Think And Grow Rich – Chapter 9: Persistence

Continuing my analysis of Think and Grow Rich.

This is for Chapter 9, Persistence.

(Go here to start from the beginning.)

Quote and Analysis

“Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith”

“Persistence” is sustained effort.

“Faith” in this context is self-confidence or belief that you will get what you want.

So if you continually pursue what you want, you will convince yourself that you are going to get it. And from else where in the book, being convinced, being confident, believing that you are going to get something will make it a reality.

Quote and Analysis

“Men who accumulate great fortunes are generally known as cold-blooded, and sometimes ruthless. Often they are misunderstood. What they have is will-power, which they mix with persistence, and place back of their desires to insure the attainment of their objectives.”

The subtle point here is to just be aware that if you are pursuing your goals, others might perceive you as being selfish, cold-blooded, or ruthless. It doesn’t mean you are doing the wrong thing or that you should change. It’s just the *opinions* of others, which you should be ignoring anyway.

Quote and Analysis

“If you are following this book with the intention of applying the knowledge it conveys, your first test as to your PERSISTENCE will come when you begin to follow the six steps described in the second chapter. Unless you are one of the two out of every hundred who already have a DEFINITE GOAL at which you are aiming, and a DEFINITE PLAN for its attainment, you may read the instructions, and then pass on with your daily routine, and never comply with those instructions.”

There’s your warning. If you don’t do those 6 steps, you’re making your choice about who you are. You’re showing yourself, your brain, which of the groups you are in…the 98% or the 2%. And your brain will act accordingly.

98%…”we don’t have to persist…we just do what everyone else does…and complain about the results like everyone else does”.

2%…”we persist and we get what we want”.

Quote and Analysis

“If you find you are weak in PERSISTENCE, center your attention upon the instructions contained in the chapter on “Power”; surround yourself with a “MASTER MIND” group, and through the cooperative efforts of the members of this group, you can develop persistence. You will find additional instructions for the development of persistence in the chapters on auto-suggestion, and the subconscious mind. Follow the instructions outlined in these chapters until your habit nature hands over to your subconscious mind, a clear picture of the object of your DESIRE. From that point on, you will not be handicapped by lack of persistence.

Your subconscious mind works continuously, while you are awake, and while you are asleep. Spasmodic, or occasional effort to apply the rules will be of no value to you. To get RESULTS, you must apply all of the rules until their application becomes a fixed habit with you. In no other way can you develop the necessary “money consciousness.””

Here he’s laying out a few remedies for weak persistence.

1) Get someone in your Master Mind group, the people that you trust and council with that are aimed at your same goal, who will prod you to keep going when you aren’t motivated. I think the second remedy is MUCH better than this one.

2) Use auto-suggestion. This means every day you repeat to yourself an idea you want to believe, you auto-suggest…suggest to yourself. You make a habit of it. This habit ingrains the idea in your unconscious mind. Then your unconscious mind, which makes most of your decisions throughout the day, will be working from that idea, and your decisions and thus actions will be consistently aligned with that idea. It will be a habit. You will be persistent.

He mentions “money consciousness” here, but it could be any consciousness that you want to be more prominent in your life…“health consciousness”, “happiness consciousness”, “teaching consciousness”, “love consciousness”. Whatever thing it is that you desire, you want to build habits that support that so that you are always aware and open to opportunities that will allow you to get closer to your desire.

Quote and Analysis

“POVERTY is attracted to the one whose mind is favorable to it, as money is attracted to him whose mind has been deliberately prepared to attract it, and through the same laws. POVERTY CONSCIOUSNESS WILL VOLUNTARILY SEIZE THE MIND WHICH IS NOT OCCUPIED WITH THE MONEY CONSCIOUSNESS. A poverty consciousness develops without conscious application of habits favorable to it. The money consciousness must be created to order, unless one is born with such a consciousness.”

This is a warning that the poverty consciousness is the DEFAULT. If you don’t choose a consciousness other than poverty, poverty is what you will get.

Quote and Analysis

“You may find it necessary to “snap” out of your mental inertia, through a similar procedure, moving slowly at first, then increasing your speed, until you gain complete control over your will. Be PERSISTENT no matter how slowly you may, at first, have to move.”

Persistence does not imply any particular speed, just a continual movement in a specific direction. So don’t be discouraged or stop if you are not moving toward your desire as quickly as you expected. You can reduce your effort, but don’t stop it.

Quote and Analysis

“For four years Miss Hurst learned about “The Sidewalks of New York” from first hand experience. She spent her days laboring, and her nights HOPING. When hope grew dim, she did not say, “Alright Broadway, you win!” She said, “Very well, Broadway, you may whip some, but not me. I’m going to force you to give up.”

