Through this unbelievable story of failure and persistence, you realize that behind every success is an uneasy path. There are fiasco, embarrassing efforts, barriers, setbacks and even, drastic changes of direction. It always is the first awkward steps on the road to be successful in anything you undertake.
This story began in December 2005; I was comfortable with what I had, even if I knew I wanted more. At the time, I lived in Ukraine with my first wife, Marina. I needed some legal documents from Belgium, and for that, I had to meet my evil father which I did not see for twenty-five years. So I was reluctant to go.
For a time, I tried my best to ignore that little voice in my mind. But then, something strange began to happen. The more I tried, the more it felt like something I needed to do.
So instead of fighting my feeling, I gave in and embraced it. I had to make a trip from Ukraine to Belgium without much money. At the start, I had no idea how I was going to deal with all the obstacles and failure. I just knew I needed persistence, and so I set a date and decided to go for it.
My Story of Failure and Persistence Begins
A few days beforehand, I wrote down my goal on ten small pieces of paper and put them everywhere around the house. I had sufficient money to take the train from the city of Lugansk to Kiev in the cheapest wagon. It carries fifty-four people with no real separated compartment.
I had to keep building persistence on the way. The only thing remaining now was to take action. I planned to make my trip step by step and deal with whatever came my way. Next, I knew that with so little finances, my back would be against the wall. This way, there could not be any second thoughts like backing up.
Comfort is the leading killer of success. Nevertheless, I proceeded. When I arrived in Kiev, in the train station, I went to ask how much would be a ticket to the closest town of the Polish border, and it was the city of Lvov. I then understood my failure; I did not have enough money to continue my voyage.
The Next Step in My Persistence
I asked the cashier if she could reduce the price of the ticket, but she categorically refused. Here was the first barrier, but my persistence was still unshakable. As I walked away, a man accosted me. He said that he was a train conductor and had overheard my predicament. And with what little finances I had, he will get me a place in the train to Lvov.
He told me to come back at noon on platform one near the last wagon and to pay him when I was on the train. So I sat outside in the sun waiting for time to pass by. I met the conductor at the time required and followed him in the train. He gave me a ticket, said that place 51 was mine, and I gave him the money I had left.
I left Kiev around twelve-thirty. Then I tried to sell my watch to people on the train to reach the city of Warsaw, Poland but no one was remotely interested. It was another failure, but I had persistence. However, I understood that I would have no other choice but get off the train when on the border.
Persist or Fail
In the middle of the night, the train stopped two kilometers from the Polish border. The staff had to change the size of the wheels as in Europe the length of the train tracks differs from those in the former Soviet Union. While at the same time, the passport control agents passed by and asked for my passport.
At this point in my story, I will quickly summarize a couple of obstacles as to how my persistence resisted and overcame them. Ukrainian customs tried to get money from me as they usually do. But I was ready for that.
In Kiev before taking the train, I went to the police and told them that I had lost my wallet and was without money or credit cards. So they had to register my complaint and give me a document certifying that I had no money. I showed that paper to customs, and they left me without a word.
Persistence Opens the Door
The train conductor told me that it was time for me to get off the train. When I got off, it was a cold minus 16° Celsius (3° Fahrenheit). As I saw the lights of the Polish border, I started to walk along the road to get there not knowing what to do next. So far, I avoided failure and the barriers in my way.
When I arrived on the border, I waited close to the cars that were leaving after customs check. I waited now for thirty minutes in the freezing cold and for persistence to open the door. Suddenly, a Polish customs agent came out of the guard post and asked me what I was doing there, waiting.
I somewhat explained my situation. The agent said that he would try to help me find a vehicle that was going towards Belgium. I saw him talk and ask so many cars to take me on board but no one accepted. As a result, I waited two more hours in the cold, but I remained strong. I then realized my eyes brows were frozen as well as my eyes lashes.
Persistence and Failure – Factors of Success
But I was determined, like a candle which refused to go off, even when it feels surrounded by a dark storm. A bus stopped, and the Polish customs agent called me up inviting to sit on the front of the bus going to Warsaw. How grateful I was for this young man!
It would take around four hours to reach Warsaw, and I did not want to think at that instant how to get further on my trip. I just wanted to rest for a while and let everything go, so I did. Yet, I had escaped another failure.
I can never be sure if it is the pattern of the subconscious brain, or if it is the law of attraction. But what I do know is that if you set any goal and have undeniable persistence, it finds a way when failure arises, and success is pretty much guaranteed.
A Summary of Persistence, Failure, and Belief
It was around eight o’clock in the morning when we arrived at destination, the train station in the center of Warsaw, Poland. But more was to come to test my persistence and see if I could persist over failure. And like it is such a long story, I will continue part two in next Saturday’s post.
It is the ultimate success formula as any success expert would call it. I also call it the law of attraction. You may call it the will of God if you wish. Name it whatever you believe it to be. But you need to realize that if you want something, anything, you can accomplish it.
No matter if you believe in the afterlife, you live only once as far as I know and time is running out fast. So be who you want to be and have persistence in all that you desire. It is better to try your best, rather than to have regrets when on your deathbed. So accept failure and make persistence part of your life.
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Sergei VanBellinghen, Founder & CEO of First-Class Lifestyle, currently a Personal Growth & Success Expert Consultant, using self-development techniques to help you succeed and have a better life. Visit my personal growth page or check who is Sergei