This isn’t just a word on one of those “Success” oriented posters in a conference room. There are a number of factors that contribute to any of us succeeding or reaching a semblance of our personal goals. From experience, to learning skills, gaining knowledge, networking, honing craft, self-reflection, honest criticism and making mistakes. But I dare say the greatest of these is “Persistence.” In its simplest form persistence is not stopping or in the words and images of Robert Crumb “Keep on Truckin’. It is easy to persist when things are going great and we are making progress and moving forward. But, the true test of our dedication to the goal, concept or project is to stay persistent when things get bad or setbacks plague us. Also, speaking with a local doctor recently “When that little voice in our heads doubts us and tells us we aren’t good enough and can’t do it.” This is the true test of what we are made of. Athletes face it all the time to push their bodies and minds past the normal limits and beyond what they should be able to achieve. The majority of people who Win, achieve their goals and go past us aren’t better, smarter or luckier than we are – they are more persistent. If life is a mountain and we are all trying to climb up the fastest or best climber doesn’t necessarily make it to the top first. It is the persistent climber in life that doesn’t give up and go back down the mountain who continues to look up and strive to reach the top. The benefit of persevering is that as long as you keep going you can’t help but get better as you grow and learn from yourself and others. Positive reinforcement from others helps shape us to hone our skills and apply them in their most beneficial methods. Virtually everything in my life that has been achieved is due to persisting even when I wasn’t seeing forward motion at the pace that I sought. This includes playing guitar, singing, wine making, songwriting, writing articles, TV & Radio interviews, writing books, guitar repair and meditation (a new one for the list). Unlike some others I was not a born prodigy in any of these areas I had to practice, learn from others, grow and get better over time. And virtually all of these things I can continue to do in life, I’m still learning and I’m still growing and honing the craft! Some areas advance faster than others. I still struggle with songwriting, but I also haven’t dedicated the amount of time to it that I should or that I do to my other interests. Another facet of persistence is to devote the most time to the things that we are best at and develop those to their peak. Now I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t pursue other interests that we don’t excel at and grow in those areas. But, many of us waste a large of amount of time, energy and effort trying to become experts or gurus at things we aren’t good at. It is the same as when I must promote or market something like a TV Newscast or new TV show. What is different about it, what makes it unique, why should people care. Finding what is unique and different from the competition and then promoting and marketing those things to people who care about those features. It is the same with us as individuals. We can try to be everything to everyone and ourselves or focus on what we are good at and known for and be the Best in this area! Persistence is of behavior and repetition of the best efforts and results are what separate us from average, or at least we strive to grow in that direction constantly. The challenge that we all face is to persist in the good times and the bad, but that is the only way we reach the top of the mountain. And that my friends is where the best view resides!