Introduction to Persistence

My workout at gym class yesterday was nothing special; I went there at 4 just like I'm used to, and came back at 6 as I do every time. I pumped weights and did everything like I do every time. The only different thing about yesterday's gym class was that my leg was in a cast because of a sprained ankle!!!

Why did I go to the gym instead of rest in bed? Why didn't I wait until I fully recovered from my injury? That's what I call persistence!

What Is Persistence?

Persistence is not allowing anything to stop you from an activity once you start it unless it's something really severe. I find it really disappointing when I see someone brilliant and intelligent dropping an activity just one week after he started it because of a tiny obstacle that appeared in his way. A friend of mine stopped working out because he started work and the other dropped his computer courses because he felt over-worked!! When I asked them why they did these things, they replied with almost the same words! They both said that they no longer felt satisfied doing it and so dropped it.

If you're persistent only when you feel good about something, then you will surely drop one or more of your activities in the next down time. What people don't know about persistence is that you don't have to be feeling good when doing that particular thing. When I was at the gym, it was very difficult to move around and I had to bring a friend along to help me in doing most of the exercises. Persistence is simply going against your obstacles and your emotions and accomplishing your task under any conditions.

Don't Wait for Things to Change

Wanting to be persistent while waiting for your mood to stabilize will be like waiting for the wind to calm so that you could set sail. Yes, the wind may clam down eventually, but that may only happen after it's too late!! Life moves in cycles and you will face times when you aren't in the mood for anything. If you stop working whenever the cycle moves near the bottom, you will never complete an activity to the end.

To summarize this, go against your emotions and obstacles instead of waiting for them to move away from you. I know that sometimes things could be out of your control, but when it comes to not exercising because you couldn't find your training shoes, that's definitely not being persistent.

Persistence is an acquired skill and not some kind of gift. Simply by training yourself to be persistent, you will become a persistent person. Whatever you do affects your personality; if you keep dropping small activities because of small obstacles, you will end up dropping bigger activities because of even smaller obstacles. Whatever you train yourself to do will become a part of your personality.

Persistence and Flexibility

Some people think that persistence is trying the same method over and over until things get done. This is completely wrong! If you can't break the wall by punching it then don't keep punching. Go grab something to break it down with, bring your friends to help you or use dynamite. The idea is to avoid repeating a method if it proves unsuccessful but not let go of the main goal; in this case breaking the wall!!

How to Be Persistent?

To summarize it all, these are the guidelines for becoming persistent:

* Holding on even if you feel like quitting: In other words, disregard your emotions.

* Keep your goal in sight: If you don't visualize your reward, what will push you on, against your emotions and personal comfort, to accomplish anything?

* Don't ignore small situations: Be persistent when doing even small tasks. This will be reflected in your behavior and your personality when you face bigger situations.

* Be flexible: Don't keep punching the wall:))

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