Success takes 10 years – capturing Osama bin Laden

PERSIST is the 8th trait for success, and one of the big things we need to persist through is time, because there is no overnight success. The number that keeps coming up in my research is 10 years to succeed at anything.

It takes 10 years for dancers to develop, surgeons to be trained, and surfers to ride the big waves we see on TV. It took 10 years for Einstein to come up with E=mc² and 10 years for the BlackBerry to be developed. Google founder Larry Page told me it took 10 years to make the Google search engine a success. He said, “It takes a long time to do these things and a lot of success is just due to the amount of time you put into it.”

My book shows many more 10-year success stories, and now there’s another one to add to the list. It’s not a person’s success or a company’s success; it’s a country’s success. It took the United States 10 years to succeed at capturing Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks in 2001. To be exact, it took 3454 days. Schoolteacher Gary Weddle knows, because when 911 shook the world he was so upset he forgot to shave – and then he vowed not to shave again until Osama bin Laden was caught.

So a big Persistence Award goes to all those in the U.S. military who hung-in for the 10 years it took to finally track down the world’s most wanted man – and to you Gary for persisting with your vow. Congratulations on finally shaving off your decade-long beard. You look 10 years younger.

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