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Last week, I wrote about the positive power of persistence. I firmly believe of all the ingredients needed to live a happy, successful and prosperous life, persistence is the ingredient that should be listed first and most prominently in your recipe, followed by hope and optimism.

A friend, in speaking with me about my column, substituted the word perseverance for persistence. I corrected his mistaken word and my friend replied, “isn’t it the same thing?”

Always choose your words wisely and with purpose.

I’m careful about my word choices. You may occasionally question my interpretation of issues and events, but I try to be very clear in my meaning. Let me share what I believe the difference is between persistence and perseverance.

To me, perseverance is weathering the storm, while persistence is stepping out into the rain and shaking my sword at the clouds. Perseverance is waiting out the bad events while persistence is repeatedly trying to change the bad times into good — at least that is my interpretation.

How we interpret words and use them will dictate our feelings and actions. I certainly will always persevere, but I’ll be proactive in my persistence to make it better. Make sense?

How about the difference between respond and react?

I believe the difference in meaning of these two words is monumental. When I respond to problems, it is a thoughtful measured response. When I react to problems, it’s usually an emotional, knee-jerk reaction to something I didn’t expect. I always choose to respond and avoid reaction. I can be a big-time overreactor if I do not discipline myself. Instead I always strive to respond.

I believe what we speak about ourselves becomes our reality. “I’m not good enough.” “I’m not smart enough.” Speaking negativity about ourselves creates a reality that prohibits us from taking chances and moving forward. Always speak the good, the clean and the positive into existence about yourself. To do otherwise is purposely self-defeating.

Words have power.

In March 2017, I told Arlene, “I am a newspaper columnist.” I spoke it into existence, believed it and began creating a plan to give my words reality. It is said that if you wish to change the world pick up a pen. I am not trying to change the world, but I do write in my attempt to motivate, uplift and encourage readers to live a more optimistic and positive life.

In order to get my message seen, I must be persistent. This week my column will be seen in 34 newspapers. I began in April 2017 in a single publication. In November of that year, I decided to expand the reach of my column, and began mailing sample packets of my columns to the managing editors of newspapers across the country. I’d follow up by calling them and give them my pitch of why my column is important to their publication. Most do not take my phone call, but of those who read my sample packet and listen to my proposal, 34 said yes.

Sound simple enough? During most weeks I will spend 30-plus hours dialing to get managing editors on the phone. To speak to one person, I have to dial 30 numbers. I never give up until I get someone on the phone. Believe it or not, I am still dialing follow-up calls on packets I sent a year ago. It takes persistence to expand my column.

I could choose words like, “This is too hard” or “I don’t want to keep calling and be a pest” or “I can’t take the rejection!” Instead, I choose words that encourage me to keep on going. You are reading this column today because your managing editor said yes and because I decided I want to be read in 200 different newspapers a week — and I will be.

Choose powerful words of self-encouragement. And remember, there truly is no substitute for persistence.

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Gary W. Moore is a syndicated columnist, speaker and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

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