Blog #464 Perseverance

Coaching for Life Success:  Ambition.

If you want something special, you have to work for it. 

Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” talks about Bill Gates having great access to computing in the early days of computing when such access was almost non-existent and gaining 10,000 hours of computing excellence; likewise, he talks of the Beatles playing 10 to 15 hour days in Hamburg in their early days for weeks on end.  He suggests there is a 10,000-hour threshold to greatness.  Put in your time (ten thousand hours minimum) and you are going to be able to do great things.

This book and these lessons have urged you to be ‘remarkable’ to be able to compete with millions of college students from around the world.  You can’t just wish to be remarkable; you have to put in your time.  What do you want (goals); are you prepared to go after it (attitude); and practice, practice, practice. 

It seems like humans try something and give it up “It is too hard”; “That’s not just for me”.  In lesson 3, we talked about practice makes perfect.  If you practiced shooting three-point baskets twenty hours a week for 50 weeks, you could be at 1,000 hours in a year – so after ten years, you would be a true master.  Or do you go to the gym, shoot three or four three-pointers and then do something else? 

There is an old adage “No pain, no gain”.  The ‘pain’ of doing something – computer programming, calculus, basketball or your goal for 10,000 hours will pay off. 

Couple the practice with a great attitude (“I think I can”), imaging (“I can see myself shooting a three-point basket just before the buzzer to win the championship”), and self-talk (“I’m good at this”) put you soundly on the road to success.

(But, a quick counter position:  Somebody asked a teacher how many years of experience did they have.  The teacher responded “20 years”.  The first person then asked, “do you have 20 years of experience – or one year of experience just repeated 20 times?”  Our experiences need to move us forward.


  • Going back to your goals – what practice and perseverance are you doing to get to the top? 
  • Are you reviewing your work / your practice?  What is going well and what do you need to focus on?
  • Open your goal statements and revise them in light of dedicated practice and perseverance.

Quote: “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” (William Earley)


Posted by Bruce White

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