“Nothing in the 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. The slogan, ‘press on’ has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.”
Technical skills are important these days, but personal qualities like persistence, courage, and patience can make just as big a difference in your career (and the rest of your life). You can develop each of these personal qualities much like you would a technical skill in order to improve yourself.
In today’s impulsive, fast-moving, chaotic world, you can make a difference by being calm, cool, and collected. Patience helps cultivate this rational thinking. For example, if you’re in customer service or hospitality, or just working with a difficult team member, patience will set you apart from the rest of your peers and keep other people happy.
The next time you feel an angry impulse coming on, don’t give in to it. Try to remember, expressing it won’t make it feel better. Even when you’re complaining about something, you could express yourself slowly and steadily, or burst and lose your temper. Both will likely achieve the same thing, but everyone will probably be less upset if you kept your temper in check.
Similarly, the next time you feel an urge arise—like the craving for an unhealthy snack, or a shortcut that could damage your work—don’t act on it right away. If you’re shopping, don’t give in to the impulse purchase (sales and discounts can make this tricky). Practice delaying your gratification to make better, well thought-out, decisions.