How do you pursue your dreams?

When it comes to following a dream or passion, are you a resister or a persister? Resisters take the outside in—criticism, rejection, lack of support—and quit running toward what they want. But persisters take the inside out, listening to their heart’s desire to stay motivated and moving toward what they want until they get it. Consider these examples:

In 1962, four nervous young musicians played their first record audition for the executives of the Decca Record company. The executives were not impressed. While turning down this group of musicians, one executive said, “We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.” The group was The Beatles.


In 1944, Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency, told modeling hopeful Norma Jean Baker, “You’d better learn secretarial work or else get married.” Marilyn Monroe ignored Ms. Snively’s career advice.


In 1954, Jimmy Denny, the Grand Ole Opry manager, fired a singer after one performance. He told him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” Elvis Presley stuck with music instead.


When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. Edison said, “I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.”


All of these are stories of persisters. They didn’t let what the naysayers on the outside were telling them. They listened to their hearts instead.


Sometimes it’s appropriate to lead with your head and let what you know lead you down the practical path. But don’t forget that you can lead with your heart, too, and let what you feel lead you down the passionate path. That won’t always be easy, but character cannot be developed quickly and quietly. Only through experiences of trial and hard work can the heart and soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. 


Will you resist or will you persist? Only you can be the judge about what’s best for you in any given circumstance. Not anyone else.


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