“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” Albert Einstein
In researching Mr. Einstein, I found that he felt that persistence was a great quality that made men appear great.
“Nothing in this 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
“The truth of the matter is that the people who succeed in the arts most often are the people who get up again after getting knocked down. Persistence is critical.” Scott Turow
Cha Sa-soon lived alone in the tiny mountain village of Sinchon in South Korea. She always wanted to learn to drive, but didn’t begin the process of trying to get a license until she was in her 60s. Needless to say it was – literally – a difficult road. Grandma Sa-soon failed the written portion, consisting of 40 multiple choice questions 949 times; the concept of many of the questions were confusing to her, being an elderly woman living in a remote village. Finally, on the 950th attempt she got a passing grade of 60 and moved on to the actual driver’s test which she only failed 4 times before getting passing marks.
Helen Keller and her persistent teacher Anne Sullivan overcame incredible obstacles in the 49 years they worked together. Helen wasn’t born deaf and blind, but came down with a mysterious illness when she was 18 months old in 1882. It left her without sight and sound at a crucial stage of development. After years of struggle, her parents were able to find Anne Sullivan, a recent graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind. By this time, Helen was extremely moody and difficult to reach. However, Anne steadfastly tried to teach Helen sign language by pressing the symbols into Helen’s palm. In a famous “eureka” moment, Anne was finally able to make Helen connect the letters W-A-T-E-R being written in one palm, with the water from a pump being poured on the other. From there, Helen began a lifelong journey to interact with the world around her. For 25 years she worked to improve her speech so others could understand her. She graduated cum laude from Radcliff in 1904 at 24, and wrote her first book, The Story of My Life, with the help of Sullivan and Sullivan’s future husband, John Macy.