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Quotations for Motivation #20 --- Perseverance (Persistence)

Updated on October 30, 2015

Quotations on Perseverance (Persistence)

One of the most valuable traits is the will to keep going in the face of adversity. The powers of the universe aid the man who knows precisely what he wants--and never accepts any substitutes, no matter how many times he may fail before he attains it.

---Woodrow Wilson, quoted by Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Aug. 23, 1956.

Genius and special talent are of no value to the man who does not keep them persistently at work. A day’s work is never done until its every opportunity has been embraced and its every task is finished.

---Joseph P. Day, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Jan. 2, 1914.

If you have persistence, success is perfectly willing to come half way.

---Eugene Alexander “Gene” Howe, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Feb. 10, 1921.

Persistence is a virtue when virtuously directed.

---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Aug. 31, 1921.

The race is always to the persistent.

---Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, April 9, 1925.

Genius may be swift, but perseverance has the surest feet.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Lafayette Advertiser, Lafayette, La., Sept. 27, 1890.

Along the path of painful persistence we pass to perfection.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Paducah Sun, Paducah, Ky., Nov. 20, 1899.

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many races, one after another. Perseverance is a matter of renewal of brief efforts [rather] than of endurance of extended strain.

‑‑‑Walter Elliott, Catholic World, July 1911.

If you keep trying, your trying times will finally work themselves out.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Aug. 22, 1945.

Persistence releases the reserves of character. The test of every man's work is not the amount of it‑‑but the quality. Keep your standards high.

‑‑‑Carlysle H. Holcomb , Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 8, 1952.

Persistency begets reliability.

‑‑‑Fenwicke L. Holmes, The Twenty Secrets of Success, New York, N.Y., 1927.

Success is won by those who find where the path of perseverance lies.

‑‑‑Delma B. Reno, Richardson Daily News, Richardson, Texas, Aug. 25, 1963.

The line of least resistance leads downward and the line of most persistence leads upward.

---Tom Sims, Evening Independent, St. Petersburg, Fla., Sept. 6, 1922.

If you lack persistency, good resolutions will not save you.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 9, 1930.

There can be no final victory to those who do not persevere.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 26, 1939.

Persistency is just an abbreviation for two words. Those words are, "Hard work."

‑‑‑Harry A. White, Specialty Salesman Magazine, Atlanta, Ga., September 1926.

Sticking to a wrong plan is not persistence but pigheadedness.

---George Whitehead, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 9, 1918.

Persistence is the untiring, unremitting power of doing the same thing over and over and once again. Have you ever, when you were ill and feeble, looked three blocks in front of you and wondered if it were possible to cover the distance? And yet the mere mechanical setting of one foot in front of the other won the day and you reached the goal by sheer repetition. Only keep on making the effort. Never till death has claimed us is the last stroke of work done. No matter how many failures, there must be the power to begin again.

-‑‑Louise Collier Willcox, Delineator, New York, N.Y., August 1915.

Stopping too soon is a common trouble. The tendency to quit too soon perpetually assails humanity in the affairs of daily life. The bad habit of giving up at a comparatively early stage in a worthy effort is distressingly prevalent. Often men give up on the very edge of success. They are as foolish as a certain Irishman. The man was trying to swim across a river about one hundred yards wide. And when he was across all but five yards, he said that his strength was failing him and he must go back.

‑‑‑Henry Alford Porter, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., March 1, 1923.

All use of time can be wasted unless we keep on when the going is tough. We must keep on using time. We must keep on praying, studying, planning, and performing. Persistence is what turns mediocrity into success. Persistence is the road to achievement. And it takes time.

‑‑‑Harold E. Ingraham, The Sunday School Builder, Nashville, Tenn., July 1954.

You must look upon one failure as only a costly lesson in success. Failures are not made for despair, but for hope. If you could not fail, there would be no advantage in winning. Life's way of weeding out blunders is for men to fail and he who takes failure as evidence of the presence of an evil star surely has not learned life's first lesson in success. Most successful men have failed at some lesser task before they won a success in a larger one. Edison failed a thousand times before he finally invented the incandescent lamp but he kept doggedly on until he lighted the world in its darkness.

‑‑‑C.M. Coalson, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., July 4, 1940.

