It took me 31 years of living to learn that the most important character trait you can develop is perseverance.
The good news is that you can learn this in one minute.
I’ve summarized my life experiences into 3 main points that highlight why perseverance is the single most important character trait for you to develop.
1. Perseverance leads to mastery
A sustained effort over time will typically lead to mastery.
When I first started writing, a few of my friends laughed at my books. Rightfully so. It was full of typos, had terrible grammar and pretty mundane content. None of it was spectacular.
The perfect word to describe it: Mediocre.
And the book sales reflected that.
People will often ask, “How did you manage to get published?”
The answer is simple: Perseverance.
I spent 2 years writing 6 books, 18 Quora posts and 30 editorial pitches before I got published by a major media site.
Over time my writing has improved dramatically. My writing volume has also increased. It used to take me a few days to write an article. Now I can write a short article in an hour and the quality is better.
This all happened because I stayed the course.
So when in doubt, always remember: persevere.
2. It makes you mentally stronger
I’ve failed a lot.
One of my first jobs, when I was in high school, was working as a salesperson at a tuxedo shop. A few months in, I missed one of my shifts and was fired. I was really upset at myself.
I once tried to be a professional writer. My first book was called “Push.” I think I sold a few Kindle copies. Mostly to family and friends. It was a long time ago.
Know what happened? I bounced back. For example, I ended up writing a second book called “The Resume is Dead.” It has over 40,000 Kindle downloads and hit #1 in the Resumes category.
I guess I could have quit writing. But why do that when it’s my passion? Better to learn from my mistakes and to keep improving.
At the end of the day, each of these experiences helped to shape me into who I am today.
Don’t spend time regretting your past. Do focus your energy on pushing forward.
3. It teaches patience
Success isn’t built overnight. It’s built over many nights. Sometimes years. That’s why you’ve got to be patient.
This doesn’t mean you don’t create and build with passion and intensity. You absolutely want that. But if you don’t have patience, you might end up giving up at a time when you’re just inches from success.
If you’re seeing meaningful progress and continued improvement, then it may make sense to continue to persevere.
When I first started writing the “The Resume is Dead,” I thought it would take a few months to finish it from beginning to end.
It took me an entire year. But despite all the times I got writer’s block or got a huge headache from proofreading the book, I never quit.
It’s the book I’m most proud of. And it was worth every minute.
Creating something worthwhile isn’t easy. Be patient.
This post was written by Nelson Wang and first appeared on Quora.
Nelson Wang is the founder of CEO Lifestyle where he helps entrepreneurs build a profitable, sustainable business. He founded 3 companies, traveled to over 100 cities, 19 countries, written an Amazon resumes bestseller, built 4 top 100 apps in Lifestyle, Business and Entertainment and his writing has been featured on Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Fortune, Time, The Huffington Post, PopSugar, Thought Catalog, LifeHack and Quartz.