WE ALL GET DISCOURAGED. It’s a part of the human condition, and a constant struggle.
But the fact is that those who reap great rewards are not so much those who are smart, talented, or lucky. It’s those who are persistent learners and adapters.
“Rewards” in this case might be monetary goals, fame, impact, or spiritual development. Doesn’t matter.
This topic came up a couple of times recently, so I’ve been pondering my own tendency to stick with it. To be honest, I’m not sure where this developed from: In elementary school, I did well academically, but otherwise was a bit flaky with my commitments.
Perhaps I saw what happened when I stuck through playing the French Horn for ten years and achieved state-level recognition. Maybe it was modeled well by my parents who were deeply committed to each other and their children their entire lives.
My current coaching business hasn’t been all wonderful achievement. In fact, there have been times of deep frustration and disappointment. Yet, I remain firmly committed to the goal of making this successful and providing profound improvements for my clients.
Exactly what that goal looks like has shifted over the past 16 years. My methods and skills have improved dramatically, and I’d like to think that I’ve learned from my mistakes.
I think that’s one of the keys to true persistence: To be constantly learning and adapting, with eyes firmly on the larger vision.
Without that learning, it becomes blind doggedness – which can just as easily undermine your goal as to help you achieve it.