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Persistence Archives - Page 3 of 9 - The Meaning Movement

Category "Persistence"

Edison’s Secret to Success (and How You Can Overcome the Fear of Failure)

Thomas Edison tried over 2000 different filaments before he was able to create a market viable light bulb. Some filaments burnt out. Others were too expensive to source. Still others were too labor intensive.

Edison and his team invested countless hours exploring these dead ends. Each filament took days or even weeks of work before it could be discounted as a possibility. Some showed early signs of success— burning bright and seeming to last — only to be proved as a non viable option over time.

Stories say that Edison would become nearly giddy with each failed attempt. He loved failure! He’s credited with saying: “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”

It’s hard for many of us to imagine enjoying investing so much time and energy in exploring a possibility only to come to a dead end— yet that’s the reality of the creative process for Edison. He wasn’t succeeding unless he was failing. To put it in Edison’s words: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

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What the Stock Market Can Teach You About Your Life’s Work (or Why You Should Stay The Course)

- - Courage, Persistence, Work

I remember exactly where I was when the gravity of the situation hit me. I had heard that something happened in the financial world, but I was young— with few stakes in the game. It didn’t affect me at first. Then I started overhearing the stories.

I was on a bus and a group of men nearing retirement age were discussing it. The crash hit them hard. Investments that they had been planning their future on had dropped in value nearly overnight. The future they had envisioned no longer seemed feasible. It was a disaster.

The year was 2008 and we were living through what has become known as the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Things looked bleak and the future was entirely uncertain.

That crash may have been the largest in quite a few years, but it’s not the only drop the market has had. In fact it’s just one of many.  Stock prices rise and fall on a daily basis. It’s why short term gains are difficult in the stock market. Some people play that game, but only a few win. The market is too unpredictable.

But there’s another story that the stock market tells— the longer view story.

No matter the rise and falls, over time there will be gains if you stay the course.

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When “Don’t Give Up” Matters Most

- - Persistence, Tools

I’m sitting at my desk. Watching a cursor blink on a blank page. It’s 9:11am. I intended to start writing this over an hour ago. But I haven’t been able to.

I had hopes of writing something big and courageous to you today, but it’s just not how I feel. I feel small and afraid.

Creating something worthwhile— whether a blog post, a piece of art, a career, or a life— is hard and scary work.

This probably isn’t news to you.

I had a friend who took a cold shower every day for months in an effort to build mental toughness. I talked with him about it when he was well into the project. He said, “You’d think it gets easier. It doesn’t. You get used to the idea that you’re going to step into that really cold water and it’ll be hard to stay there. But the act of being in it doesn’t get easier. You can get used to getting in, but you don’t get used to staying.”

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The Problem With The Easy Win

We’ve heard lofty promises about how easy success can be if you’ll invest in this or that product. I’m not here to say that there aren’t helpful tools, courses, and experts who know what’s what. There absolutely are (and I hope that I’m one of them!).

There’s just a danger of thinking that life should and can be so much easier, better, more clean, more clear, more streamlined, more linear, etc.

Easy success isn’t what any of us need. It’s thin. Getting an easy win only means you’ll need another later on. Sure, an easy win would feel great, but given enough time we’ll all be right back where are right now— needing the next win.

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Why We Want You to Succeed

It’s easy to feel like you’re on your own as you try to lean into doing meaningful work. Whether you are still searching for your mission, or struggling to bring alignment between what you want to do and how you pay the bills— you can often feel stuck and alone. You feel overwhelmed by the distance between where you are to where you want to go.

It feels like you just have to do what you have to do and it won’t matter to others if you succeed or fail.

It feels that way to me at least. (Raise your hand if you’re with me!)

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