Your natural ability in life is largely predetermined. What you do with it is not. In my book Trajectory, I dedicate a chapter to "Persistence as a Differentiator." Persistence is essential to success, and the more of it you display, the more you will accomplish. It is persistence that will allow you to make the most of your ability.

In the spirit of persistence, I'm not going to give up easy and give you just 10 great quotes. Or even 20. Or 40. I'm going to persist and give you 52 great quotes! Why 52? Because I was targeting 50 and thought I would persist just a bit further. Find your favorite, print it, write it down, or bookmark this page, and then refer back to it next time you feel like you need a boost of energy or motivation. The list is ordered by first name--to give you an idea of how broadly the importance of persistence ranges among walks of life, this list consists of authors, sports icons, celebrities, politicians, business luminaries, scientists, and more!

  1. It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ~ Albert Einstein
  2. Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them. ~ Ann Landers
  3. To follow, without halt, one aim: There's the secret of success. ~ Anna Pavlova
  4. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle
  5. Energy and persistence conquer all things. ~ Benjamin Franklin
  6. As long as there's breath in You--Persist! ~ Bernard Kelvin Clive
  7. No great achievement is possible without persistent work. ~ Bertrand Russell
  8. Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. ~ Bill Bradley
  9. Champions keep playing until they get it right. ~ Billy Jean King
  10. My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories. ~ Bjorn Borg
  11. Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. ~ Calvin Coolidge
  12. Persistence and determination are always rewarded. ~ Christine Rice
  13. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence. ~ Colin Powell
  14. Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success. ~ Dale Carnegie
  15. Talent is nothing without persistence. ~ Dean Crawford
  16. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. ~ Elbert Hubbard
  17. Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries. ~ James A. Michener
  18. The most essential factor is persistence--the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come. ~ James Whitcomb Riley
  19. Money grows on the tree of persistence. ~ Japanese Proverb
  20. The key of persistence opens all doors closed by resistance ~ John Di Lemme
  21. Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. ~ Julie Andrews
  22. Slight persistent effort can move you successfully forward in anything you do. ~ Kelli Wilson
  23. Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. ~ Louis Pasteur
  24. P is for Persistence! Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Wishing will not; Talent will not; Genius will not; Education will not; Persistence is like a Genie that creates a magical force in your life. ~ Lucas Remmerswaal
  25. Persistence is the twin sister of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time. ~ Marabel Morgan
  26. If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  27. You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. ~ Maya Angelou
  28. Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. ~ Napoleon Hill
  29. Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel. ~ Napoleon Hill
  30. It always seems impossible until it is done. ~ Nelson Mandela
  31. Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. ~ Newt Gingrich
  32. Patience and persistence are the keys... The keys to unlock doors of success... With these two virtues, you grow in reasoning and experience. ~ Ogwo David Emenike
  33. Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone ~ Pablo Picasso
  34. He conquers who endures. ~ Persius
  35. Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  36. Press on. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. ~ Ray Kroc
  37. To persist with a goal, you must treasure the dream more than the costs of sacrifice to attain it. ~ Richelle E. Goodrich
  38. In my experience, nothing worthwhile has ever really been all that easy. But it certainly has been worthwhile regardless how difficult it seemed. ~ Robert Fanney
  39. If you do not have persistence then no amount of education, talent, or genius can make up for it. ~ Stephen Richards
  40. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense. ~ Thomas Edison
  41. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison
  42. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time. ~ Thomas Edison
  43. Permanence, perseverance, and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. ~ Thomas Carlyle
  44. With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable. ~ Thomas Foxwell Buxton
  45. I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. ~ Thomas Jefferson
  46. We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are. ~ Tobias Wolff
  47. All right Mister, let me tell you what winning means... you're willing to go longer, work harder, give more than anyone else. ~ Vincent Lombardi
  48. Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. ~ William James
  49. Continuous effort--not strength or intelligence--is the key to unlocking our potential. ~ Winston Churchill
  50. Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." ~ Winston Churchill
  51. Paralyze resistance with persistence. ~ Woody Hayes
  52. Consider the postage stamp: Its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. ~ Josh Billings

Do you have another awesome persistence quote you love that is not on the list? Add it below to share with others.