A lesson in Perseverance and Persistence


Michael Waltrip 2008 Toyota Camry

Michael Waltrip 2008 Toyota Camry

A recent reference in the OMFG forum on Google + to a persistent NASCAR driver interested me so much that I decided to move away from stoicism as the topic for this post.

I have never been a great fan of NASCAR racing. because I was influenced in my formative years by British themed TV coverage of motor sport. Formula 1, rallying and Le Mans 24 hour endurance races were standard weekend entertainment, not oval track or drag racing.

Despite the lack of coverage, we were aware of the names of the major races in the USA,  the Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500.

As a youngster, Michael Waltrip got little support from the motor racing family he was born into. He had to make a start on his own which he did in go-karts and minor classes.

This is not a post about motor racing, if you want details of his steady and persistent progress, you can find them here on Wikipedia.

What is important is his perseverance, he competed in 462 cup races before his first win. He raced in 25 Consecutive Daytona 500 races. In a 30 year career, he competed in over 1000 races in 3 different series, had several bad accidents, was fined large sums for breaking the rules, lost sponsorships, had team officials suspended, cars confiscated.

After winning his first Daytona 500 in 2001, he learned that a mentor Dale Earnhardt Snr. had been killed in a crash in that race.

But he kept on going. He persevered, he won 16 races and had 241 top ten finishes.

Imagine if he had stopped after failing to win 400 races.

That’s Perseverance and Persistence.

Would you have the resolve to persevere after 462 losses?

Put’s our little daily setbacks into perspective doesn’t it?


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  3 comments for “A lesson in Perseverance and Persistence

  1. Roberta
    February 8, 2015 at 10:57 am

    IMHO Persistence or Perseverance are key to success in anything you do. Another way to say it is, Never Ever Give Up! If you want something bad enough you will do anything and everything to get it!!!! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  2. Philip Quintas
    February 13, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Peter and Roberta! I am 100% convinced that the only way to real and lasting success is through persistence in spite of a lack of support or innate ability, overcoming whatever obstacles one encounters along the way (both actual and perceived).

  3. February 13, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you both for your comments. The more I read about people overcoming obstacles and succeeding, the more convinced I become that those two values are the key. It seems to have been the case for most of recorded history, from biblical times, early advanced civilisations, through the middle ages to the modern era.

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