When we were children we all seemed to have heard the story about the tortoise and the hare. You know the race between the slow-moving turtle and the ever-agile very fast rabbit.

At the end of the story, the turtle won the race because the rabbit kept being distracted by other things and its own arrogance. The turtle won by simply staying focused and persistent in the goal of winning the race.  

We learned as children that it was the persistently focused individual that wins, not the hop around from this goal to another goal to another goal that wins the race of happiness and success.

The problem however of winning with self- discipline and persistence alone has too many other variables that seemed to be outside of the persistence focus.

Let’s take the average American worker. Well over 90% of them are employees. This, of course, means that their career future is more dependent on their current and former employers than themselves.

Downsize and corporate restructuring can occur over a weekend, and all the persistent planning and self-discipline of the individual will not help if they are part of layoffs. At least not in that company!

The other issue is being persistent in the wrong career. This is where most people find themselves. They landed in a job or career more by accident than by personal design.

They then stick it out for 40 years if they can bear it, and then hope they actually have the health to enjoy a long 20-year retirement! This is what their persistence brought to them. How is that a good plan?

Persistency for persistence sake will not necessarily create financial freedom and stability. If you are persistent in the wrong career, you may have a sense of security and happiness with financial stability. However, this translates for many that others have control of their future, not themselves.

We only have this one life to run that we know of, and running this life towards success is not a rehearsal, it is the real deal.

So you need to have self-discipline and be persistent about something in your life, but you have to add a few other ingredients.

So when we use the term persistence, we agree that it is the key to living debt-free or financial stability, but it has to be persistence coupled with passion coupled with profit coupled with self-reliance. That will equal success to a large degree and bring financial stability.

Persistence + Passion + Profit + Self-Reliance = Financial Freedom/Success

So let’s break this down.

1. You should create your life by design. You need to know what you are passionate about and what you want your life to be about.

2. Can you make money at it and be profitable? Most of the time, with a little bit of creative thought and energy, you can. Then you need to be persistent about this profitable passion by getting the right education, focus, and attention to it.

3. Be in control. It needs to be designed in such a way that whether you work for yourself or someone else, you remain in control of this persistent passion-filled profit-making enterprise that you created. You become more and more self-reliant.

When you properly mix these three ideas together and properly apply them, then your chances of reaching financial stability are very high. You may actually end up being the 1% of people on this earth that do become successful in their life’s pursuits.

This post originally appeared on Moneylogue.com