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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Perseverance and talent

You need both talent and perseverance to succeed. Within limits, a deficiency of one can be offset by an abundance of the other, but you need at least some of both to achieve greatness.

With great talent you can often skyrocket to the top -- and stay there with just a basic level of determination and consistency. However, many truly talented people fail because they jump from one thing to another. They lack persistence.

If your talents aren't so great -- or you have limiting deficiencies or weaknesses -- you'll need lots of persistence. Sheer determination and will can get you to where you wish to go. But you still need talent, real talent, and no amount of persistence will allow you to escape this reality.

I am persistent. If something is important to me, I simply don't give up. The journey to success may take a few months, or a few decades, but I hold it to my heart, and keep on. In my personal life this is reflected in my rather late marriage to the woman I knew I really wanted to be with -- after 13 years of platonic friendship. I struggled for a year on the student newspaper at university before I found the ability to do the work -- and even then, my peers truly wondered how/why I carried on (ultimately proving myself through two trips to Africa.)

In business, I see this in the evolution of this enterprise; the ups and downs, and rebound, and continuing effort to achieve the goal of being the Leading International Publisher of Regional Construction News and Information.

Note that any amount of perseverance cannot overcome a true lack of talent. Most pitiful are the people who carry on even though they cannot hope to succeed; the failed actors, photographers, artists, and even business people. Of course I cannot dare know the base point of talent necessary to justify perseverance -- but often the answer is in whether our peers believe there is enough spark and will, coupled with talent. If so, they'll often help us along and guide us through the bumps in the journey to success.

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