Great men are not born, they are made, by working in the school of life. Genius, work and power of mind are won, not inherited. Our great heroes who stand along the path of history are men who have found that perseverance is the key to success. Defeat only gave them power, and difficulty only taught them the necessity of redoubled exertions. If we wish to accomplish great things, we must be persevering to the end. We must harden our hands, tax our brains, work our nerves and strain our sinews. Every man should be full of energy and enthusiasm, for without enthusiasm, knowledge lacks half its power. It is the electric current which puts the [man] in sympathy with his work, and makes him love labor until labor becomes lovely. The living force that conquers the world is the fresh enthusiasm of opening life.

—William Henry Griffin, The Journal, Logan, Utah, May 26, 1894.

Luck lies in bed, and wishes the postman would bring him a better legacy; labor turns out at 6 a.m. and with busy pen or ringing hammer lays the foundation of a competency. Luck wishes; labor whistles. Luck relies on chance; labor, on character. Stick to your task and carry it through. Be in the place God wants you to fill and you can fill it; and see that no one else can fill it as well as you. Be awake; electrify yourself, do your work. The world admires a doer. Every really great triumph is the reward of persistence. The want of constancy is the cause of many a failure, making beggars today out of millionaires of yesterday. Successful men owe more to their persistence than to their natural powers, their friends, or favorable circumstances that surround them. Genius will falter by the side of labor; great powers will yield to great industry. Talent is desirable, but persistence is more so. Opposition seems to give us power of resistance. Opposing circumstances seem to create strength. To overcome one barrier gives us greater ability to overcome the next one.

‑‑‑William M. Anderson, Sr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 6, 1924.

Surmounting obstacles produces somewhat the same effect on the mind as labor required to accomplish a difficult task produces on the body‑‑in either case, strength is increased. One is made strong by his failures if he is determined to succeed, regardless of how many times he is defeated. One learns fortitude by enduring hardships, and the more challenging the odds the more self‑reliant he becomes, and we should be thankful for the obstacles we meet and surmount.

-‑‑Henry W. Minor, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 25, 1943.

Difficulties fade from view before perseverance. The reason so many fail to get what they want is because they don't work hard enough. A resolute mind is omnipotent. Until a man learns to carry plans through in all their details he has not learned the first lesson in the school of success. All good people will befriend him who perseveres amidst discouragements, but all men abhor him who gives up. Persons of average ability and persevering spirit have wrought largely in the world's history. We follow them more confidently than we do the erratic genius. There is an eccentricity in the most brilliant that weakens their power and shakes their confidence. The world owes more to perseverance than to genius or fortune. man is like a postage stamp, his value depends on his ability to "stick to a thing till he gets there."

‑‑‑George W. McDaniel, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 8, 1904.

Without perseverance achievement in any line of work is out of the question. Victory never comes to those who let go and cease to strive at any point short of the end. Lack of perseverance spoils everything. There is no such thing as perseverance without earnestness. When we are just playing at a thing it will not take much to induce us to give it up. Lack of perseverance may be due to our disposition to expect results before they are due. Efficiency is, in these times, a word to conjure by, but we do not always realize that it is about nine-tenths perseverance. We cannot become brilliantly efficient by any magic process. Perseverance has enabled many a one to turn failure into success. If you are engaged on a piece of work and feel tempted to give it up because you have not gotten the desired result, stop and consider that what looks like failure to you may be only one of the processes of success, but leaving off where you are will make a failure of it.

---Mattie M. Boteler, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct. 27, 1917.

