Persistence Pays Off
by Jim Stovall

Success in life, be it personal or professional, comes from performing at a high level for an extended period of time. Hap Lowry is a friend and colleague on the professional speaking platform. He has a number of powerful statements he calls "Hapisms." One of my favorites is "Persistence pays high dividends both professionally and personally."

We all know people who had a great idea and simply quit before the goal line. There are others who, due to an extraordinary performance one time, reached their goal but do not perform at a persistently high level so that their brief success simply fades into the mist of oblivion. They become the actors, authors, singers, business people who, whenever their name is mentioned, someone will ask the eternal question, "Whatever happened to ?" Life comes down to performing at a high level over a long period of time instead of outstanding performances just once or twice.

Two years ago, I began my own personal exercise and eating revolution. My new lifestyle has resulted in weight loss of over 100 pounds and an improved physical condition that I would have not thought possible for someone who has already celebrated his fortieth birthday. I discovered that persistence and consistency is the key to ongoing success. From time to time, people will come into the fitness facility where I exercise, and they will work out at a superhuman pace for one or two days, and then they go away, never to be heard from again.

I have been reviewing leadership surveys conducted to determine the elements that top performing executives use to evaluate themselves. They ask questions like: "Am I on target for my goals?" "Are the people around me dedicated to our collective success?" And many others. One of the most intriguing questions to come out of the executive surveys is the following: "Is my pace sustainable?" If your pace is not sustainable, you will most likely never see the mountaintop, and if you do, it will only be for a brief moment before you slide back down the mountainside, losing the progress you have made.

Today, as you look at your long term goals and your short term tasks, part of making sure you are on target is to know that the things you are doing today will lead you to your ultimate destiny, and that today's performance is repeatable and sustainable. Dedicate yourself to a consistent performance that will be both reliable and dependable. The race does not always go to the swiftest. It goes to the individual who realizes that today is simply one more rung on the ladder toward your goal.

Today's the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network. He is a published author, columnist, and motivational speaker, and may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082, or by e-mail at

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Copyright 2001 by Jim Stovall. All rights reserved.

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