Last updated on April 4th, 2021 at 08:29 pm
You’ve gotta know when to give it and when to quit it. Who are you? What do you want out of life? How do you get it? You’ve gotta be persistent in life!
But don’t be TOO persistent…
Persistence comes in a multitude of forms.
There’s the stubborn persistence that we can get if something’s not going our way and we really want it to—NO MATTER WHAT. It can involve working around (or THROUGH!) obstacles, negotiating or even sacrifice to meet a goal.
Then you have perseverance, which in many ways is a more passive form of persistence. One perseveres when they can endure a situation—it’s on the other end of the spectrum where you have confidence that the end result you’re seeking will come in due time, regardless of what happens between now and then.
There’ve probably been a number of times in your life where you’ve needed to persist, and the same can probably be said about the people around you.
But what happens when you overdo it? When persistence can morph polite reminders into annoying nags? Or when persistence can make the sound of a question asked seem like nails scraping down a chalkboard?
There is a subtle balance that must be sought with persistence in order to make it effective.
But what makes us persistent? What are the things that we find important enough to be persistent about? What, in essence, do these decisions say about who we are?
I asked my BlackBerry Messenger contact list about persistence—what it meant to them and when they’ve had to be persistent in life. I got a myriad of interesting answers back in return, from the positive:
“Persistence is like any other thing. It’s neither positive or negative and entirely depends on the inclination of those who wield it. Someone can be persistently stubborn and ignorant and another can persist in the pursuit of their dreams. One must learn how to persist in a manner that moves them forward. What that means differs from person to person.
For myself, I apply persistence in a manner of different ways. I work on my art persistently because it’s fulfilling in a deep meaningful way. Within that I’ll apply persistence where appropriate. For instance, I do not persist in seeking good ideas. ideas are constant, good or bad, but when we seek one over another we feel that our ideas are limited. Allowing all ideas to flow you avoid the dreaded “art block”. I will, however, persist in the consistency of my process. A process can change detail to detail depending on what media you use but the core ideas & the attitude towards work must remain the same. Being consistent, persisting in consistency allows me to create quality whether it’s a painting, a cake or making a table.
These applications work for me because they resonate with who I am. Allow yourself to experiment, make mistakes and figure out what resonates deeply for you.”
“Persistence for me is achieving a goal—but there is a flexibility component. I don’t keep at things if they don’t work. I switch approaches, modify the goal, outsource. I still get what I want- it may not be exactly the way I planned on getting it, or in the order I wanted, but it happens. So yeah—dedication and flexibility.”
“Persistence is not just about trying to have a round peg fit into a square hole, i.e. Banging your head against the wall, but rather looking at how you can work with a problem creatively. I am like you, I don’t like to push through at times especially when it’s tough, I rather look at options. I still focus on the problem, but with alternative solutions.”
“I often find that God definitely challenges me in this area I am often drawn to the scripture to pray without stopping. Often when I persist with something God shows me that because I have tried and tried again my reward is great. My example of persistence in terms of teachers college I tried two times and on my second try where I gained experiences and had more time I got into teacher’s college.
I suggest looking at athletes and how they persist marathon runners look at them when they persist at something.”
Hey Case—this may not be much but if I were to think about persistence in my life; I’d have to say it’s to do with my physical fitness. I internalized and accepted that I was “fat” for a long time, and in September 2009, I finally took on a gym membership, making sure it was close to home and that I paid for it.
I stuck it out ever since—I didn’t see any noticeable results for about the first 6 months and I was tempted to quit, ’cause even people that were close to me said, “Wow you spend a lot of time at the gym—are you sure that it’s paying off?”
So it wasn’t easy pressing on, but with God’s help and watching my eating I can safely say after 1 ½ years I’m probably in the best shape and fitness level I have ever been!
My endurance and strength have improved — I went from doing zero pushups to managing a dozen or more quite comfortably, ran a 5k last year in just over 30 minutes and won a 10-week fitness challenge for most improved results amongst about 30 people, so I can say that persistence paid off for me here!
To those who question persistence:
“One can be persistent to the point of aggravating things and alienating themselves from others!”
“There are just some situations where persistence is pointless and finding an alternative solution is the best one!”
“Isn’t finding another solution still persistence?”
“Persistence didn’t pay off when I graduated into a recession. What did? Having a father who knows a ton of people AND compromising. It got me where I needed to be to pay bills.
There comes a point where persistence and holding out for the perfect *insert anything* becomes you being picky. And at that time the bullet has to be bitten. Where that tipping point is depends on the person and situation.”
I think my best friend, Rami, summed it up best:
Allow me to start with a quote to assist in explaining my definition:
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.”—Ella Fitzgerald
Persistence is never, never, never ever giving up! If you truly believe in your heart, mind, body and soul that this is the right decision, direction or path to take, then proceed in perpetuity and ensure your presence is always felt, especially in spite of resistance, complications, hurdles, and discouragement. Persistence and determination alone are a mighty force to be reckoned with – it shows the will to win, regardless of any opposition that may be encountered.
It’s also one of Ramdeezy’s Ps. You’ll notice they are intertwined. It specifically relates to satisfying your objective(s):
So what do we learn from all of this? Persistence is key in getting what you want out of life. Being persistent is a skill and an art form though. You can’t be too persistent, but you also have to recognize when you need to be more persistent in order to be successful at it.
I wish you all the best of luck, and never give up!