Earnestness is an essential element of success in any department of human industry or enterprise. Nothing good or great ever was, or ever will be, accomplished without it. Genius may dazzle for a moment; brilliancy may fascinate, and gather flattering admirers, as the glimmering taper attracts the fluttering moth; but unless directed, controlled and balanced by a devoted earnestness, a patient perseverance, they will be as the tinkling cymbal, which, though delightful when its silvery sounds mingle with the deeper strains of martial music, is of itself useless and discordant. We remember seeing somewhere the assertion that “Patience is Genius,” and though we cannot fully agree with the sentiment so expressed, yet it is certain that patient perseverance and unwavering faithfulness will accomplish more without what the world understands as genius, than the latter will destitute of the former. Whether in civil, religious, or political affairs, the world in indebted for the progress it has made to its heroic spirit–and earnestness is an indispensable element of heroism. Earnest men are almost always radical. They stand on no neutral ground, and however mistaken they may be in their views, they are always men of force and character, and command respect even from their adversaries; while those who are lukewarm and endeavor to retain the good will of the opposing parties are generally despised and spurned by both. Why is it so many fail to accomplish any permanent good either for themselves or others? It is because they are not in earnest. They have no chosen path of life set before them–no high and holy aims–no resolute purpose to succeed in the one undertaking. They are irresolute, carried away by every wind and influence they meet with. There is no room for such in the race of life–no room for cowards or vacillating minds. They must push on or be elbowed out of the way. Life is real–life is earnest. It is stern matter of fact; and he who would win must work.Love is the governing principle. A man must love a cause to be in earnest of it, and he must have an unwavering conviction of its truth and purity to love it.

—George Q. Cannon, Millennial Star, Liverpool, England, Sept. 13, 1862.

Perseverance is due to an energy of mind, to a firm determination to carry out a certain plan, and not to falter or shrink back from dangers or obstacles, but to conquer or perish. Perseverance is one of the most important principles of ethics that, considering its bearings, ought to be cultivated to the utmost. The cultivation of perseverance makes the mind firm and settled, so that it will never deviate from the path it has once taken. A man who is persevering in everything is to be depended upon, and a great help in trying circumstances; he will not leave a friend in misfortune or difficulties, without trying to extricate him from them; he will not turn a traitor to the cause of truth he once espoused, but he will remain faithful, and, like a brave oak, will weather storms and tempests. A man without perseverance is fickle-minded, unsettled. He cannot fix his mind on any purpose, and, therefore, he is disqualified from filling the measure of his creation.

—Alexander Ott, The Mormon, New York, N.Y., April 19, 1856.

If I were asked to name the two outstanding qualities for success in any undertaking, I should say patience and perseverance. Of course a knowledge of what to do is indispensable to success in what one would do; but knowledge of the steps to take will not get one far without patience and perseverance. In fact, when there is no light at all on how to proceed, patience and perseverance will eventually bring light. The entire prospect may be black, yet, if one perseveres and is patient, light will invariably begin to break and the way become clearer and clearer. It one goes at a thing patiently and unfalteringly, one will be shown what to do. Patience and perseverance are unbeatable qualities. As long as a person does not lose his patience and his perseverance, he is unconquerable. If he holds to his object unwaveringly and patiently he will win out, provided, of course, he is standing on good principles and is actuated by good motives. Unsound principles and bad motives may win for a while, but they cannot survive the test of time. Where parents commonly fail with their children is that they are not patient and persevering enough. When the child is more patient and persevering in getting his way with the parents than the parents in getting their way with the child, the child will win every time.

---Wickes Wamboldt, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Oct. 12, 1943.

The fellow with perseverance eventually finds a needle in a haystack. But it takes him so long that the fellow without any patience has gone out and bought another needle and is now far ahead of him.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., June 21, 1960.

Be persistent in some certain line. The world has no use for the man who proceeds by fits and starts and who is always jumping the track.

‑‑‑Phil H. Armstrong, Florida Times‑Union, Jacksonville, Fla., May 15, 1924.

Perseverance without direction is like trying to shave with the wrong side of a razor.

—Charles A. Leedy, Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, May 1, 1944.

Look around you, and you'll have a hard time finding many failures who have been consistently persistent.

‑‑‑Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 5, 1939.

Perseverance is the act, habit or quality of persevering. The synonyms of this word are constant, determined, resolute, steadfast, endure. It is almost uniformly employed in a good and high sense of holding a worthy course against all difficulty, danger, hindrance or opposition.

—William M. Anderson, Sr., Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 10, 1921.

Persistence is being irreversibly engaged in reaching goals in spite of great odds against it.

—Don H. Rasmussen, Amo Servitum, Los Angeles, Calif., November 1968.

Perseverance is contagious, it is not an epidemic. If you have it somebody else will get it. If you are lazy, good-for-nothing, indolent, others will be also if they come in contact with you.

—Billy Sunday, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Feb. 27, 1924.

Persistence means to have joy without turning; to go forward without stopping; to remain firm without tiring. It means to bear up enthusiastically, to continue joyfully, to grow continually.

