Just as carbon hardens steel — persistence hardens your willpower to blast past any obstacles you encounter as you pursue your dreams. I’ve worked with people all of my professional life, and here’s what I’ve observed: Very few have REALLY decided what they want from life … and fewer still have committed to achieve it. Why is this important? Because without clarity and commitment, there is no persistence. To develop the quality of persistence, you must want something so much that it becomes a burning desire - a fire in your belly! Persistence is then virtually automatic, and you become unstoppable. It’s commonly believed that a lack of persistence is the result of a weak willpower. This is NOT true! A person can have a highly evolved willpower, but still lack the persistence needed to achieve their goals. In most cases, those who lack persistence simply do not have a goal that lights their passion. Here are four relatively simple steps to develop persistence:
- Create a clearly defined goal. Your goal must be something you truly desire. Because without emotional fire and desire, you will not be able to reach into the portion of your mind that can really drive you to achievement - your subconscious.
- Develop a plan of action and go to work immediately. It’s perfectly OK if your plan just covers the first stage of the journey toward your goal. As you begin to execute your plan, you’ll discover other steps that will take you closer.
- Make an irrevocable decision to reject any negative feedback of friends, relatives or neighbors. Refuse to give any conscious attention to conditions or circumstances that appear to indicate your goal cannot be accomplished.
- Establish a mastermind group of one or more people who will encourage, support and assist you.
How about you? How are your resolutions going? Are you continuing down your chosen path? Or is your confidence fading? After two weeks doubt can start creeping into the thoughts. “The first week was great! But this week I don’t feel so good,” are normal. Like all great achievements, there is a weeding-out period. The weak must be separated from the strong. The “wheat from the chaff“.
So today I would like to appeal to your pride. Yes, step aside for a moment and let me talk to your ego.
Ok Mr. pride and Ms. ego, now that we’re alone, let me ask you!. What would it mean to you to be one of the few who makes it? What if the goal you have chosen is difficult, so difficult most people quit after two weeks, but you keep going? What does that say about you? Doesn’t that mean you are stronger than most?
And what about the negative thoughts that weed their way in? Can’t they motivate you even more? You could choose instead to welcome all the negative thoughts into your head. The more the merrier. Yes, let them all in as long as you do one simple task….show up and work your plan.
Look at it this way. You might think “this goal is impossible!” But if you simply show up and keep going, you will be doing the impossible. Again, what does that say about you? It might say you “chew up impossibilities and eat them for breakfast.” The negative challenges are part of the process – part of your life story.
What if there were no negative thoughts, no challenges? I’ll tell you…nobody will ever read your book! Nobody wants to read a book about how you climbed Mount Everest with the greatest of ease. “It wasn’t even cold” you say. “The air was fresh and clear..we even had a picnic on the top.” Makes for a boring story doesn’t it?
The challenges we inevitably face are part of our life stories. We can even learn to appreciate them as necessary to well-rounded success. We can record them in our journals, blogs, videos and tell them to our grandkids one day. So let the negativity come and make a note of it as you continue down your path. Your grandkids will thank you for it.