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The first and last word in any undertaking is persistence. Without it there can be no breakthrough, no fanfare, and no remuneration for the years of wasted effort. Until success comes along, the dream lies buried, a vain and preposterous hope that might never be realised.

Most people give up because the road is too long and the work too taxing; it takes extraordinary levels of resilience to counter the disappointment of rejection and failure on a long-term basis – and still remain focused. But this can only be developed through adversity and, paradoxically, through the slow attainment of self-belief.

So failure in a sense is character building. The trick is to stay the course long enough to realise your dreams, even when experience and the voice of doubt would tell you otherwise. Read the tale of the man who stopped three-feet short of gold, in Napoleon Hill’s classic Think and Grow Rich.

Or take the alternative option and give up. This may be the easiest solution in the long run, saving you countless hours of frustration and angst. But then you’ll never know what you could’ve achieved. And not only that, you’ll be stuck with the knowledge that you were defeated by a most unlikely adversary.


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