This week I am writing about a famous personal development quote that really resonates with me…
This weekend, yet another Hypnotherapy Diploma course comes to an end here at my school. It is a sad time as I bid them farewell and send them off into the world and although they’ll have us for support and I hope they attend our future events, groups and enjoy the alumni stuff we lay on, I am also immensely proud of some of them.
A couple of them who will be awarded certificates this weekend really struggled at the beginning. I mean really struggled. They had feedback calls with me that led to almost complete re-writes of homework pieces and getting to grips with certain theories and debates and notions were tough.
Yet, they listened, they took the discussion on board, they developed, fine tuned and kept on going, kept on pouring their energy in and not only will they qualify with me and my school, but they’ll get their external accreditation and brilliant HPD qualification too. It makes me so proud to see that level of persistence and energy displayed.
Just this week, I had a comment on one of my YouTube videos that my ego loved – “wow Adam, you are a real natural.”
That is not something I have been told a great deal, so I lapped it up and formally replied, just managing to stop short of “aw shucks” or “gee thanks.”
However, I am no natural when it comes to using hypnosis with other people. I am not even sure what that means.
During the past 15 years of being a professional in the hypnosis field, as a hypnotherapist, and hypnotherapy trainer and hypnosis author, my company and I have encountered some real peaks and troughs.
At times in the early days, I had struggles making ends meet and being any kind of an entrepreneur seemed unimaginable. Since working with Keith, we have made some monumental and costly errors along the way, and still do make them today. We have had set-backs personally and professionally that affected our business and the way we do business, yet today we have more students than ever qualifying from the school and our business stands out within the professional hypnosis world. We are still not at the lofty heights we want to reach, but we continue to work towards that.
My early training in this field was poor and I had to study and read and explore in order to develop skills and knowledge… When I think about how I used to work with clients in those early days, I am surprised I ever got any referrals! There were many times that I thought about packing it in and reverting to paid employment, but chose to persist. Over the years I have continued to study and then teach and still study more and seek to develop my own skills and knowledge… And 15 years on someone kindly tells me that I am “a natural” and that feels like a mighty fine reward for my continued energy and persistence.
With my other love of marathon running, I felt much pressure as a result of people just assuming that I’d run the 5 consecutive marathons I ran earlier this year. Seriously, the fabulous supporters I had along the way just always assumed I’d do it and that I’d achieve the things I set out to do. This was great in many ways, but scary for me in other ways. The blasé expectancy did motivate me at times, but made me want to tell people of all the hours of sweaty, often painful miles being run in all conditions and all hours.
I am not sure if many people really understand or appreciate fully how much effort it takes a 14 stone man, with tree trunk legs unlike most marathon runners to train for a single marathon, let alone 5 consecutive marathons. However, with my plan written down, I just had to persist with it, tick off the runs, continue to be out there and put one foot in front of the other. Keeping my energy up, on top of my own mindset, pushing myself out the door and persisting with the runs even when I didn’t really want to.
Enough indulgent celebration of my own persistence, let me give some more famous examples.
Thomas Edison apparently put together approximately 10,000 prototypes of the lightbulb before the US version of the lightbulb was created.
Can you imagine that?
Abraham Lincoln was defeated in 8 elections before eventually going on to be a famous US president.
Can you imagine that?
Aged 65, armed with his chicken recipe, Colonel Sanders made over 1008 sales calls before someone listened and he went on to establish many hundreds of Kentucky Fried chicken restaurants.
Can you imagine that?
These stories are spread through the personal development world, yet I don’t think the magnitude of those achievements and the mindset of that persistence is really considered. These were monumental displays of energy and persistence.
If we look to the Bible even, Jesus has suggested a persistent approach in life. He said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
This verse is preceded by a story Jesus told that spoke of the importance of a persistent attitude when working on your faith.
Many people believe that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to gain ‘genius-like’ skill in a sport or pursuit. David Beckham used to stay behind after training when all the other players finished for the day and take free kick upon free kick to perfect his skills.
More than a handful of my friends that are published authors have had countless rejection letters from publishers before securing a deal and becoming established authors. The kept on, they believed in their work and stood by it.
This week, the quote thought to have originated with the great Benjamin Franklin is;
“Energy and persistence conquer all things”
When defeat is on the horizon, there are times we need to dig deep, reinstall our belief and faith in ourselves, and persist with energy.
I hope that this balances up what I was saying with last week’s quote about “Practice Makes Permanent” – I am not just saying we need to put the hours in without thought or consideration, but that we really do persist, often in the face of much adversity.
So this week’s personal development quote, although it gets banded around a great deal, it really means something to me and I agree with it wholeheartedly. When people are considered a natural of some kind, it insinuates that they have it or they don’t and whilst I appreciate that there are going to be exceptions to this, I tend to think that persistence and energy will trump natural ability.
It’s never too late to become persistent.
Keep on pushing. Keep on asking. Keep on striving. Keep on battling. Keep on giving. Keep on exploring.
You’ll be rewarded, I assure you.
I am 55 years old and have had the most tumultuous year of my professional life. I am in the beginning of re-designing my work-life and needing lots of courage and persistance to make the necessary changes. Your email really struck a cord today. It was just what I needed to realise that though I have been called a “natural”, it still takes persistance to make my dream a reality. Thanks.
Thank you for taking the time to write and tell me that Elizabeth – your candour is very much appreciated. I wish you the very best going forward.
Best wishes to you, Adam.