Persistence Trumps Talent

It doesn’t matter how talented you are, if you’re not persistent you won’t succeed. I’m often struck by how successful mediocre talent is. They don’t have the best personality, the most impressive social skills or the charm, abilities and talents of the charismatic—but they do have persistence—that ability to persist, to stay with and at something they want longer than anyone else.

Persistence is the ability to stick with something when you’re tired of it, not motivated, not engaged, but still committed. Persistence is its own muse. Talent is overrated, fickle and dependent on an adoring audience. If you have to choose between the two, chose persistence.

Productivity comes from persistence, not talent. If you can’t move things forward when things get tough, or you get discouraged, no amount of talent in the world will change that. Learn to finish, to push, to persist. It will serve you better, longer and more loyally than all the talent in the world. Persistence can be learned, trained and ingrained. It is the foundation of self-discipline.


“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ~ Calvin Coolidge

photo compliments of Kindurco

4 thoughts on “Persistence Trumps Talent”

  1. Two more logical men you will not find: Messrs. Poole and Coolidge. Press on – I need that reminder today, thanks!

  2. Press on. Reminds Me of Winston Churchill during WW 2. We will never ever give in or something to that effect. Good stuff

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