WorldWide Drilling Resource®

The Un-Comfort Zone II by Robert Evans Wilson, Jr. Don’t Quit . . . At Least Not Yet When I was 13, I had dreams of being a rock and roll star. For my birthday, I asked my parents for a guitar, and lessons to play it. My parents hired an old lady instructor, and I was uninspired by the folk tunes she was teaching me. Six months later, having developed no appreciable skills at picking a riff or a lick, I gave it up. Then, I developed a love for classical music while I was in college. When I graduated, I started taking piano lessons. I didn’t own a piano, and couldn’t afford to buy one (back before cheap electronic keyboards), so I found a variety of places around town where I could practice: churches, schools, and friend’s houses. Six months later, my work schedule started making regular practice difficult, and I quit - with the intention of getting back to it, but I never did. I think back to those days and wonder, if I had given it just a little more time, could I have developed enough skill to sustain my interest? Maybe. Only maybe? Yes, because something else was missing. We are often told we should not give up; we should develop perseverance; all the most successful people in the world have persistence. I’m not here to disagree with that. Napoleon Hill, in his book, Think and Grow Rich , tells the story of a miner who found a vein of gold. He extracted all of the gold until the vein was exhausted. Hoping to find another, he continued digging, but after awhile there was nothing. So he gave up, and thinking the mine was just an empty hole in the ground he sold it for next to nothing. The man who bought the mine only had to dig three feet to uncover a huge vein of gold that earned him millions of dollars. The moral - don’t quit. But, this still doesn’t reveal the driving force behind persistence. People who do not demonstrate perseverance are often called lazy, but laziness is not the real problem. More often, it is doubt or fear. Doubt makes you hesitate, and fear of failure can keep you from trying at all. You may recall the story of The Little Engine That Could , who at first wasn’t sure he could pull the heavy freight cars over the hill. It was through his persistence in repeatedly saying, “I think I can. I think I can.” that he continued until he succeeded. When doubt causes you to procrastinate, it deteriorates your sense of self-worth, which can spiral into depression. This is why it is so important to push ahead. The more you try, the more likely you are to fail; and the more you fail, the more you learn, or realize you need to learn. Failure isn’t a bad thing, it’s an opportunity to discover what went wrong. It might simply mean you need to acquire more information or training. No one becomes an expert overnight. Michael Jordan didn’t get picked for his high school basketball team. He didn’t give up, he started taking 2000 practice shots a day which made him one of the sport’s greatest stars. Perseverance is about sticking to your goal. Adversity is unavoidable, but it doesn’t mean you can’t keep your goal. It just means you have to change how you reach it. Alter your plans, choose another method, or find a dif- ferent path. Persistence means keep moving toward your goal. I endured an amazing amount of hardship when I first started writing, but I per- sisted. My father was against it. My English teacher accused me of plagiarism. I received hundreds of rejection letters from publishers to whom I’d sent articles, short stories, and book manuscripts. I sent my résumé to hundreds of advertising agencies, but none showed any interest. Nevertheless, I stuck to it, often writing ten or more hours daily. Eventually the tide turned. I wrote an article for a neigh- borhood newspaper (they had to publish it because I was the neighborhood asso- ciation president), which was read by a neighbor who worked for a top business newspaper. He recommended me to his editor, who hired me to write articles. I wrote advertising copy pro bono for a few nonprofit organizations, which led to my getting paid work from for-profit companies. I endured over ten years before see- ing any success. Why? It was a passion. This is the secret ingredient that keeps inno- vators going. They love what they do. It’s what motivates persistent people after repeated rejection or failure. If you’re passionate, persistence comes naturally. Robert Robert is an innovation/change speaker, author, and consultant. He works with companies that want to be more competitive through innovation and with people who want to think more creatively. Contact him via e-mail to 302-684-3197 FAX: 302-384-0643 142 Broadkill Rd. • Milton, DE 19968 email: Manufacturers of Slotted & Perforated Pipe ranging from ½” to 24” diameter Atlantic Screen & Mfg., Inc. • Well Rehab. Products • Manholes • Bentonite • Filter Sock • Inline Chemical Mixers • Sampling Bailers • Clear PVC Pipe • Locking Caps 21 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® AUGUST 2020 “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.” William Feather “It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.” Confucius “Passion, plus persistence, equals progress and prosperity.” Rob Wilson