One publisher (The Saturday Evening Post) sent her thirty six rejection slips, before she “broke the ice and got a story across. The average writer, like the “average” in other walks of life, would have given up the job when the first rejection slip came. She pounded the pavements for four years to the tune of the publisher’s “NO,” because she was determined to win.

Then came the “payoff.” The spell had been broken, the unseen Guide had tested Fannie Hurst, and she could take it. From that time on publishers made a beaten path to her door. Money came so fast she hardly had time to count it. Then the moving picture men discovered her, and money came not in small change, but in floods. The moving picture rights to her latest novel, “Great Laughter,” brought $100,000.00, said to be the highest price ever paid for a story before publication. Her royalties from the sale of the book probably will run much more.”

An example of the kind of persistence we are looking to develop. Persistence that is 36 times as high as 98% of people. If many others are willing to try something twice before giving up, then we have to be ready to try 72 times. It may happen way before that 72nd time, but we are willing to go that far if need be.

Also an example of a possible timeframe. We could get our desire in a few days, or it might take 4 years or longer.

Quote and Analysis

“And here is an encouraging statement which carries with it a suggestion of great significance- THOUSANDS OF SINGERS WHO EXCEL KATE SMITH ARE WALKING UP AND DOWN BROADWAY LOOKING FOR A “BREAK”- WITHOUT SUCCESS. Countless others have come and gone, many of them sang well enough, but they failed to make the grade because they lacked the courage to keep on keeping on, until Broadway became tired of turning them away.”

Even if someone else is better than you at what you want to do, it doesn’t matter. Keep trying. Eventually they will give up, or you will get better. Either way persistence wins.

Quote and Analysis

“Persistence is a state of mind, therefore it can be cultivated.”

So even if you think you are someone who has “no willpower”, you can still build it up. And since persistence can lead you to anything else, this really means that you can be anything you want.

Quote and Analysis

“DEFINITENESS OF PLANS. Organized plans, even though they maybe weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence.”

Here he’s talking about one of the things that supports persistence. Just having a plan can be enough to move you forward.

Quote and Analysis

“ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.”

Again, another support of persistence. But this is actually a warning. If you can feel that you don’t *know* for certain that your plan is sound, then you will hold back. You won’t give it everything. You’ll hold back in case the plan is bad, which can cause the plan to fail EVEN IF the plan is a good one to start with.

Quote and Analysis

“HABIT. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it feeds. Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage. Everyone who has seen active service in war knows this.”

This is auto-suggestion said another way. It also points out that your mind, you, become what you feed yourself. The news you consume, the people you are around, the shows you watch.

Or from the positive side, the affirmations you repeat, the positive messaging you read, the acts that you practice, and the emotions that you continually feel like faith, courage, happiness.

He is actually saying here that you can practice courage, and that you will become less fearful.

Quote and Analysis

“Before leaving the subject of PERSISTENCE, take inventory of yourself, and determine in what particular, if any, you are lacking in this essential quality. Measure yourself courageously, point by point, and see how many of the eight factors of persistence you lack. The analysis may lead to discoveries that will give you a new grip on yourself.”

I didn’t list all 8 here, but this inventory is still something you should do.

This is another test to see if you are a 98% or a 2%.

You should ask someone to do this analysis with you, so you can’t fool yourself into skipping over one of the factors. You might think you wouldn’t do this, but the brain is very tricky, and very happy to gloss over painful points. The one you skip will likely be the one that is holding you back the most.

I’m happy to help if you don’t have anyone else you’d like to do this with. Feel free to email me (Aleks, contact@dividendium.com).

Quote and Analysis

“SYMPTOMS OF LACK OF PERSISTENCE

Here you will find the real enemies which stand between you and noteworthy achievement. Here you will find not only the “symptoms” indicating weakness of PERSISTENCE, but also the deeply seated subconscious causes of this weakness. Study the list carefully, and face yourself squarely IF YOU REALLY WISH TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF DOING.”

I’m not going to list them here. But again, this is a test. 98% or 2%. You choose.

Again it helps to have someone else go through this inventory with you. And again, I’m happy to help if you have no one else.

Also, note that almost all of these are the result of not taking responsibility for how your life is. Everything is within your control. Once you believe that, then you know that all you have to do is be persistent to craft your life like you want it to be. And even that is not hard because you can be persistent with very low effort. Continuing to do something is the only requirement. That habit will build on itself and you will do more and more without feeling burdened by it. You will want to do it.

