persistence, noun, the act of persisting, to refuse to give up, especially when faced with opposition or difficulty; to continue firmly or steadily in a chosen course or purpose.
Discipline provides the initiative to start, but persistence allows us to see a project through to conclusion. So many people are so close to achieving success when they quit.
Persistence demands an unwavering belief in yourself, your ideas, and your values. It is the ability to correctly say, “Yes, I can,” when you want to say, “No, I can’t.” It’s the inclination to shift into Drive rather than idle in Neutral. It’s having the will not to quit.
May the doors of opportunity open easily for you,
And the hinges be well lubricated.
May the windows of your dreams be pane-less,
Screened well and clear at all times.
May the world be yours,
Just don’t sit on your axis with it. -T.D.
Shifting for Ourselves
To be successful we must have a goal; otherwise, our thoughts and actions are just a hope or a dream that we think one day we might attain. We need a target to aim at so action can begin. This holds true not just for the big achievements in life, but also for everyday living. Most people don’t wake up in the morning saying, “I want to be the worst person I can be today.” Most of us want to be our best. But in order to be a good, better, or best person (and it all starts with each and every one of us), we need goals, and the desire to reach those goals.
Once you have determined your goals, don’t just keep them in your head. Write them down so you have a visual and tangible record, similar to a scorecard, and track your progress daily. Always keep sight of your long-term goals, and break them down into short-term goals to make them easier to achieve. The mini-successes will keep you motivated. By checking your goals daily, you reinforce that you have a goal, that you have a plan, that you desire progress, and that you are serious about REACHING your goal. That’s persistence. Although planning is essential, remember that starting on a path, even though it may not be the correct direction, can lead to the proper course. What matters is that you persisted and took the initiative to start, and somehow things seem to fall into place.
In the quest to replace bad habits and attain our personal goals, PERSISTENCE may require us to shift gears. When things are going well, we’re in high gear. For uphill climbs, we may need to shift into low gear. Blind curves require cautious clutching, and we should expect to go in reverse sometimes too. But motion — forward or backward — is still action and momentum.
The opposite of persistence is laziness, the static curse of mankind. When inaction strikes, or when you feel like throwing in the towel, ask yourself, “Is there a really good reason for what I’m doing (or not doing), or am I just being lazy?” Don’t let the paralyzing effect of laziness numb your sense of persistence. While it’s okay to park temporarily and review your map, eventually you must shift gears and keep driving. Progress toward a goal requires a sense of urgency, even about the little things, in order to have that healthy feeling of accomplishment. If you catch yourself not doing something that you should be doing in order to achieve your goal, simply START doing it. Then keep doing it – persistence — until the feeling goes away.
NOTE FROM GO SWIM: You can read more about Tom Drum, and order one of his fantastic Back-It Balls at www.tomdrum.com. Call Tom at 888-565-9559 for group/team discounts.