A recent blog post written by my associate, Carol McKibben, really captured my interest. It outlined how her persistence had brought her success in life.

I have numerous friends who, through hard work and persistence, have achieved great success. I think President Calvin Coolidge stated it best in his famous quote:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people 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.”

I know that my own persistence has taken me further than I had anticipated. This all got me to thinking about how does a person become persistent? If not really inclined to do so, what will give individuals the ability to develop persistence?

Here’s the action plan:

» Set a definite goal or purpose

This needs to be backed up by a burning desire to fulfill the goal.

» Develop a definite plan

It never hurts to write your plan out. What steps will it take to get from A to Z and achieve the goal? Follow each step to completion — all the way through from beginning to end.

» Keep a positive attitude

Along with that goes a mind that is tightly closed to negativity. Don’t let self-doubt or setbacks stop you. Even if everyone around you is telling you “it can’t be done.”

» Create friendly alliances

Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams. Find people who will encourage you, support you and help you follow through with both plan and purpose.

Don’t take my word for it. This action plan above is paraphrased from Napoleon Hill’s best-seller, Think and Grow Rich.

Originally published in 1937 and inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie, the title implies that the book deals with how to get rich. According to Hill, however, the philosophy taught in his book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and do or be almost anything they want. (Note: By 2011, this book had sold more than 70 million copies.)

What I’ve outlined above is part of the essence of the book. It’s worked for millions of people. Why not you?

— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for good manners and job search success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or to buy the book.  Follow John on Facebook and Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have an etiquette question? ASK John at johnKeyClass@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are his own.