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How to Cultivate Lifelong Persistence



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“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.” ―Calvin Coolidge, 30th US President

Nothing happens in a day. it takes time to prepare a sumptuous supper. All great leaders have stories of failure to share. But their biggest life mantra has been to never give up and to keep trying, keep pushing. They achieved the unachievable with their imagination and persistence. Failures and setbacks did not prevent them from working towards their goals. 

It is a myth that extraordinary people have achieved success because things worked in their favor or due to luck. Such notions are wrong and unfair. Extraordinary people stand out because they make things happen. They strive hard tirelessly to make things fall into place and to accomplish their goals. While ordinary people blame circumstances, extraordinary people work with what they have, and from where they are, to achieve success. John C. Maxwell once remarked, “Water boils at 212 degrees, but at 211 degrees, it is still just hot water.  One extra degree, an increase of less than one-half of one percent, can make the difference between a pot of languishing liquid and a bubbling cauldron of power. One degree can create a full head of steam — enough power to move a train weighing tons.  That one degree is usually momentum.”

Extraordinary people have that momentum. While ordinary people give up in desperation when water is heated to 211 degrees, extraordinary people invest more efforts beyond 211 degrees with persistence and achieve ultimate victory. 

Cultivating persistence

Here are some popular tips to cultivate persistence:

  • Keep an eye on the long-term goal. Think about them. A constructive dream is capable of saving you from the frustrations of the present. 
  • Be focused and clear about “what you are here for”. Find out what makes you wake up from your bed in the morning. Be clear in your mind about what you want to achieve and become. Craft your vision accordingly. Be flexible and adaptable. Learn when to hold and when to fold. The first job of the teacher is to develop the learning attitude in her students. Once that happens, the rest follows. 
  • Work hard, smart and wise with discipline and dedication. Be consistent in your efforts. Strive hard relentlessly and take clues from the environment around. Move with the times. When the world has moved on with computers, a teacher cannot stick to just a pen and pencil anymore. She has to include in the pedagogy, the learning that is at par with others so her students are competitive.
  • Cultivate the habit of writing because it not only helps you improve your writing skills but also enhances your persistence. Every teacher has a lesson plan and a child-development schedule where she plans and records the progress. When you feel that things are not working, a look at the plan will tell you that you did progress but you have to make more efforts to reach where you want to. That ushers hope and faith in the future.
  • Try to predict the problems that you might face, based on problems that you have already faced. 

Me and persistence 

Perhaps like each one of us, I have encountered my share of hard times. Whenever I wanted to achieve something, there were obstacles. Success was never a cakewalk. In the year 2006, I purchased three plots with my hard-earned money in the outskirts of Hyderabad, India. It was a small amount. I invested in three plots in three different locations to sell them after a few years at a profit. A friend’s brother helped me purchase the plots. Unfortunately, all three plots were under litigation. In 2016, when I wanted to sell these plots to fund my younger son’s overseas education, I came to know that there was no land available physically for one of the plots.

I had been cheated. Even the other two plots had been sold to me under questionable conditions and finally, none of the plots were mine. Efforts to confront the culprit and get things sorted proved futile.  I had to struggle for 9 months to raise funds for my son’s overseas education. 

I hail from a lower middle-class family. I am rich in knowledge but poor in pocket. I had to struggle hard to sell these disputed properties. In India, courts usually take a lot of time to resolve disputes. I tried to negotiate with various people. I persisted for almost a year. Finally, I sold two plots at a loss and came out of the litigation. For the third plot, for which there is no land, I have tried hard to trace a seller. He is not available at the address mentioned in the documents. The issue remains unresolved even today. These hard times taught me not to trust anyone blindly. 

However, I strongly believe that such hard times have given me the chance to practice perseverance and emerge stronger and wiser.  Tough times don’t last but tough individuals do. They navigate through impossible times, holding a flashlight at the end of the tunnel.

Over to you!

Most leaders have failed many times but they have persisted to reach their tipping points. When you look at their biographies, it is obvious that they have an equally interesting flashbacks of failures and frustrations. Colin Powell observed, “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence.” Never give up just because you have failed a few times. It is often the last key in the bunch that will open the door to your success. Remember, persistence is the sibling of excellence. Write your own success story with persistence.

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D. is the Father of “Soft Leadership” and the Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an International Leadership Guru with forty years of experience and the author of fifty books including the award-winning ‘See the Light in You’ URL: He is a C-Suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He brings a strategic eye and long-range vision given his multifaceted professional experience including military, teaching, training, research, consultancy, and philosophy. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. He trains a new generation of leaders through leadership education and publications.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.



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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.



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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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