Quote and Analysis

“FEAR OF CRITICISM, failure to create plans and to put them into action, because of what other people will think, do, or say. This enemy belongs at the head of the list, because it generally exists in one’s subconscious mind, where its presence is not recognized. (See the Six Basic Fears in a later chapter)”

This is the only one of the symptoms that I will call out specifically because he notes how insidious it is.

Fear of criticism hides in your mind and masquerades as other things, the alibis you create. It lets you think that you aren’t doing the things you want because of some other reason than fear of what someone will say or think.

For example, I just put my email address up there and offered to help anyone that emails me to inventory themselves and break through the barriers that are holding them back.

It could be done anonymously if the person wants to use a throwaway email address that has no relation to their name.

But I bet no one emails me at all to do this. I bet that the people who don’t have anyone else are too afraid of what someone else might think of them (that someone else being me). I hope I’m wrong. If you have even a slight urge to email me, do. That’s your small quiet voice. It won’t speak louder. It’s asking for help.

Quote and Analysis

“Examine the first hundred people you meet, ask them what they want most in life, and ninety eight of them will not be able to tell you. If you press them for an answer, some will say-SECURITY, many will say-MONEY, a few will say- HAP- PINESS, others will say-FAME AND POWER, and still others will say-SOCIAL RECOGNITION, EASE IN LIVING, ABILITY TO SING, DANCE, or WRITE, but none of them will be able to define these terms, or give the slightest indication of a PLAN by which they hope to attain these vaguely expressed wishes. Riches do not respond to wishes. They respond only to definite plans, backed by definite desires, through constant PERSISTENCE.”

2%…definite desire and a plan for getting it.

98%…not definite, no plan.

Choose.

Quote and Analysis

“HOW TO DEVELOP PERSISTENCE

There are four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort. The necessary steps are:-

1. A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.

2. A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.

3. A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.

4. A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE.

These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the thirteen principles of this philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit. These are the steps by which one may control one’s economic destiny. They are the steps that lead to freedom and independence of thought. They are the steps that lead to riches, in small or great quantities. They lead the way to power, fame, and worldly recognition. They are the four steps which guarantee favorable “breaks.” They are the steps that convert dreams into physical realities.

They lead, also, to the mastery of FEAR, DISCOURAGEMENT, INDIFFERENCE.”

There’s the recipe. He’s even telling you that the 13 chapters of this book are only trying to get you to do these 4 things automatically.

Want something. Create a plan for getting it. Ignore people that are negative. Spend time with people that are positive.

Quote and Analysis

“What is the greatest thing on earth? The Master called it love-not man made rules, criticism, bitterness, slander, or political “marriages,” but love.”

Multiple times I’ve found a statement in this book that I had previously glossed over and didn’t realize I didn’t know what it meant.

I have been looking them up and finding very interesting things that I didn’t know anything about before.

I tried to look this one up, and I couldn’t find what it was referring to. Who is “the Master”? Is that Shakespeare?

Quote and Analysis

“What mystical power gives to men of PERSISTENCE the capacity to master difficulties? Does the quality of PERSISTENCE set up in one’s mind some form of spiritual, mental or chemical activity which gives one access to supernatural forces? Does Infinite Intelligence throw itself on the side of the person who still fights on, after the battle has been lost, with the whole world on the opposing side?

These and many other similar questions have arisen in my mind as I have observed men like Henry Ford, who started at scratch, and built an Industrial Empire of huge proportions, with little else in the way of a beginning but PERSISTENCE. Or, Thomas A. Edison, who, with less than three months of schooling, became the world’s leading inventor and converted PERSISTENCE into the talking machine, the moving picture machine, and the incandescent light, to say nothing of half a hundred other useful inventions.

I had the happy privilege of analyzing both Mr. Edison and Mr. Ford, year by year, over a long period of years, and therefore, the opportunity to study them at close range, so I speak from actual knowledge when I say that I found no quality save PERSISTENCE, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.”

How interesting is that? He’s saying that these massive successes had nothing but persistence to get them to where they got. It doesn’t matter where you start. There is no excuse or alibi.

Quote and Analysis

“When he had been preaching ten years he had nothing to show for it but banishment, poverty and ridicule. Yet before another ten years had passed, he was dictator of all Arabia, ruler of Mecca, and the head of a New World religion which was to sweep to the Danube and the Pyrenees before exhausting the impetus he gave it.”

10 years of effort, and no results. 4 years for the writer mentioned above.

Previously in the book he talks about how the lights rise so slowly that you may not notice they are being raised until they are almost all the way up.

If you are putting in your continuous effort, and you aren’t seeing the results you want to see, and you do feel your plans are sound, persist. 80% or more of the effort is done before you see real results.

This doesn’t mean you have to keep doing the same plan, but it does mean you must keep pursuing your desire. Every day. Continuously. Persistently.