Mizzou Football Winner’s Quality: Persistence

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” -Abraham Lincoln

Mizzou Football players and coaches strive everyday to possess the winner’s quality: persistence.

Persistence is the power to hold on in spite of everything; it is the power to endure. Persistence is the ability to face defeat again and again without giving up, to push on in the face of great difficulty, knowing that victory can be what’s necessary to reach your goals and to win.

It can be difficult to keep that perspective, however, because the sportswriters and interviewers focus simply on whether you won or lost. You’re either a good guy or a bad guy. That’s what persistence is about. Persistence takes the focus away from the performance and puts it on the process. That play, that decision you made didn’t work, but those situations do not make you a failure. Those were simply events, not reflections on you as a person. Everything that happens- good and bad- should motivate you to be persistent.

There are two types of persistence.

In the first type, we start having doubts and aren’t sure about ourselves or about the plan we’ve set forth on, but we press on anyway. We may not be certain about our ability, but there are some factors in what we’re doing that propel us forward.

The second type of persistence comes from something deep inside of us. Persistence isn’t just what we do; it’s a part of who we are. If we’re this type of person, it doesn’t matter what the score is, what our record is, or what obstacles are in front of us; we’re living a lifestyle that says, “We’re not giving up. We have a plan and we are going to persist.” Period.

Anytime you feel like quitting, whenever the going gets tough, be encouraged with this example of persistence:

  • He failed in business in 1832
  • He ran for the state legislature in 1832 and lost
  • He tried business again in 1833 and failed
  • His sweetheart died in 1835
  • He had a nervous breakdown in 1836
  • He ran for state elector in 1840- after, he regained his health
  • He was defeated for Congress in 1843, defeated again in 1848, defeated when he ran for the Senate in 1855, and defeated for Vice President of the United States in 1856
  • He ran for the Senate again in 1858 and lost

Even after all of his failures, this man refused to quit. He kept trying until he was elected President of the United States in 1860. This man was Abraham Lincoln.