I’ve been rereading “Think and Grow Rich,” by Napoleon Hill…I think it’s 5th time I’ve read it (yep, it’s that good!). One of the things I got fixated on this time was the importance of stubbornness, when to apply it, and when to let things go.
For those of you who don’t know,Napoleon Hill was approached by Andrew Carnegie with the idea for the book: research and interview the most successful people of all time, find commonalities among them, and figure out which personality traits, habits, ideas, and thoughts led them to be successful. Great concept.
He’s talking about how Henry Ford would come to a decision quickly, but then be very slow to change his mind. He asked his research team to create an engine block out of a single piece of metal, and they said it was impossible. He said, “do it anyway.” They continued to work on it, and after six months, they said it was still impossible. Ford told them it didn’t matter if it was impossible, they should continue to focus on doing it. It was over a year before the research team was able to do it and Ford was able to implement the revolutionary engine block that saved both time and money.
He was stubborn about his idea for over a year, pouring money into the research even though the people doing the research said it was impossible. The point is, everything takes time. If you’re looking to make a change in your life, be it weight loss or running your own business, it’s going to take time. Probably a lot of it. You have to be stubborn enough to wait out that period of time and continue to focus on your goal.
You might be asking, “well, what if the thing I’m being stubborn about is wrong, and it isn’t going to work out? Won’t I be wasting my time then?” No. An emphatic “no.” As long as that thing toward which you’re working is a worthy goal in your mind, it isn’t a waste of time for two reasons. The first is that, if nothing else, it is a learning period. You will gain knowledge and experience that you can use for the rest of your life. That’s never wasted time. And the second reason is that you can make anything work. I won’t say nothing is impossible, but I will say impossible is nothing. We overcome impossible on a daily basis.
If there’s something you really want, then grit your teeth, clench your fists and go get it. Persistence and diligence can make anything work. Just be stubborn. Know in your head that what you’re doing will work, and it will.
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