Really? Persistence to me is more like dedication, as in, I’m dedicating myself to getting this thing done. Trying to wear down resistance simply indicates a very long and arduous journey toward what you do not want. Resistance is focusing on what you do not want and then trying to use nothing but action to turn it into something you do want. What a waste of time and energy this would be.
Since I’ve dealt with salespeople most of my life, including the fact that I started on that path in 1972, I have experienced it myself and have seen plenty of others try to overcome resistance, power through, make it happen. You can tell that they are doing something they do not want to do and then trying through action and determination to succeed at the strange and interesting task of making a sale.
After so many years of watching, even teaching this idea, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t really helping anyone with that approach. I used to use this famous quote from President Calvin Coolidge: “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.” That quote always reminds me of the quote from Yoda in Star Wars: “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”
What I’ve learned in the most recent years more fully is that success is less about action and more about focus. It is less about activity and more about attitude. It is less about doing and more about preparation. It is less about holding on, and more about letting go. In other words, if it is a struggle, persistence may move the needle a bit, but it won’t get the job done, nor will there be much of any satisfaction in it. The best way to say it is that we need to love what we do and do it with joy; that is, without resistance, for when we are trying hard to do that which is full of resistance, we are focused on overcoming what we do not want. What a hard row to hoe that is. It’s like trying to hoe through stone instead of dirt.
What Calvin Coolidge could have said would be this: “Let us focus our thoughts and energy on what we want to achieve. Let us find all the positive aspects of it and talk about that, think about that, and build momentum. As we use our thoughts and energies in this manner, we cannot lose. It is our focus and good feeling thoughts about what we are doing that will always come through.”
Now I try to teach salespeople to get happy and to focus on what they want. I want them to find ways to make it fun and to simply enjoy themselves. Sales is all about relationships: building them and nurturing them and maintaining them. It is about liking and loving people. It is about seeing how you can solve some of their problems with your product and/or services. It is about the sheer joy of learning about other people, their interests, their issues, their joys, and their wants or needs. It is about finding new friends, and we can always use more friends. It is about sharing. It is about caring. And if it isn’t done because you want to do this, it won’t last very long.
I want them to focus on what they want, why they want it and not so much about how they will get it, and for sure and for certain, I want them to stay focused there and not give any attention at all to what has not yet happened. When they focus on the fact that they only have 4 units out and their minimum expected is 8, focusing there will pretty much guarantee that 8 will not happen, because they are focusing on what they do not want, or rather, the lack of what they want. They are focused then on not being there yet and that only leads to more of not being there.
So, you might think this is all about salespeople today. It is about everything we do in life. It is about our relationships with our family, friends, co-workers, the world. It is about our dreams and how they can become a reality. It is about allowing things to come about rather than making them move. It is about letting go rather than holding on.
Resistance always comes with negative emotion. When you pay attention and notice that feeling and feel that tightness, tenseness, and the struggle as if you’re having a tug-o-war with something or someone, this is time to let go. Just drop the rope and let go. When it is a struggle, that is resistance, and this makes life hard. It creates illness. It creates all manner of negative things in our lives. When we let go and focus on what we want and why we want it without any attention to how we are going to get it, and then allow it into our lives, it flows and it feels good. Then the actions we take will come with far better results.
Struggle Or Joy? Hmmmm. . . .
Spread Some Joy Today–by focusing on what you want and enjoying yourself in the process.