—Glenn R. Erwin, The Challenge, Stockholm, Sweden, April 17, 1965.

Concentration of energy, singleness of aim, determination, tenacity of purpose, unrelaxing grip, the disposition that drive to an end are virtues clustering around the principle of perseverance.

—John E. White, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., March 30, 1903.

Persistent people gain supremacy on the springboards of present success. Sustained perseverance has its victory and can be practiced by the weakest of the weak–its silent power grows irresistible with time. It is persistency which attracts confidence more than talent and rare flashes of genius.

—Alvin W. Fletcher, Affirmative, Billings, Mont., April 1962.

Persistence is the quality to continue steadily upon a constant course of action. Persistence is powered by courage–it eliminates the "downs" and overcomes all difficulties. It means being loyal, brave and dependable. It means being strong in adversity–doing hard things FIRST.

—Alvin W. Fletcher, The Challenge, Stockholm, Sweden, April 17, 1965.

Perseverance is the happy faculty of “holding up” when everyone about [you] seems to argue, “There ain’t no use.”

—Adam S. Bennion, Juvenile Instructor, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 1917.

Perseverance is the master impulse of the firmest souls, the discipline of the noblest virtues.

—Robert Carrol, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, Feb. 3, 1913.

Patient perseverance is the proof of purpose. It is merely the persistent repetition of little victories that brings the complete conquest. So life's difficulties are to be met a day at a time. Perseverance in small acts of patience and resolution brings one to the top of the mountain of character and resolution.

—William T. Ellis, Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Nov. 4, 1917.

The reason so many men who aim high fail to hit the target is because they either do not put enough powder behind the shot or their gun barrel is too short. It takes both energy and persistence to succeed.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., March 23, 1924.

Persistence is the greater willingness to spend time in accomplishing a task; it is the willingness to withstand discomfort, and the ability to persevere in the face of seemingly impossible odds; it is also the willingness to resign oneself to patient plodding when the load is heavy and the road is steep.

—John E. Gibson, This Week, New York, N.Y., Nov. 15, 1953.

It is not brilliancy of intellect or versatility of talent or breadth and depth of knowledge or the impetuosity and dash with which he enters upon life's work that will assure his success. He may have all these qualifications and then fail most miserably. To all other qualities he must add continuance and persistency. Impulse and emotion are common with a great many things, but permanency is needed in character and conduct. ... Success in anything is attained only by the same old route of diligent labor. ... There is absolute necessity of patient, constant perseverance. Patience and perseverance is the price of success. Talent wins no crown until it has gone to the school of patience.

—Alfred Sturgeon, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 6, 1905.

Perseverance is the open sesame to the door of success, and self-confidence is the only one from whom you can learn the password. Self-confidence is the mother of perseverance, and perseverance is the mother of success.

—M.B. Martin, Christian Observer, Louisville, Ky., Nov. 4, 1903.

Persistency is high evidence of genius.

—B.F. Ward, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, July 20, 1911.

Perseverance crowns the other traits by keeping them in action until the end is achieved. ... Veracity, earnestness, diligence may all be engaged in some meritorious work, yet, if they are allowed to flag and fail before the purpose is achieved, all is in vain. Two homely proverbs come to mind. "Brag is a good dog, but hold-fast is better," and "It's dogged as does it." A nobler saying and from a higher source is "Blessed is he that endures to the end."

—Joseph Wharton, Friends' Intelligencer, Philadelphia, Pa., June 21, 1902.

Persistence is no cheap commodity in today's character market. Yet it's an absolute necessity if a person is to live up to the highest and best of one's ability.

—James W. Kinney, Hill Top Times, Ogden, Utah, Feb. 7, 1969.

Persistency is the dynamo which drives the ship of dreams into harbors of accomplishment.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Aug. 29, 1923.

Perseverance sifts the gold from the seeds of difficulty.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., July 19, 1924.

Stamina means something more than mere ability to keep moving at top speed. It means something more than physical control. Stamina, or the lack of it, also has a direct effect upon one's judgment. The contender who is worn down might still go the route in a physical way, but his judgment is no longer the same.

—Grantland Rice, New York Tribune, New York, N.Y., Aug. 20, 1920.

The greater part of victory is in persistence.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 11, 1940.

