Recently I was reminded of a story about a young man who lived during the 1849 Gold Rush. An older, wiser man observed him passing by obvious ‘flecks’ of gold in the stream, and asked him why. The young man said he was searching for the big ‘nuggets’ of gold. The old man pulled out his pouch and said “The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth.”
What are the ‘flecks’ of gold that you are passing by in life? Are you looking for the big victory, but missing out on the many small wins that will bring you more happiness and success? Life-long accomplishment comes from the small, consistent wins along the way.
Throughout my life, I’ve been a big believer in the value of hard work—it’s one of three lessons from my youth that sunk deep into my soul. Everyone who takes an idea and makes it into something valuable does it through hard work. Tied very closely to hard word is perseverance, continuing forward without regard to discouragement, opposition or previous failure.
The downside to hard work and perseverance is they take time. Good things don’t happen overnight. Creating value, and creating meaning in your life, take time: time to start, time to build, time to realize the results.
If we let it, the amount of time it takes to build ideas into successes can be discouraging. However, if we move forward with a positive attitude, work hard and keep going, the successes will come. Slow starts can be challenging, but with perseverance they can be a tremendous blessing.
If you feel like you are stuck in a situation that you can’t easily overcome, keep at it, keep going, persevere. The value in hard work and perseverance shows through in your personal growth, the growth you spark in others, and the things you eventually—sometimes over a long period of time—achieve. Gather—and appreciate—the ‘flecks’ of gold that show up in your life. Don’t quit.
Questions: How has perseverance affected your work? Why is hard work important to you? Please leave a comment in the space below.
The Product Management Perspective: I know there are times you feel overwhelmed as a product manager—I’ve had many such experiences. The key to getting past those times is to keep at it, to persevere. Don’t give up on practicing the sound, proven product management practices. Your customers will thank you.