How Persistence is Helpful When You Need to Achieve Goals

By Reniel


Last Updated: November 2, 2021

Life is filled with endless possibilities and countless opportunities.

The only problem is that not all those possibilities or opportunities are accessible to us...or are they?

Marcus Aurelius once said,

"The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way."

To rephrase what he said, “the thing that is preventing you from taking actions – taking your shot at the opportunity, or simply doing what you want to do – is the very thing that you should be working on overcoming. It's what you must focus on getting over, it is by overcoming that challenge, limitation, resistance, mystery, or inadequacy that you would get what you desire”.

It appears backward. It seems counterintuitive that the obstacle is the path to be taken. Let me share an interesting story with you:

A lot of people know the story of Moses who – when leading his people through a wilderness – was trapped between an angry genocidal army and the Red Sea. As the story goes, Moses uses his staff to split the deep sea into two and leads his people across the dry path that appeared between the split of the sea.

It's a story that implies that you can literally overcome any challenge no matter how scary or impossible.

However, what many people do not know was that just before splitting the sea, Moses had run to God in prayers – asking him to help save them from certain death and destruction. But God had replied, “why do you cry unto me? Tell your people to match forward (towards the sea), and use your staff to divide the sea...”.

This extra information is profound in the sense that there was never an obstacle in the way; all that needed to be done was to “march forward”.


We Will Always Be Faced With Obstacles

Obstacles, impediments, and deep Red Seas are always standing in our ways, but they are never meant to deter us – at least, not all of them, and not when we have the capacity and ability to overcome the challenges. 

Always remember that even Moses didn’t know his staff (which he had all this while) could split seas. Just as so many people underestimate their capabilities. You might even be underestimating yourself right now, but it is okay. We all come to the realization of our potential when duty calls.

It's like when you go to a mall and stare at the huge doors which have no handles, and then decide to look for another door, without realizing that the door was designed to only open when you step towards and close enough to them. 


  • There are truly obstacles.
  • You really have to prove yourself.
  • You have to go through high waters.

While other times, there are no struggles – you may even be invited in, and maybe even pushed in. But you should also realize that few good doors are ever left ajar for everyone to walk through.

Sometimes there needs to be a test of your grit, desire, perseverance, and even patience. You just have to stand there knocking and knocking till the door is opened. Sometimes you have to push until something happens. In all, you must not be deterred or intimidated into abandoning an opportunity.

Read this next: How to Regain Momentum After Setbacks or Failures


Don't Let Failures Get in Your Way

Thomas Edison is credited with (and is now famous for) inventing the light bulb.

But prior to that – just before the invention and before his success, he had had to endure an inordinate amount of failure. In fact, he had tried out over a thousand ways to make the light bulb a possibility all to no avail...until one day it was.

And this is also why he is famous for the quote,

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

He wasn’t a quitter. Each failure made him look to the next attempt with even more eagerness, and hope.

We must not allow ourselves to be discouraged when things don’t go the way we anticipated. In fact, sometimes those challenges or obstacles prepare us for what lies ahead. We essentially learn from the errors of the past. We become better by each failed attempt, and we must not let all the lessons we’ve acquired over time be in vain.

Elon Musk says it best, he said,

“No. I don’t ever give up. I’d have to be dead or completely incapacitated”.

And on another occasion, he said,

“Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up.”

As we all know, Elon Musk is also famous for doing the seemingly impossible (think Electric cars, Reusable space rockets, Solar Cities, etc.)


Stick With it - Persistence Pays Off

A lot of successful people exist because they took bold steps and persevered. You don’t have to turn around when you encounter challenges, or when it seems to be taking too long. Stay at it.

Not every closed door is locked. Push!

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash


5 comments on “How Persistence is Helpful When You Need to Achieve Goals”

  1. The world is fallen and helpless. The covid has shown this. When things get better one things of doing things by themselves. Then they fail.Thank you for the excellent example of meeting obstacles with Moses. God had a special relationship with Israel. He did not make it easy just showing that they must rely on Him. Moses looked up to God for help. God just asked him to
    use what was in his hands the staff. In this fallen world there would be innumerable obstacles. As a first step we must looked to God and then use our God-given abilities to overcome

  2. There are aligned and unaligned actions...with my Inner Being. They move around like Hogwarts staircases, so I don't make up rules about them. I just look for alignment and if something feels difficult to do it may be because it's not aligned. So stopping is good. But sometimes something can feel very difficult an still be aligned. So I ask my Inner Being, " Is this aligned?? I'd I get a yes and it still feels hard to do I ask for Her help. Then it gets easier...sometimes quickly. Sometimes eventually. But that rapidity of appearance probably has more to do with my ability to perceive the solution She is offering, than in any delay in Her offering it.

  3. It brings to my mind one of Shakespeare's profound saying -
    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
    We have the ability to overcome our fear and procrastination to achieve our goals. All you need is Definite of Purpose, Burning Desire, Determination, Dedication and Discipline.

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