11 Aug Perseverance
In my discussions about change, I present many ideas and concepts that I use to keep me moving forward. One of the most powerful mindsets is the ability to persevere.
What is perseverance? To me it is the will to keep going in face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It is a powerful force, but exceedingly rare. Why? Because the obstacles blocking your way are real or perceived physical, emotional or psychological barriers erected to block your path. The obstacles can shadow all the skills, passion, commitment you have preventing you from getting where you want to go.
The things we truly want in life are often so dam hard to achieve. It’s like a Salmon spawning run. 100,000 fish congregate in the ocean in front of a river mouth. They have the passion to spawn thanks to their DNA.
That first fish to swim into the river and head upstream is committed as well as the next 99,999 fish. The fish have to navigate past fisherman, bears, rapids, waterfalls, dams etc. but only a few will persevere and reach the spawning ground. Many say they are lucky. Yes, luck does play a small part in their success.
However the bigger factor is their drive to continue is greater than their desire to quit. In formula form:
Perseverance = drive to continue > desire to quit.
What is the drive to continue?
It is an inner feeling (the positive force) that delivers one more burst of energy when your conscience says you can do no more. It can be enough energy to take one more step in rehab, last one more day without smoking, practice that last time in your favorite activity, make one more call to find a job, surviving one more day in a prison camp. It’s the action of doing one more activity when you have no more effort left in you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
Then what is desire to quit?
It’s that voice in your head that says enough, I cannot do this, why am I doing this, I cannot, I won’t, it doesn’t matter, I never win anyway, I’m not good enough, I’m not _________ (fill in the blank).
It’s the voice that says just quit. It’s one of your inner demons.
If perseverance requires the drive to continue to be greater than desire to quit, and if so few people persevere. Then logic requires most people’s desire to quit being naturally larger than their drive to continue.
That leaves 3 possibilities if you want to learn to persevere.
- Build your drive to continue so it overcomes your desire to quit.
- Reduce your desire to quit below your drive to continue.
- Build your drive to continue while reducing your desire to quit.
I like choice 3 and have used it to achieve many goals in my life.
Understand that the drive to continue can be increased by having a plan that builds your energy and strength one tiny step at a time over a period of time. Because this option takes an extended period of time, only focusing on this allows the desire to quit demons the opportunity to attack you daily. And it is this relentless and consistent assault that is powerful enough to stop all forward progress.
Only working on reducing the desire to quit requires a lot of effort to control your mind. It can be done on the conscience level, but is exceedingly hard on the subconscious level. How many people can tell their mind to stop a thought process like quitting a negative activity cold turkey? Just ask the millions of dead cigarette smokers how hard this option is.
That is why I believe, you have to build your inner strength and energy while retraining your mind to focus on a positive future with minimal look back in the rearview mirror of your past. Over a period of time you will have that breakthrough called success. You will have persevered.
Can you remember the last time you preserved and got to where you wanted to be in life? And if you have never persevered are you ready to try?
I decided I had to cook the other day, one of the dishes I made was stuffed poblano peppers. I stuffed them with seasoned cooked ground pork, pan fried cubed kosher salami, (Yes my life is full of contradictions), fresh mozzarella and feta cheese, onions, and homemade tomato sauce. Also there were 10+ spices from smoked paprika to sage. The last 10 minutes I ladled some more tomato sauce on top. My family food critics gave them a restaurant quality rating and are waiting for the next batch.
Random Picture Porn
This picture has a subliminal meaning and is appropriate when talking about perseverance. It was take last week on the beach at Lake Michigan by my house. Sometimes even the jaws of death cannot persevere and are consumed by what they deliver.