Life is not a reset button. You watch a kid playing an electronic game today; once they see they can't win, they reset the game. I tell my [baseball] players there is no reset button in life.

—Tony Robicheaux, Beauregard Daily News, DeRidder, La., Jan. 21, 1994.

The courage to risk, the courage to try, the element of tenacity, persistence and resoluteness are the qualities of a leader. A leader is one who sees a need and steps forward. He receives a charge and gives his all to execute it. He is one who conceives thoughts and ideas and initiates actions to give them birth and reality. He may not necessarily be superior in mental ability nor even in physical prowess, yet he dares to step out ahead of the masses and attempts to create and give direction. I might tell you that in my experience, and from my observation, the role of a leader is not easy. The eyes of the masses are upon him. His every action is carefully observed and scrutinized by one or another. He is subject to comparison, complaint and even criticism. The expression in and of itself of these is a debilitating factor which might seriously weaken one who halfheartedly aspires to leadership, but not the true leader. He who is a great leader knows the path of constancy and perseverance and no amount of destructive and debilitating influences will swerve or deter him in that path which he knows to be right. His job is not necessary to show how good he is, but to get things done. I have observed that many great leaders, as they get things done, very often humbly allow those who execute a project to think that they did it. Really they did do it, but they did it under the wise influence and resolute direction of one who had the courage to try, and who had the ability to put an idea or plan into action.

—C. Laird Snelgrove, El Pampero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 1963.

Time multiplied by energy equals work well done, which is always a measure of achievement. The manner in which you expend your energy is of the greatest importance, if you really desire power. There must be vigor and effort in all that you do. Listless or unplanned labor leads to weakness. That does not mean that you should stamp like an elephant or rush about like a tiger. It means rather that in your efforts there must be a wise plan, then a steady pull or push to the limit of your powers. Regularity permits the forceful use of your energy. To do a thing every day and day after day begets skill which is transmuted into power. "Constant dripping wears away the stone." Look at the old granite steps that have been worn down by the tread of innumerable feet. Consider the mason who strikes the stone gently but regularly until it cleaves as desires. Do you really want to acquire power? Then make regularity of effort a guiding principle. Nowhere is the principle of regularity of more value than in a person's daily routine. By all means make up a daily schedule and live up to it. You will double, even quadruple, your efficient power. A blood brother of regularity, so to speak, is persistence. Expending energy is work. Work There is a lazy streak in all of us. Whoever gives up because the job is hard is doomed to failure. Would you win success in life, in every part or division of it? Then persist in the task set until it is accomplished. Powers beg to accompany the persistent man. Someone said, "Persistence--Energy--Power," and coined the word "Pep." Regularity and persistence have a curious but delightful effect. After the first period of weariness, the resolute will to persist engenders a new feeling of strength and exhilaration; and the work goes on with greater ease and enjoyment. It is something like the experience of the foot racer. As he speeds over the track, weariness may attack him, but if he then summons his strength through an effort of will, new power comes to him from some inner hidden reservoir, and he runs with increased ease and speed. We say that he has second wind. Most of us have unplumbed depths and stores of energy, which, if made available by regularity and persistence, would make us mighty, powerful men. You want to gain power? Then be persistent, regularly persistent, in doing your job with its attendant tasks. The race of life was never to the swift, but always to him who endures to the end.

—John A. Widtsoe, East Central States Mission Bulletin, Louisville, Ky., June 1940.

When we start to learn anything new, we never advance steadily. We do not improve gradually; we do it by sudden jerks, by abrupt starts. Then we remain stationary a time or we may even slip back and lose some of the ground we have previously gained. These periods of stagnation, or retrogression, are well known by all psychologists, and they have been named "plateaus in the curve of learning." Each of us will sometime be stalled for a period of time on one of these plateaus. Work as hard as we may, we cannot seem to get off it. The weak ones give up in despair. Those with grit persist. And then suddenly overnight we have gotten "the knack of things." We have lifted ourselves from the plateau like an aeroplane and the pro have been seeking for has been achieved. Persistence is an essential factor in the procedure of transmitting desire into its equivalent. The basis of persistence is the power of will. Will power, mixed with persistence and placed back of our desires, insures the attainment of our objectives.

—Marvin B. Wrigley, Golden Gateway, San Francisco, Calif., September 1960.


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