Persistence – firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
I’ve been blogging for the past 12 years. I write because I want to, because I have a passion for encouraging and equipping youth workers and because nice people like you occasionally say I write good things (thank you and feel free to leave a comment) and has been helpful to you and that keeps me going.
If nothing else, I’m persistent. I have outlasted many other bloggers, ministry related or otherwise and wanna be-bloggers. This has paid off in many ways.
- I have shown that I am serious about my subject
- I have made a few dollars by making this a hub of resources
- I have created a discipline for myself and have become a better writer along the way (I hope).
Persistence might be my greatest attribute. Whatever you do, I think I can do it longer and better over time. I have faced my blank screens and writers block. I have overcome the self pity from believing (falsely) that no one cares what I’m saying. I am no longer easily discouraged and I enjoy the challenge that come my way.
Let me share a few ideas about persistence and why you might want to recalibrate your perception of persistence for longterm success.
Persistence is more than working hard
There are plenty of people working hard, they;re just working hard in the wrong direction. Ww all work hards, but some only work hard in spurts, like pulling bunch of weeds and needing a drink ten minutes later, possibly never to return. The persistent weed-puller, pulls a few weeds every day, after the sun goes down to maximum effectiveness and avoids the sunburn.
Persistence isn’t frenzy. Persistent people aren’t time sensitive, they know what needs to be done and they pace themselves. The same is true of goals Persistent people understand that where they are headed will take time and patiently plan their way there. Persistent people aren’t anxious, they know their hard work and smart moves will pay off.
Persistence is more than being hard headed
I think one of my past perceptions of persistence was that of someone who did’t listen to others. I thought a persistent person doggedly went his way regardless of what other said. There is some truth in this as it applies to not listening to nay-sayers, trolls, and negativity lords, but it does not apply broadly.
Persistent people have selective hearing. They know how to tune out the white noise and tune into those who genuinely want to help them reach their goals.
I can be super focused to the point of exclusion. I want what I want and anyone who used to say anything bad about my ideas was obviously an enemy. This, sadly, included my wife. I was so persistent in what I wanted, I would nor listen to wisdom, critique or advice if it disagreed with my vision.
Thankfully, I am not as closed off to what others are saying, because I know most of them are trying to help me.
Persistence is more than running over others to get to your goal
Persistence comes across as an aggressive word. A running back stiff arming people down the field is a kind of persistence that works great in football but not so much in real life.
But, persistence can also be like a river that softens rocks. The river moves quietly and quickly but with great effectiveness over time.
All of this, over time, can break down the resistance of your worst critics and turn them into your biggest fans
I have a few rules of persistence that have served me over their years and they may help you as well.
Rules of Persistence
Don’t settle for less
Don’t lower your standards
Don’t let others pressure you to compromise
Don’t take short cuts if it diminishes the outcome you want
Don’t use excuses like “That’s too hard” or “That takes too much work”
Don’t try to be like anyone else. Persistently pursue your unique voice and vision.
The outcome may not be exactly what you want and you may not get where you want in the way you thought, but persistence, and patience, will always move you forward. Keep at it, what ever “it” is for you.
“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road