Nothing 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.


«Nothing 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


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11 thoughts on “Nothing 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.

  1. Persistence and determination are omnipotent? By “persistence and determination”, he presumably means doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein thought that a good word to describe *that* particular combination of character traits was “insanity”.

    I wonder how many people, deceived by this foolish and arrogant false assurance of a dead president of the USA, have wasted their lives persisting in determined efforts one day to become (for example) presidents of the USA themselves. This particular pompous moron died about 20 years before I was born. He would therefore have already discovered then, before my father had even met my mother, if he hadn’t already been humbled into sanity before his death, who alone it is that is “omnipotent”.

    “I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.”
    [Solomon the Wise, Ecclesiates 9:11, New Living Translation]

    1. Interesting perspective 😀

      My initial reaction was – ‘heck yeah!!’

      All hard work pays a profit. You made me look a little more and think a little more about the quote presented here – Thank you.

      Would you think that someone could read this to mean that if we do not have those two – ie – persistence and determination…it is fairly pointless having the rest?
      Perhaps the original authors ethos was not out of line or inferred a different meaning …honestly I would not know.

      When I read this, it made sense to me in that, if we are educated or talented or even a genius, if we do not persevere in LIFE and strive toward the things that will improve us as people…even if that means changing direction, we are highly unlikely to go ANYWHERE?
      If we are for example striving to be a writer (I use this as so many people on blogs are doing so)…then we can be as talented as we like – or as educated as we like – but if we are not willing to put in the grind and the work to achieve then it will NEVER happen.

      It STILL may never happen…chance plays out there…but surely the odds are that without perseverance and determination or persistence in striving for higher places within ourselves or our ambitions and goals…we shall accomplish nothing.

      All hard work pays a profit.
      A wise man thinks on his plans and changes them accordingly if needed. But he will STILL persist – determinedly toward the place he seeks.
      Seek first – all these things shall be added.

      1. You seem to be struggling with cognitive dissonance, having had two “heck yeah” moments.

        What Coolidge said wasn’t true, because it contained a generalisation (that perseverance always brings success) that obviously doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, and a near-blasphemous exaggeration (that perseverance bestows omnipotence). Yet it struck a chord with you. The rubbish he spoke reminded you of something you believed in your heart (that the race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that perseverance is worthwhile and virtuous, not, as Einstein put it, “insanity”). That struck chord gave you you’re “heck yeah” moment, because you didn’t *analyse* what was said, Right?

        You had a second “heck yeah” moment when I contradicted Coolidge, and quoted an equally foolish generalisation on the part of Albert Einstein.

        Talent, intelligence, education, persistence and determination all tend to improve the probability of success, so persistence is certainly not “insanity”. But not even talent, intelligence, education, persistence and determination put together bestow omnipotence. They don’t even guarantee success.

        Einstein’s “insanity” quote could be abused to persuade somebody who would collect a large money prize, if he was the first of two equally unskilled darts players to hit the bulls eye, to try a different technique – throwing the dart with his eyes closed for a change. Coolidge’s “omnipotence” quote would have the same darts player spending his winnings in a cellphone transaction between throws, because believed that he was bound to win the prize.

        If either Einstein or Coolidge was right, we wouldn’t need the expression, “Just give it your best shot.”

      2. Thank you for that in depth reply! Shew!
        My perspective is that we take what we can get form these things – there is always an element of truth in them…all be either swaying a little far one way or the other – we have to seek the middle ground?
        That is what I think anyway.
        That is the journey I suppose – finding the middle ground through understanding our own humanity.
        Learning which direction we are leaning toward…and balancing it out with truth.

      3. Idiotwriter – heck yeah !
        John Allman – In your opinion, opinions as I’m sure you’re aware are entirely subjective. You seem to have missed the point a little, which is “Charisma quotes” and as it says on the first page of my blog – “dedicated to Charisma”. A dissection of the quote author and his or her quote, doesn’t add much to it, if anything detracts from the positive intent which went into it. If I’d wanted a discussion/opinion post on “Calvin Coolidge” then I’d simply have titled it “Calvin Coolidge – Don Charisma’s opinion” with a write-up of him, what he said/did/was and then ask for people’s opinions. It’s how I do things on my blog, I do things my way.

        Regardless of Coolidge’s standing and reputation, mine or yours or anyone else’s opinion of him, of who he was, what he did and what he said, in my mind “persistence and determination” are two key factors in a happy and successful life. That’s my opinion, I’ve said it on posts before and I’ll say it again, and that’s why I posted this quote.

        I have, and continue to invest a great deal of time, effort and resources in this blog. Bottom line – Constructive input is welcomed on my blog John, it’s useful and helpful. As is mutual respect.

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