The Unstoppable Journey: Unleashing the Power of Tenacity 

“Why don’t you throw in the towel? It’s just not working for you,” I’d often tease my dad as a kid, watching him hunched over some contraption he was determined to fix. But my little jabs didn’t faze him one bit. He stayed locked in, laser-focused, surveying the mess of scattered parts on the floor or table. Giving up? That was simply not in his vocabulary. 

I witnessed him dissecting that gadget, pouring hours upon hours into deep contemplation. He’d chow down, catch some shut-eye, come home from work, and dive right back into his mission. Days turned into nights, and his once-free time became entirely consumed by this obsession. But he pressed on, unyielding, until victory was his. 

Now, mind you, he wasn’t a master mechanic or some DIY guru. Heck, he didn’t have a lick of experience or even the Internet to lend a helping hand. But you know what he had in spades? Pure, unadulterated persistence. There was a moment when I mustered up the courage to ask, “Do you even know how to fix it, Dad?” And you know what he said, with a twinkle in his eye? “Kid, I have no clue. But mark my words—I’ll find a way.” And find a way, he did. 

Was I in awe of him? You betcha. Countless times, when that little voice in my head starts whispering, “Why the heck don’t you give up? It’s obvious things aren’t working out,” my mind instantly drifts to my old man. And like magic, a surge of unshakable self-belief surges through my veins, giving me the kick, I need to keep pushing forward. It’s like someone pumped me full of confidence juice, revving up my determination to make things happen. Three, two, one… Let’s do this! 

And let’s be real, if I asked each and every one of you right now, “Who’s the person that lights your fire? Whose success makes you go ‘Wow’?” I guarantee the answers would be all over the map. Some might shout out athletes, business hotshots, creative geniuses, while others might point to their own folks, neighbors, or buddies. It doesn’t matter where they come from or what cards life dealt them – they all share a secret weapon: tenacity

What Is Tenacity? (Wrong Answers Only) 

How would you define perseverance? I would say: It’s the unstoppable drive of a toddler wanting another cookie and refusing to take ‘no’ for an answer. Or it’s like attempting to assemble furniture without the instructions, but with a big smile on your face, or it’s the endurance of a marathon runner chasing a pizza delivery guy (and still crossing the finish line).  

In life, we encounter numerous examples of tenacity, which serve not only to inspire us but also to bring laughter and impart valuable lessons. When we delve into the true definition of this trait, we find the following: Perseverance is a mindset that empowers us to pursue our goals despite obstacles, temporary setbacks, or other inconveniences. It involves steadfastly withholding our opinions or decisions previously made. It is the unwavering ability to endure, persist, and strive continuously towards what we desire or aim to achieve. 

“Tenacity is when you follow your heart – when the whole world is screaming to get back into your head” 

According to Forbes, tenacity is a fierce blend of determination, persistence, and grit. It is an attribute that can mean the difference between failure and success and can take a team from “doing all right” to “thriving”. Many authors describe tenacity as the ability to persevere when confronted with a challenge, and the ability to learn from mistakes with a readiness to try again. Tenacious people bounce back from disappointments and difficulties by drawing on a strong physical, mental, and emotional spirit that enables them to keep going in the face of hardships and limitations. They develop and demonstrate discipline, determination, grit, and resilience which pushes them beyond their perceived limits.    

When it comes to perseverance, authors have different takes on the matter. Some say it’s something you’re born with, like an inbuilt superpower that sets you apart from the rest. They argue that if you don’t have it naturally, you better focus on developing other qualities to reach success. But hold on, there’s another side to the story. 

On the flip side, those who are blessed with an unwavering spirit of perseverance aren’t off the hook either. See, it’s not just about pushing through no matter what. Some wise people out there reckon that perseverance alone isn’t enough to unlock the doors to success. You need that spark, that fire in your belly—a genuine passion for what you’re doing. It’s like having an extra turbo boost that propels you beyond the limits of mere perseverance. 

So, whether it’s inborn or something you cultivate, one thing’s for sure: Tenacity is just one piece of the puzzle. It takes a whole lot more to make those dreams come true.  

While researching this topic, I particularly liked how Nancy Eberhardt defined tenacity in her article for Forbes. She said “Many factors contribute to career and organizational success: training or education; depth and breadth of experience; networking, connections, and mentorship. Yet when I ask leaders about their single greatest factor for success, I consistently hear some variation of tenacity:  

“Hanging in there” “Going toe-to-toe” or “Sticking with it.” 

