American politician Newt Gingrich once said: "Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."
Perseverance is resolve, determination and tenacity. More than endurance, it means a steady and continued action or belief, usually over a long period and despite difficulties or setbacks.
Can you think of a situation that happened in your life, that caused you to pull this quality out of your tool kit?
Can you think of a time when you perhaps could have pulled this quality out, but for whatever reason didn’t? Perhaps quitting a course, giving up on a friendship, breaking a commitment. Did it leave you with a feeling of regret?
There is a fine line between being obstinate, which has a more inflexible connotation, and being persistent. The obstinate person won’t take no for an answer, they are often stubborn and refuse to change. The persistent person believes in the long-term vision and is therefore more motivated to continue the climb, even if it’s uphill. It is much easier to be persistent if you believe that the greater good will arise from the situation.
The world is full of success stories from people who gave it one more try, who didn’t give up, who looked for one more right answer.
Persistence is not an inborn quality, it is something that we need to practice and develop, nurture and cultivate.
A wise friend of mine told her son when he wanted to quit his music lessons, that if he could find one person who quit their music lessons and did NOT regret it, then he could quit his, too. It’s no surprise that he couldn’t find a soul who was happy that they had quit, yours truly included. They all wished they had persevered through the tough times and carried on to reap the rewards.
Sometimes we don’t have the persistence ourselves and that is where a very supportive "everybody" comes in very handy. For example, let’s take a sport, say running. You give it a try for the first time, and set a goal of running a 10-kilometre fun run in two months. After a week, the novelty has worn off, you are tired, discouraged and have aches and pains.
About 90% of people would say I’m not a runner and that’s the end of the story. The other 10% might ask for some help from someone positive in a position to help and encourage them, reassess their training and keep at it until one day, you stop pretending you are a runner and you actually ARE one.
What’s on the back burner that you have given up on? Where could persistence make the biggest difference in your life?
PERSEVERE. Paste up that word where you can see it, and let it provided you with the strength to carry on.
Stephanie Staples is a Winnipeg-based motivational speaker and the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success.
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