This week, we’re going to discuss persistence and how to develop it.
Persistence Is The Art Of Moving Forward
“Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” – Harper Lee
What is persistence? Persistence, or perseverance, is endurance in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. To persist is to continue your journey towards greatness despite internal weaknesses and external distractions.
In the short-term, persistence involves keeping your focus and your patience. For example, remaining patient during traffic requires persisting towards emotional stability despite your desire for uncontrolled anger. Traffic is the delay in achieving success (arriving at your destination), and your irritation is the difficulty you face in remaining emotionally stable.
Long-Term Accomplishments and Persistence
However, perseverance shines as a virtue when we discuss long-term thinking and goals. Life is strenuous and full of distractions and roadblocks. If you wish to do anything meaningful, you will face constant challenges and setbacks.
Therefore, you need the ability to push through these difficulties and remain the course. Why? Because you cannot finish long-term goals and desires quickly. Completing long-term goals requires applying a consistent effort despite pain, doubt, or fear.
On the other hand, without the ability to persist, you will give up on your objectives. Your failure will lead to despair because your goals will be limited to the smallness of your endurance. Small, half-accomplished goals do not create a happy, meaningful life.
However, if you persist through distractions, doubts, and fear, you can accomplish the goals you set for yourself.
Why Do I Fail At Persistence?
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luther
Why have I failed to persevere? There are multiple distractions, challenges, and setbacks. However, my inability to push through them come down to a few elements:
- I’m tired – Exhaustion robs the mind of focus and will. The more tired I am, the less likely I will be able to continue in my duties.
- I need a break – There’s nothing wrong with taking a break. Sometimes, you need to stop working and do something light and engaging.
- I’m losing sight of what’s essential – When I stop persisting, I lose sight of everything I want to do. Additionally, I fail to remember how my efforts will make the world a better place.
- I investigate the noise of the world – There are moments where I foolishly try to understand the current culture by consuming media. This consumption always leaves me depressed and mentally sick. My mental weakness leads to quitting when challenges arise.
- I’m overindulging – I can spend too much time listening to music, looking at photos, or playing games. When I over-indulge, I fail to keep my eye on the prize.
How Do You Develop Your Persistence?
Failing to adhere to persistence means giving up when things get tough. Since life is challenging, when you lack the virtue of perseverance, you cannot live fully. However, we’re going to cover the best ways to help you “still show up” and remain on course.
1. Define your goals, understand your identity, reflect on your legacy
“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Hiddleston
As an individualist, you need to determine your life goal and understand the key virtues. These topics are the foundations that will help you build your life. Let me explain why.
Firstly, to persist, you need to go towards something. You cannot continue towards a fog unless you want to get lost. And being lost, especially when it comes to the purpose of your life, means existing for nothing while consuming distractions and momentary pleasures.
This is why you need goals. You need to ask yourself the big questions: What do you want to do before you die? Who do you want to be? What do you want to be remembered for? Furthermore, the more you think about your future and what you want it to look like, the more you can start setting the standards which will help you reach your end goal.
If you do not have a basic understanding of your life’s purpose, then you will always feel useless, lost, and scared.
2. Understand Virtue and How Important It Is
Secondly, you need virtue. Virtue is moral excellence and provides the answer to the question “what is good, and how do I fulfill it?” Virtue, as I describe here, cannot account for a sophisticated legal or moral system. Smarter people than me can help you with that. However, personal virtue enables you to understand your actions and whether your actions point you towards what is sustainable, meaningful, and productive.
For example, frugality helps you see it is wiser to save money than to waste it. More money in your pocket means more opportunities and less stress. Furthermore, understanding personal finances does not make you a financial expert or an economist. However, you cannot live a sustainable life, or build a sustainable society, without the virtue of frugality.
To conclude: Purpose and goals give you something to persist towards. Virtue gives you an understanding of what is right and sustainable. The more virtuous your actions, the easier life becomes. The easier life becomes, the more likely you are to continue persisting towards your goals.
3. How to make self-reflection a habit
Remember that collectivists train you to stop looking inward. They want your eyes everywhere except your mind and heart. They want you consuming crap media, focusing on internet celebrities, and creating meaningless relationships with weak, abusive people. Furthermore, collectivists need you to think of your life in terms of the group. A few examples:
- The racists who demand you focus on dating “within your race” instead of finding someone you love
- The socialists who require your focus on the “greater good” instead of your happiness
- The worshippers who demand your obsession with self-pity and guilt instead of your rational pride
Collectivists need your mind distracted. As an individual, you need your mind sharp and focused on your goals. If you remain in the collectivists’ fog, you will always fail to persist towards what matters most to you.
Lastly, frequently ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” when pursuing an action. I promise your mind will provide a clear answer when you need it most.
Rebel against our collectivist, cannibalistic culture. Remain focused on your life, where you want it to go, and what you’d like to accomplish.
4. Reward your good behavior and you’ll become a better person
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” – Vince Lombardi
Life is difficult. However, there are many, many distractions and pleasures to be found. These pleasures can be a boon to your self-improvement if you utilize them effectively and clearly.
My suggestion is to determine a hobby you love doing. This hobby should provide personal fulfillment and enjoyment. Furthermore, your hobby should be realistic and respectful of your budget, responsibilities, and goals.