In the article, she also provided great examples that help us understand why this value has become crucial in the business world as well.  

Fueling Success with Grit: Why Tenacity is the Key to Thriving in the Workplace? 

In the world of business, building your career, running your own gig, or being part of a team, you’re bound to encounter more crises than you can shake a stick at. People who can handle those tough situations, overcome them without losing their cool, and come out stronger than ever? They’re the real deal—strong, capable, and steady as a rock.  

These qualities are essential for survival in today’s crazy world. You don’t want to get lost, disheartened, or crack under the pressure of modern life and business. We’re expected to constantly learn new skills, all while the looming threat of unemployment hangs over us like a dark cloud. But here’s the thing: not everyone is naturally stable, adaptable, and persistent. That’s okay! These traits can be acquired, learned, and developed over time.  

Identifying the right people is a major challenge for ambitious businesses, believes Roy Gori in his article about the growing importance of tenacity in the work environment. He says that Jim Collins, American author and business consultant, emphasizes the importance of prioritizing ‘who’ over ‘where’ and ‘what’. Traditionally, intelligence quotient (IQ) was the focus, but its limitations became evident, leading to the recognition of emotional intelligence (EQ) in the 1990s. 

Today, a broader perspective is needed. IQ and EQ are essential but insufficient in our fast-changing world. Social, economic, and technological transformations demand new leadership skills. By 2030, the global middle class will double, with Asia leading the way. Online connectivity shapes how people interact and shop, presenting vast opportunities. 

To seize these opportunities, businesses must embrace change and expect disruptions. It all hinges on having the right people—those with unwavering commitment, drive, self-belief, patience, and the ability to learn and grow from setbacks. Tomorrow’s leaders will be defined by their tenacity, their high tenacity quotient (TQ). They will fearlessly navigate challenges, dead-ends, roadblocks, and failures, shaping a brighter future. 

Mastering Tenacity: 10 Steps to Excel in Your Career 

1. Ignite Your Inner Purpose 
Life’s all about finding your groove. It’s about having a clear sense of purpose, understanding why you do what you do and what you want out of it all. It’s like having this awesome vision that gives your existence a kick. And that meaning is not just limited to one area of life. You got to sprinkle it everywhere – your work, your relationships, your family, your pals, your hobbies.  

Here’s the secret sauce: when you’re purpose-driven, you don’t let despair bring you down. Nope, you’re a champ who relies on their inner fire. You crave meaning, and that’s your trusty compass. Life throws curveballs? No problemo! You roll with the changes, find meaning in them and feel satisfied with how it all pans out. 

2. Love What You’re Doing 
When you’re head over heels for what you do, it’s like having a secret superpower at the workplace. Your love ignites a fire in your belly, giving you the grit to conquer any obstacle that dares cross your path. It’s that passion that pushes you to go above and beyond, even when the going gets tough. And when you’re all in, it breeds resilience, sparks your creativity, and fuels your drive to always reach for the stars. It’s the secret sauce that turns work into a thrilling adventure, where every step brings fulfillment and rewards. 

3. Gain Control by Letting Go 
Trying to control every single thing is a recipe for disaster. It’s like playing a never-ending game of stress and losing your cool. Stability and perseverance come from finding your true sense of control. You got to know what’s in your power and what’s out of your hands. You can totally control your own actions and reactions, even when life throws curveballs at you. It may seem like a teeny-tiny zone and all you need to rock your life like a boss. So, loosen that grip and focus on what you can handle. It’s the ultimate game-changer! 

4. Embrace Failure as a Launchpad 
Zig Ziglar, the self-improvement guru extraordinaire, wasn’t always living the high life. He had a wife, a kid, and a run-down apartment. Life was tough. In one crazy moment, his wife called him at work, freaking out because they had no utilities.  

Now, you’d think this would be a total disaster, right? But hold up! This setback actually lit a fire under Zig’s behind. He hustled like never before, not just to get back on track but to become the top dog salesman in his company. That poverty-induced fire? It turned Zig into a boiling powerhouse. And if he was still chilling with his folks, we might have never heard of Zig Ziglar. 

5. Foster Confidence and Nurture Optimism 
You have got to believe in yourself, trust that you can handle anything that comes your way. You’ve got the power to figure things out and get your act together, no matter what. If there’s something you don’t know, don’t sweat it, you’ll learn it. Those fears? You’ll face them head-on, conquer them, and show them who’s boss. You’ll discover yourself in every situation, following your inner compass – the need to craft your own life. And guess what? You’re the only one who can make it happen. 

