By: Chrysa Smith

It’s still January. And there are still those resolutions floating around. Have you broken yours yet? Eat less. Work out more. Be kinder. Less judgmental (one of mine), yada, yada, yada. If you get right down to it, most resolutions are about doing more, more, more. And that means more to judge about yourself, more to juggle, and likely more capacity to fail. And what we’re likely to do when we fail, is to give up the goals, give in to our lack of discipline and throw in the towel.But I heard something this morning that jogged my brain, and flipped this all around. And that was about the upcoming Olympics.

I’m not sure who was being interviewed, as I was making my bed. But what she said was that she has trained for the ‘gold’ for four Olympics now. Now, being a math savant, I calculated that as 16 years. And that smacked me squarely in the face. If someone can have the stick-to-it-ness of pursuing a goal for over a decade and a half, who am I to give up, give in after only a couple weeks? Am I expecting perfection? Um, yah. Am I expecting things to happen for me overnight? Um, yah. How about you?

Well then, hmm, let me give you this piece of advice that I often disregard. Persistence is so often the goal to success. Sounds like one of those postings on Facebook with the ethereal photos. Or for those of us old enough to remember, one of those posters with Garfield that gals hung on their wall in their teen years (Boy, that’s dated). But in case you haven’t heard, or often forget, there is a long list of famous folks who failed but prevailed. In looking at them, their goals were so strongly imbedded within them, that they did not let failed attempts take them down. They didn’t look at ‘no’ as never, but ‘not now.’ That doesn’t mean that they didn’t get discouraged, but in spite of discouragement, they kept on keeping on. Maybe you know some of them:

Henry Ford

RH Macy

FW Woolworth

Bill Gates

Walt Disney

Steve Jobs

Albert Einstein

Charles Darwin

Thomas Edison

The Wright Brothers

Winston Churchill

Abe Lincoln

Jerry Seinfeld

Sidney Portier

Dick Cheney

Harrison Ford

Marilyn Monroe

Emily Dickinson

Charles Schultz

The Beatles


Michael Jordan

Babe Ruth

And I’m sure this is a very incomplete list. So for your mid-January New Year resolution, let failure not stop you nor define you. Don’t throw in the towel. Throw it out. And let discouragement and self-effacing behavior be as much in the past as 2013.