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person who will aid you in the development of PERSISTENCE. Some men who
have accumulated great fortunes, did so because of NECESSITY. They developed
the habit of PERSISTENCE, because they were so closely driven by circumstances, that they had to become persistent.
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR PERSISTENCE! It cannot be supplanted by
any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when
the going may seem difﬁcult and slow. Those who have cultivated the HABIT of
persistence seem to enjoy insurance against failure. No matter how many times
they are defeated, they ﬁnally arrive up toward the top of the ladder.
140 NAPOLEON HILL THINK AND GROW RICH Sometimes it appears that there is a hidden Guide whose duty is to test men
through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up after
defeat and keep on trying, arrive; and the world cries, “Bravo! I knew you could
do it!” The hidden Guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the
PERSISTENCE TEST. Those who can’t take it, simply do not make the grade.
Those who can “take it” are bountifully rewarded for their PERSISTENCE. They
receive, as their compensation, whatever goal they are pursuing. That is not all!
They receive something inﬁnitely more important than material compensationthe knowledge that
“EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT THE SEED OF AN EQUIVALENT ADVANTAGE.”
There are exceptions to this rule; a few people know from experience the soundness of persistence. They are the ones who have not accepted defeat as being anything more than temporary.
They are the ones whose DESIRES are so PERSISTENTLY APPLIED that defeat
is ﬁnally changed into victory. We who stand on the side-lines of Life see the overwhelmingly large number who go down in defeat, never to rise again. We see the
few who take the punishment of defeat as an urge to greater effort. These, fortunately, never learn to accept Life’s reverse gear. But what we DO NOT SEE, what
most of us never suspect of existing, is the silent but irresistible POWER which
comes to the rescue of those who ﬁght on in the face of discouragement. If we
speak of this power at all we call it PERSISTENCE, and let it go at that. One
thing we all know, if one does not possess PERSISTENCE, one does not achieve
noteworthy success in any calling.
As these lines are being written, I look up from my work, and see before me,
less than a block away, the great mysterious “Broadway,” the “Graveyard of Dead
Hopes,” and the “Front Porch of Opportunity.” From all over the world people
have come to Broadway, seeking fame, fortune, power, love, or whatever it is that
human beings call success. Once in a great while someone steps out from the
long procession of seekers, and the world hears that another person has mastered
Broadway. But Broadway is not easily nor quickly conquered. She acknowledges
talent, recognizes genius, pays off in money, only after one has refused to QUIT.
Then we know he has discovered the secret of how to conquer Broadway. The
secret is always inseparably attached to one word, PERSISTENCE! 141...
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