Also, you can’t let negativity and doom-and-gloom thinking rule your mind. If you’re always expecting the worst, don’t expect the best to magically appear. Optimism isn’t about being blind or clueless about the challenges ahead. It’s about having the strength to tackle them head-on, finding the silver linings in every situation, something positive to cling to as you keep forging your path. It’s all about conquering those obstacles and pushing forward with a hopeful mindset. 

6. Tame Your Distractions 
Imagine checking social media, email, and texts a total of 50 times in a day. That’s not uncommon considering the average person spends 5 hours on their smartphones daily. Don’t underestimate your own habits—keep tabs tomorrow and see for yourself. 

Interrupting yourself around 3 times per waking hour, or even 30 checks in total, is detrimental to your focus and productivity. Minimize distractions by following this rule: if it doesn’t provide tangible value, don’t do it. 

Salespeople, and most people in general, find that checking email and texts 3 to 5 times a day is sufficient. Allocate 5-10 minutes for these tasks and schedule them as goals. For social media, try eliminating it for a week and reintroduce it in scheduled doses. This approach will preserve your focus and tenacity. 

7. Build a Strong Support System 
Steadfast individuals understand that they don’t have to face challenging times alone. Seeking support from trusted companions is an integral part of maintaining stability when it’s shaken. Sometimes, simply knowing that someone stands by your side, willing to assist in any way you need, provides a sense of security. It eliminates the fear of failure and empowers you to confront obstacles, explore solutions, and navigate through them, even without explicitly asking for assistance. 

8. Cultivate the Power of Adaptability 
Stability lies in the qualities of elasticity, flexibility, and adaptability. It’s not about rigidly remaining in one place like an immovable rock. Instead, it stems from a resilient spirit that can adjust to circumstances, embrace the new, and reorient itself without feeling threatened by emerging demands. 

While rocks crack and crumble during an earthquake, something elastic and adaptable maintains its essential nature, even under pressure. It may bend, stretch, and contract, but it has the ability to return to its original form and withstand external forces without breaking. 

Adaptation entails tolerating temporary conditions that may be unsuitable, such as an unstimulating or insecure work environment and relationships. This is done until you can orient yourself and discover optimal ways to function in the new situation. Alternatively, you may choose not to tolerate and adapt, but instead seek something better suited to your needs. 

9. Leverage Humor as a Resilience Booster 
When life takes a turn for the bleak and hopeless, humor swoops in like a caped crusader to save the day. Suddenly, everything transforms into a hilarious spectacle. The darkness and hopelessness? Poof! Gone! Now, it’s all just one big comedy show. 

Stable and persistent folks have mastered the art of laughing at themselves. It’s like flexing their humor muscles, the ultimate strength training. So go ahead, chuckle at your own silly antics and quirks. Embrace the absurdity of it all and watch as stability and perseverance become your trusty sidekicks on this wild and funny journey called life. 

10. Prioritize Your Well-being for Lasting Success 
Taking care of yourself is crucial because being in good shape and optimal health enables you to tackle work challenges, withstand the pressures of modern life, and function at your best. Sure, it may sound like added pressure, but here’s the secret: when you’re aware of the need for self-care, including rest, healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation, it becomes an act of self-love. It’s all about finding that sweet spot of balance and tranquility. 

Now, let’s be real. Being stable and persistent doesn’t mean you become an invincible stress-fighting machine, impervious to frustration, fear, and negativity. However, it does equip you with the mental, psychological, and emotional readiness to confront your own feelings and navigate demanding situations. It’s like reaching the ultimate level of preparedness that not only helps you survive a crisis but propels you forward in both your professional and personal growth.  

Unyielding Spirit: Extraordinary Examples of Tenacity in Sports, Science, and Life 

Throughout history, a multitude of remarkable individuals have left an indelible mark by unwaveringly pursuing their goals. Here are but a few inspiring examples of their enduring success:  

Thomas Edison 
Legend has it that Thomas Edison, the renowned inventor and father of the light bulb, once expressed his frustration after numerous failed attempts to find a suitable filament material. He exclaimed, “What a pity! So much searching and effort, all in vain!” To which an astute observer replied, “What do you mean ‘in vain’? Now you know more than 9,000 materials that won’t work!” 

