Persistence

Persistence
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Being a better you requires persistence.

Have you ever met two people who seem to have many of the same qualities but don’t share the same success? What’s the difference?

One of the most obvious traits is probably persistence.

What Does Persistence Mean?

Being persistent is the act of staying the course when when you have a goal or idea that you want to accomplish. 

Merriam-Webster defines the word persist as follows:

  • to go on resolutely or stubbornly in spite of opposition, importunity, or warning
  • obsolete to remain unchanged or fixed in a specified character, condition, or position
  • to be insistent in the repetition or pressing of an utterance (such as a question or an opinion)
  • to continue to exist especially past a usual, expected, or normal time

Here are some examples of persistence vs. not persistent

  • You make a suggestion at work about an improvement in a process
    • you mark your calendar to follow up if nothing happens and you bring the topic up again
    • you mark your calendar to follow up again if nothing happens. This time you also give thought to a new way of presenting it and it works
  • You make a suggestion at work about an improvement in a process
    • nothing happens so you complain that no one pays attention to your or just don’t do anything
  • You download a new video game and it’s really hard. You don’t know how you’ll ever win.
    • you look for tips on the internet and your play improves
    • you keep playing and practicing, each time noting new ways to improve
    • eventually you begin to enjoy the game
  • You download a new video game and it’s really hard. You don’t know how you’ll ever win.
  • You give up and download a new game that’s easier to play

Hopefully, you get the point here. If you really want something you have to work for it. Just because you have an idea that you think is great it doesn’t’ mean others will agree with you or be willing to help you. The important thing to remember is that other people are not against you. They are just not for you. There is a distinct difference between the two. If someone is against you the chances are you will not persuade them. If they are not for you they just don’t have enough information yet and you have some work to do to convince them.

Persistent or Stubborn

Be careful not to get persistent and stubborn confused. They are similar words but not the same. When your stubborn you can be persistent in your refusal to change. You can be unwilling to look for a solution that will create change. But being stubborn typically means your “digging in” and not open to change or even thinking about it. In other words, it’s my idea or suggestion and if you don’t like it, tough!

Suggestions To Improve Your Persistence

  • Create a way to ensure that you follow up. Make notes in your reminder app or calendar so you don’t forget to follow-up. 
  • Set up a “tickler” file in your email. When you send an email that you believe requires a response or action, put a copy in your “tickler” file. On that day you will open that file and see what actions you need to take.
  • Endeavor to make following up on things a priority. You can read about self help tips until you can’t see anymore but none of them will help until YOU make it a priority.

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