to success and we all must try as much as we can to always preserver to some extent nor matter how little whether you are hot tempered or not.

    • profile image

      Sujesh Cherotta 

      10 years ago

      Great work. thanks a ton for this..

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank u

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thank you so much , great work

    • Midtown Girl profile image

      Midtown Girl 

      10 years ago from Right where I want to be!

      Nicely defined! Thank you!

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Timothy, Einstein always seems to make so much sense to me. I like the way you extrapolate on his quote. You are so right.

    • Timothy Donnelly profile image

      Timothy Donnelly 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      k@ri, Thanks for putting together this Hub on perseverance, it truly has an encouraging effect!

      I like best the quote from Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving!” Moreover, it is interesting to note that Einstein knew the difference between perseverance (as in disciplined determination) and insanity. After all, he wrote the wise adage that defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result”. In his quote about RIDING a bicycle, it is interesting to extrapolate that a bicycle rider actually covers ground, and by virtue of this, does not cycle on the exact same inch over and over, but is able to DIRECT his course (and life), by perseverance, because of the balance and stability that the steady linear motion provides. This freedom allows the navigator to get gain - exactly what a logical and disciplined perseverance awards. Therefore, not only is the journey a satisfying EXERCISE of one’s freedom, but the destination is also a righteous and justifiably gratifying accomplishment. Perhaps as a caveat, the insanity quote could be juxtaposed with the bicycle quote. Nevertheless, this is a great motivational Hub; thank you for that.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Hugs to you too, skye2day! Thanks for visiting. We spend so much of our lives's either that or give up and hope doesn't leave us that easy.

    • skye2day profile image


      10 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      k@ri Hello sweetness. This is a Bravo hub. Persevere. I Love it. Thank you for sharing. The Pictures and research made your writing flow. I know the Lord shines his face on you kari. You share the truth. Glory to GOd. Your writing has grown in leaps and bounds. It is very beautiful. Come by and visit. I have not seen you in a while. I have some new hubs. Hugs my sister. + + +

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      10 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks wavegirl22! I'm very glad you like it. :D

    • wavegirl22 profile image


      10 years ago from New York, NY

      I love quotes and I love the way you laid this out. . all the angles that you came at it with is just superb! It is for sure being bookmarked into a favorite of mine because I know I will be back.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks Jewels, I'm glad you liked this. I also continue to is one of the traits that define me. :D

    • Jewels profile image


      11 years ago from Australia

      Great topic. I have persistently persevered and will continue to do so! Thanks K@ri.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      wavegirl22, I am very glad you enjoyed it! I come back from time to time when I need a lift. :D

    • wavegirl22 profile image


      11 years ago from New York, NY

      This was one of the most enjoyable, uplifting, beautiful hubs I have read. Thank you so much for sharing this ;)

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      jill, Thanks so much! I am a true believer in perseverance! :D

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 

      11 years ago from Philippines

      This is so inspiring k@ri! Thank you for sharing!

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      JPSO, I'm glad you liked it and thanks for the kind words on the presentation! :D

    • JPSO138 profile image


      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Very inspirational indeed. Its amazing how you come up with such excellent presentation.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      Beth, I'm glad you liked them! Thanks :D

    • Beth100 profile image


      11 years ago from Canada

      Fantastic inspirations! Thank you!

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      Haunty, I couldn't agree more, and it is so difficult to remain focused on our goals. That is why I wrote this remind myself! :D

      ripplemaker, Thanks! You always find new ways to make my day! :))

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi k@ri, I'm really glad I stumbled on this hub while making my hubs of quotes too.  Now I  have added this to my largest collection of quotes on hubpages:

      Perseverance is one of the keys to success! :)

    • Haunty profile image


      11 years ago from Hungary

      I honestly think that perseverance is the single most important trait to have if you want to achieve something in life. Why I'm saying this? Because this is the trait I've had most problems with in the past. The very reason why I took hubchallenge is to gain perseverance. This hub is wonderful. Thanks for writing it.

    • k@ri profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Poulsen 

      11 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for visiting, gorgeous onee, I'm glad you liked it!

    • profile image

      gorgeous onee. 

      11 years ago

      i really like this site.

      thank you


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