Let’s set aside the intriguing insight that experience often involves learning what not to do. What truly stands out is that Edison tried over 9,000 times to solve the problem. With each attempt, he approached it with enthusiasm, hoping for improvement, only to experience failure over 9,000 times. And this is just in the context of inventing the light bulb, not accounting for all the other setbacks he faced in developing inventions like the phonograph, kinetoscope, carbon microphone, and other remarkable contributions to history. 

Edison’s persistence and eventual success serve as an example of tenacity. It should make us reflect on all the entrepreneurs who give up on their ventures at the first sign of serious challenges. I say this because I have encountered many individuals excited about numerous business opportunities, only to abandon their pursuits due to the “hardships” that every entrepreneur must face in a competitive market. 

Albert Einstein 
He famously said that there was nothing so remarkable about him except for his curiosity, which is another word for tenacity: The man stayed up for days at a time solving his mind-bending equations. 
In his later years, Albert Einstein became deeply engrossed in a seemingly impossible mission: finding a unified field theory. This theory aimed to connect gravity and electromagnetism with the subatomic forces described by quantum theory.  

Despite skepticism from colleagues, Einstein’s friend and fellow physicist, Leopold Infeld, recognized it as yet another manifestation of Einstein’s unwavering determination, a quality that had contributed to his greatness over the years. Infeld believed that Einstein’s genius was characterized by his tenacity and refusal to abandon a problem, even after years of grappling with it. 

And Infeld was correct. Einstein had possessed this trait since his youth. At the age of six, his father had gifted him a compass. While most children would have been briefly fascinated by its workings before moving on to something else, Einstein remained captivated by the mysterious force fields and their connection to electromagnetic and gravitational fields for the rest of his life. He tirelessly explored these concepts, even continuing his quest for a unified theory on his deathbed, scribbling field equations in the hope of unlocking the ultimate truth. 

Chris Nikic 
In a remarkable display of determination, Chris Nikic, an American amateur triathlete born in 1999, defied expectations and achieved extraordinary feats. At the age of 21 in 2020, he made history by becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. Undeterred by this incredible accomplishment, the 23-year-old American athlete went on to further defy the odds. He became the first World Championship finisher with Down Syndrome, solidifying his place as a trailblazer in the world of triathlons. 

When asked about his journey, Nikic shared his mantra: “1% better.” He revealed that he started by performing just one press-up, and then pushed himself to do one more, and one more, and one more. With unwavering determination, he continued to add repetitions, eventually reaching 500 push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. This relentless pursuit of improvement became the foundation of his training. 

Nikic’s father and coach, Nik, explained the essence of their approach: “You just start with one of something, and then do just one more, and one more, and one more, and you just keep doing it. Until one day, you’re doing an Ironman.” Their philosophy encapsulates the power of incremental progress and unwavering commitment. 

Chris Nikic’s extraordinary journey serves as a testament to the human spirit’s capacity for resilience and triumph. It exemplifies the remarkable possibilities that can be achieved through consistent effort and unwavering determination. His story inspires us all to embrace the power of perseverance, knowing that with each small step forward, we move closer to achieving greatness in our own lives. 

Is Brightmarbles Tenacious? 

At Brightmarbles, we hold tenacity in high regard, recognizing it as a valuable trait that can be nurtured within each of us. Alongside our other core values, we believe that tenacity leads to inner happiness and fosters a sense of satisfaction as team players. Life itself is a journey towards our goals, and it’s crucial that we don’t allow obstacles to deter us. Instead, let us embrace the spirit of overcoming challenges together, learning to leap over hurdles as a united force. By embodying tenacity, we can stride confidently towards success, celebrating our achievements and strengthening the bonds that make us an exceptional team at BrightMarbles. 

Indeed, I am a proud member of a team comprised of relentless individuals who refuse to surrender. Even in moments when self-assurance wavers and the temptation to abandon problems arises, our team, in the most uplifting manner, rallies those who are feeling discouraged, urging them to persevere. This ethos of unwavering support often extends to our personal lives as well. I can say with certainty that I will never again stand beside someone and ask, “Why don’t you give up?” Instead, I will admire their resilience, as well as my own. 

About Author 

Svetlana Kosić is a marketing specialist who holds a master’s degree in media design in education. With extensive experience in the IT industry, particularly in sales and marketing, Svetlana has honed her skills over the years. She has a profound passion for the written word and expresses her creativity through various outlets, including as a columnist. Svetlana is a staunch advocate against injustice and tirelessly works towards the positive change she desires.