I just finished writing a book. It took two months to finish the first draft, but really, I’ve been working on this for a lifetime. In the second grade I realized that I was a writer who would one day write a book or a bunch of them. It wasn’t a decision. It was a knowing. So, I prepared and planned and waited for the right idea and the right opportunity and the right time to all merge and then I went to work.
It was daunting in the beginning. Knowing that I had 225 pages to fill with 60,000 words, I panicked. Big job, for sure. One I’d never done. I wasn’t sure I knew how.
Then, a writer friend, Denise, reminded me that the contemplation about the writing was much harder than the writing. She told me to sit down and start. She was right. When I got to work, it got easier and ideas took hold and pages filled up. I kept going, one word at a time and a whole book took shape.
Not that you should persist in every case. Sometimes we hold on too long. Studies show that when people pursue an unobtainable goal they get stressed out and sick.
Before you decide to bulldog your way through, use a dose of grounded optimism to look at where you’re at and where you are headed. This brand or practical optimism helps you to see the reality while believing things will still work out. It allows you to shift and adapt and change your goal, if needed, to achieve the piece of it that’s most important.
Persistence then, keeps you on track until you reach your goal. It’s the difference between success and mediocrity.
It’s a simple notion – keep going until you get there. But, we make it so much harder than that. We struggle, we question and fight, we battle to achieve our goals. Sure, there’s adversity and challenge in life, but most of the struggle against success is because we persist at the wrong things.
If you’re passionate about what you are doing, if your goal aligns with your deeper values and desires it isn’t all that hard to keep going. There isn’t a whole lot of fight. You know you’re on the right path, so you persist and take inspired action every day toward what you most want.
If things are feeling hard. If life feels a little slow and dull and work isn’t all that motivating, assess whether your daily goals – or the things you feel obligated to do – match up with the things that matter most to you. If you’re allotting hours for spreadsheet data when you’d rather write a book – it’s going to be hard to get either done.
By discovering the discrepancies between how you spend your time and how you you want to spend your time – you can find ways to align your desires with your actions. This allows you to spend some time on your passions and purpose each day and that infuses your life with energy. Persistence, is just a by-product of that.
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