I was watching Waterworld the other day and in the one scene I spotted a familiar face. Someone who in 1995 (the year Waterworld was released) was a relatively unknown extra but through persistence has become a celebrity in his own right with over 90 acting credits to his name. This got me to thinking: if we are as persistent in our careers and he has been surely this will pay dividends?
Jack Black was not born into the Hollywood royalty, in fact quite the opposite. His parents were both satellite engineers who had worked on the Hubble space telescope and when Black decided to leave UCLA in his second year of studies to pursue a career in entertainment his father discontinued all financial support. Not an easy start but that is the story of most Hollywood hopefuls. Entertainment is a tough business and only through mastering your art and a good dose of persistence will you see any reward.
When we are persistent, we act with conviction and that energy draws us toward those people and events that help our dreams come to fruition. Even if they don’t show up exactly how we want or think they should or, we are met with obstacles and roadblocks along the way, it is the persistent pursuit of our goals that will eventually bring them into reality. This also holds true for our career goals.
What do you think would be different if you were more persistent in chasing your goals and dreams?
Take a moment and identify a goal you want to achieve. Next, choose a specific action that will need to take consistently to achieve this goal. The goal can be from any area of your life; professionally, personally, emtionaly, financially. Be crystal clear on the breakthrough and the specific action you’ll be taking. Finally pay close attention to how persistent you are in the pursuit of this breakthrough as you’ll need to find a balance.
Jack’s breakthrough was a starring role in High Fidelity in 2000 where he play the role of Barry, a wild employee in John Cusack’s record store. Leading up to this he had played small roles on a number of movies including Demolition Man, The Fan, The Neverending Story III to name but a few. The persistence had payed off as not only did he land this breakthrough role, he’d also been nominated for several awards including American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture and MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Male Performance.
The difference between people who succeed and those who fail is not talent but perseverance. Success goes to the person who can run that extra mile. For success to happen, you need patience and persistence, which me reminds of what Lewis Pugh said during a visit to DAV:
“Most of us give up at the 11th hour, often. And I think there’s nothing more unforgivable, for a number of reasons. Number one, because if you give up at the 11th hour you’ve wasted all those 11 hours, and number two, you just don’t realise how close you are to achieving your dreams and so many people give up just before. And quitting can become a habit, so it is one of the central themes, of having vasbyt.”
Take this message to heart, identify your goals, set a path and be damn persistent about it!