For example, I enjoy playing games. I’m also a father and a husband, and I work several jobs. Therefore, I restrict game time, so I’m not playing when I could spend time with my family. Additionally, I buy no more than two new games a year, so I can keep my expenses low. Lastly, I schedule game time at night, and I set precise requirements before I can play my game. With clear conditions, I can adequately reward my persistence.
Set your goals, then create clear rewards. You will feel better eating a snack after you finished a daily reading. You’ll feel better about binging your TV shows if you complete a big project. Remember, you’ll happily persist towards greatness if you can enjoy pleasures along the way.
5. Ignore the noise – the world has nothing to teach you
“Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” – Ovid
If you can’t tell, I do not enjoy the current culture. Our culture has produced greedy, narcissistic, scared, depressed, and ignorant individuals. Further, our collectivist mindset is hostile to self-improvement, individualism, and virtue.
Therefore, I suggest disengaging. Delete your social media, reduce your consumption of news media, and avoid all anti-individualistic works. Don’t pursue things, ideas, or people who give you an emotional high and little else.
Furthermore, find ways to minimize distractions. Put blocks on your phone, reduce time in front of the computer, and spend more time in nature while meditating. Technology is not bad. However, obsession with technology will drain you of your ability to persist.
Of course, you never want to stick yourself in a bubble. Therefore, be discerning in what you consume. For example, I read a wide variety of people, even if they do not believe in the sovereignty of the individual. These people have deep wisdom to offer about self-improvement, drawing, computing, and more. However, I don’t waste my time reading anything positive about socialism, communism, or identity politics. I’ve thoroughly researched these ideologies and can safely reject them.
Reserve your energy. You’ll find it easier to persist in the face of difficulty if your mind isn’t full of distractions and garbage media.
6. Be grateful and keep yourself focused on your blessings
The world has its issues, yes, but life is not wretched. Despite life’s many difficulties, we have so much more than our ancestors could have ever imagined. Therefore, you need to reflect on the things you have instead of what you don’t.
Gratitude helps with persistence by keeping your mind on the positives instead of the difficulties. For example, instead of becoming angry at traffic, you should reflect on the vital invention that is the car. By keeping your thoughts positive, you can control your emotions and persist towards emotional stability.
Another example: learning a skill is hard and difficult. To help you persist, focus on how grateful you are to have the extra time, energy, and resources to learn. Instead of feeling bored with your tasks, you can feel inspired to push forward and take full advantage of your blessings.
When I struggle with persistence, I think about how great it is to live in such an advanced and fantastic time. Gratitude stops your complaining and refocuses your efforts.
7. Still show up – do the bare minimum, and you’ll feel like going back to prove yourself
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
Are you tired, distracted, or unmotivated? Then show up.
The art of showing up, even when you hate what you’re doing, is key to persistence. Persistence is consistent action, and that consistency is a necessity when trying to accomplish anything meaningful. You’ll need daily, constant practice if you want to learn a skill, get in shape, be a better person, and so on.
However, what if you’re too distracted to study? Or you missed breakfast, and your workout won’t go as planned? What if you had a bad day at work and can’t be the best parent and partner when you arrive home? Still, show up and give minimal effort.
Too distracted? Still sit down and study the easiest parts. Not enough energy to workout? Still go to the gym and lift light weights. Bad day at the office? Let your family know, and be as engaging as you can during conversations.
Persistence means building the habits needed to dominate each day. When you keep your habits going, you persist towards greatness. Therefore, give the bare minimum, even if you’re having an off day.
8. Create the enemy and prove that son of a bitch wrong
We all have voices of doubt in our heads. These demons will keep you from persisting by distracting you with insults, uncertainties, and shame. Therefore, you need to isolate these voices, then amplify them. Once you amplify these negative voices, you can start attacking them directly and focus on proving them wrong.
Creating an enemy has always helped me with persistence. When I’m starting to lose focus, I find the voices telling me to give up. I amplify them, then I attack. I remind myself of my life’s purpose. I remind myself of how far I’ve come and the evil influences I have beaten. Furthermore, I remind myself of the good I can do by becoming the individual who can remain focused on the task at hand. Lastly, I tell my negative voices to sit back and watch me win.
Create an enemy and fight back. You’ll become inspired to persist towards your goals as you knock over the doubts and fears which attempt to stand in your way.
9. Accept failure as a reality of self-improvement
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Lastly, the best way to keep the course is to acknowledge the difficulties involved. Denying the challenges involved in pursuing greatness will never make things easier.
Creating meaningful life goals, becoming a virtuous person, finding solutions to your problems, building a sustainable life, and becoming more virtuous are all difficult tasks. You will have to strain your mind and push against a hostile culture. You will be challenged, broken, and discarded. You will fail.
However, when you acknowledge the reality of the challenge before you, you can continue to persist. Failure will not sap your zeal and derail your momentum. Instead, you’ll shrug, fix your mistakes, and keep moving.
Keep Going – The Virtue of Perseverance
“If you are going through hell, keep going.” – Winston S. Churchill
You have one life. It is your responsibility not to waste it. Never let the world distract you from your purpose. Never let your vices distract you from your goals. You can only achieve greatness if you master the art of moving forward.
- What do you think of when you think “persist”? What person, thing, or idea comes to mind? Why?
- Of the items on this list, which is easiest for you? Which is hardest? Why?
- Name one thing you could accomplish if you were more persistent.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.