Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Importance of Persistence and Durability to Your Success and "What is Your Number?"

In today's DTAlpha Talkback, Stephen Pierce asked the question:

"What is your number?"

His message is perhaps not what you might think it is. It is one about the value of persistence where your number is the number of times you will attempt something until you make it a success.

The trouble is that many people do not know their number because, when face with initial failure they simply give up.

"The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail."
Napoleon Hill

One of the case studies Stephen presents is that of the product WD-40 where "WD" stands for Water Displacement.

The number 40 represents the number of attempts it took its inventors to get the product right.

It's a great example of the value of persistence in achieving your goals. However, throughout history there are numerous other famous examples of how individuals have persisted against enormous odds until they have achieved success.

I highlight a few examples in my article "Fail Your Way to Success" which you can refer to be clicking the link below:

"Fail Your Way to Success"

In Stephen's TalkBack he also mentions Levi's 501 jeans. In this case the 501 does not represent the number of times that the inventors tried to create this iconistic product. Yet, this number still relates to persistence as I shall explain.

The number 501 actually refers to the brand of denim that the jeans was made from. It was called 501 - hence, Levi 501 jeans.

However, what is significant here is that this material was known for its durability. The definition of durability as given by is as follows:

"The state or quality of being durable; the power of uninterrupted or long continuance in any condition; the power of resisting agents or influences which tend to cause changes, decay, or dissolution; lastingness."

Synonyms include lastingness, enduringness and strength.

These are the qualities you need when pursuing your goals and dreams.

And there is more...

There comes a point in all ours lives when we want to create something that is enduring like the Levi 501 jeans - something that stands the test of time. There comes a point in our lives when we have a burning desire to create our legacy.

For some it may be children, for others it may be buildings, companies, art, music, literature. One is not necessarily more important than the other. We all have our unique purpose in life whch means we have the opportunity to create our own unique legacy.

At Atlanta International Airport there is a permanent exhibition of sculpture from Zimbabwe - rather appropriate as in the local Shona language "Zimbabwe" means "stone houses". I decided to walk to my departure gate rather than take the train otherwise I would have missed the wonderful collection on display in the Transportation Mall.

The sculptures are large and intricately carved. I paused by one of the pieces where a fellow passenger was making copious notes. We expressed our mutual admiration for the artwork. He remarked that exhibition in some ways reflected the high death rate that currently afflicts parts of Africa.

He pointed out that some of the artists had died young. There was a sculpture behind us that was created by an artist who died a few years ago. He was in his thirties. I reflected on this and then remarked that his spirit lived on through his work.

So the question is what will be your legacy?

What will you leave behind?

How will you be remembered?

And remember, that to create a great legacy will require great persistence on your part and what you create will also need to have the ability to persist.

And remember too that persistence is a numbers game and, in the end, it's not the number of times that you fail in your quest thatis important. It is that one time you succeed.

A Humorous Look at the "Durability" of Levi 501 Jeans

Click the link below if you cannot see the YouTube video above.

The "Durability" of Levi 501 Jeans

You can read and listen to Stephen's DTAlpha TalkBack titled "Unlocking the Mysterious Math of Success" by clicking the link below:

"Unlocking the Mysterious Math of Success"

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