Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in the world 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…”

While education has been a key factor in my own success, no amount of talent, genius, or education can be truly effective without persistence and commitment. When I find myself facing adversity, I reach inside and rely on my desire to achieve success despite that nervous feeling that says this could be a bumpy ride! Clearly I have benefited from the talents of teachers and mentors along the way who prepared me to be in a position where i could achieve. And there have been many people whose guidance, love, and confidence in me have been indispensable. But when the significant challenges in life create “headwinds,” persistence is the force to propel me onward.

There are countless valuable lessons that I’ve learned from mentors and others, but my favorite is that it’s not the mistake that matters but how you recover from the mistake. You can wallow in it and become defensive about the decision that led to the mistake, or you can learn from it and move on. Graceful recovery while correcting the problem is the best way to move forward. It shows others that you recognize that changing course sometimes is necessary. It also takes the focus off the mistake and points instead toward the solution.

There are other principles that are important to me: I try to remain true to myself and to the values that I learned early in life. I hold my set of personal ethics close in every decision I make, especially those decisions that I know can have a profound effect on others. I also tend to be direct so that others know where I stand.

My advice to other aspiring women is to remember persistence. Strive to achieve what you can with the persistence of one whose focus is unwavering, whose hopes are immeasurable, and whose tenacity is unbreakable.