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5 Quotes on Tenacity

One of the things I try and do with each theme is look for quotes that help explain it… and ask you to share yours.

Here are 5 on tenacity that I’ve come across:

Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward. ~ Amelia Earhart

Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper’s principle: “The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.” ~ Eric Sevareid

Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity ~ Louis Pasteur

I know of no such unquestionable badge and ensign of a sovereign mind as that of tenacity of purpose… Ralph Waldo Emerson

I particularly liked the fur trapper’s principle: “The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.”  It’s a good reminder to keep your focus down, and to keep on putting one foot in front of another.

Do you have any favourite quotes that capture ‘tenacity’ for you?

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  1. kathleen says:

    Those are great quotes, thanks! I found this one and it struck a chord.

    “Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.”
    - Malcolm Stevenson Forbes

    i have recently started applying the one step at a time, half hour at a time principal to various aspects of my life (from clearing out clutter to running 10km) with startling results! suddenly effort feels effortless! now to apply it to my writing!

    have a great week :)

  2. Robert Hruzek says:

    I’d define tenacity as perseverance. And that brings to mind one of my modern favorites:

    “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” - Newt Gingrich

  3. Brad Shorr says:

    One of my sales mentors gave me some great advice. He said, “Success in sales often boils down to just showing up.” Sales people tend to give up too quickly. If you keep at it, eventually you’ll make the sale. I think that applies to many things above and beyond sales.

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..The About Us Page - How to Write a Website, Chapter 2

  4. Joely Black (@TheCharmQuark on Twitter) says:

    I love the word tenacity, especially at the moment. It reminds me that even when I’m terrified, as long as I keep holding on, I keep making progress.

    Joely Black (@TheCharmQuark on Twitter)s last blog post..A post about the things I think about when I’m not sleeping

  5. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    kathleen That’s a great quote - captures the spirit of tenacity well. Good luck with the application of those principles to your writing this week.

    Robert, that’s great - it’s the bit about going beyond the point of tiredness and demotivation when so many people give up

    Brad, it does indeed apply to many things beyond sales. I can always tell when people ‘ show up’ in their writing (including me!)

    Joely, you know I love the word too. I loved the word “audacity” as well - they seem to roll around the tongue but give us courage too… You know if you’re scared it’s because you’re doing something big, or important… keep hanging in there!

  6. David Atkinson says:

    My favorite quote that capture ‘tenacity’ is by Franklin D. Roosevelt when he said…..

    “There is nothing I love as much as a good fight”.

    David Atkinsons last blog post..3 Bloggers I Would Love To Meet

  7. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    David, interesting, I don’t tend to think of these kind of creative challenges as a fight… maybe I should!

  8. Iain Broome
    Twitter: iainbroome

    I like this one from Thomas Henry Huxley:

    “Patience and tenacity of purpose are worth more than twice their weight of cleverness.”

    For me, tenacious writing is about patience, persistence and trusting your judgment. It’s about getting through the tough times without fuss and by simply getting stuck in.

    Like ol’ Huxers says.

    Iain Broomes last blog post..Write for Your Life Podcast #1: Me, me, me!

  9. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, I love the fur trapper’s principle and it’s one that became so real to me running marathons. My running coach encouraged us to focus on one step at a time rather than mentally running the whole race at one time. After running 18 miles this becomes particularly significant as 26.2 seems a lifetime away. My favorite writing tenacity quote is “butt in chair and write.” I’ve gone blank on the author who said it but it always perks me up and reminds me that whether I am feeling in the moment or not, I must plow through.

    Karen Swims last blog post..Someday is Today

  10. Michele says:

    Oh, I love the Louis Pasteur quote! These are great, Joanna. I think tenacity has run in my family for generations. My grandmother was overflowing with it. :-) LOL


    Micheles last blog post..25 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Me

  11. Alexander says:

    I do not know if this quote has to o with the post or subject, but I love sharing it with people because it is what we, as humans, should live by.

    “The way of the Warrior has been misunderstood…Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake…The real way of a Warrior is the way of peace, the power of love.”

    - Morihei Ueshiba

    Alexanders last blog post..Through The Dark Times We Must Overcome

  12. Gennaro says:

    The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. ~Author Unknown

    It’s easier to stop. To give up. At every turn there are ways out, but a little tenacity goes a long way. Tunnel vision isn’t always a good thing, but it sure is helpful with ignoring those parking spots and critics.

    When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
    ~Author Unknown

    We started January with an audacity of hope. An audacity to succeed. Hope is an ally of tenacity and a vaccine for self-doubt or pessimism.

  13. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Iain that’s a great addition - especially the link to purpose. I think that’s where the strength and doggedness really comes from. And yes, as he says, not getting caught up in cleverness :-)

    Karen, I think there are many situations when we need to narrow our focus on keep putting one foot of the other. So long as you’re sure you’re heading in the right direction! ‘Butt in chair’ is a great down to earth reminder to stop faffing and get on with it. Thanks :-)

    Michele your grandmother sounds like she’d have a lot to teach us :-)

  14. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Alexander I think it does make a connection, becaue I’m pretty sure the path of the warrior is a tenacious one :-)

    Gennaro, that’s a great quote on parking places! And side routes, and diversions… I love the way you’ve made the connection back to audacity. We need to be tenacious to make a reality of our audacious goals, but that hope, that audacity is what gives us the courage and confidence to keep going… and to succeed.

  15. Michele says:

    Oh, she was an amazing lady for sure! She passed away in 2001, but she lives on in my heart every single day. She taught me so much and I strive to share it-including sharing smiles every day to help brighten others’ lives. ;-)


    Micheles last blog post..25 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Me

  16. Dale says:

    I know this simply reeks of embroidery on the pillows of a thousand divans, yet I still love the Longfellowishness of it:

    The heights by great men reached and kept
    Were not attained by sudden flight,
    But they, while their companions slept,
    Were toiling upward in the night.

    - Longfellow, of course, and unforgivably patriarchal. But can’t you see the writer in the depth of night? Where else is the toiling so purely “upward”?

    Dales last blog post..Flexing the Assignment Out of Shape

  17. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Dale, no explanations required, and it’s great to hear from you again. I love the quote, and yes, I can see the writer in the depth of the night.

  18. wilson says:

    I’ve read Pasteur’s quote during high school, that’s why I’m quite familiar with this one, Joanna!

    “My strength lies solely in my tenacity!” For this, I’ve made a modification, “My determination and integrity lies solely in my tenacity!”

    wilsons last blog post..Your Body Type Determine Your Healthy Condition

  19. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Wilson, I love it that you are modifying quotes to suit your own purpose!

  20. Ben says:

    I like them! Tenacity is a very cool word. I more often think of the word perseverance when I think of pressing onward, but tenacity has a nicer ring to it. I’ll have to start using that word instead :)
    .-= Ben´s last blog ..Comment by Benjimester =-.

  21. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Ben it does have a good sound doesn’t it? I think it’s the ‘ity’ at the end ;-)