The Olive Tree and the Nature of Persistence

Persistence is an art you will need to master if you set out to achieve something great in this life.

These days, we quit WAY too early. Why?

Well, partially because we have the successes of others blasted in our faces on a daily basis. Ads, posts, stories, and videos come through our news feed by the thousands — and the only thing tougher than sucking at something is… seeing someone else be really good at it! In business, life, and our relationships, we now have a constant measuring stick to compare ourselves to. 

Another reason is because, well… it’s hard to persist. To work on something and see no results; to put our hearts into a thing and still not see our labor yield any fruits. It takes a special kind of crazy to continue chasing after something even after we’ve failed a thousand times. Like Sylvester Stallone once was when he harassed movie agents. Or like Thomas Edison once did, when he created the light bulb after a thousand failed attempts.

The Olive Tree and the Nature of Persistence

The Olive Tree and the Nature of Persistence

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

– Calvin Coolidge

Persistence is not blind stubbornness; it is deliberate refusal

Persistence can only be mastered when one believes in their product, service, idea, or dream so much that they will not take “no” for an answer. 

It means to look someone dead in the eye when they tell you your idea sucks, and not walk away. It means to come back in the morning, and knock on the door of the very person who threw you out of their office the afternoon before. 

It is something that most people lack, and why so few live the kind of life they had once dreamed of living. 

This world is not divided up between the “successful” and “unsuccessful.” It is divided up between the people who quit, and those who refused to quit. 

What the olive tree teaches us about life

An olive tree can sometimes take five to eight years to produce fruit, and at times even longer. This means the farmer has to give his time, sweat, energy, and most importantly, his patience, long before he gets to see any fruit from his labor. 


He must remain persistent in his work, and trust that his patience will pay off. He does not change his approach on a whim, but must remain consistent in his actions. Every day he rises early and tills the land. He plants the seeds, he waters it, and he waits. 

The farmer continues to toil over it, even though the seed has shown no sign of emerging from the soil. Even after years of growth, still, the farmer does not reap a harvest. Yet he does not question the soil, the sun, or the seed. He only persists. 

Learn from the farmer

In any undertaking, in anything we struggle against, in anything worth accomplishing in this life, we must continue to pour into these things without ceasing. 

We must master this art of persistence if we are to achieve those things we merely dream of. 

Nothing great ever comes easy and when things are not easy, the key to victory is persistence. 


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