When it comes to achieving the impossible, we often hear, ‘persistence is key’. But what does this mean exactly?
Being persistent isn’t just about writing down your daily tasks and crossing them off one by one. It’s much more than that. There’s a special kind of courage found within those who don’t give up when the going gets tough or no matter how many times they stumble and fall.
I learned this firsthand while studying martial arts where I faced struggles, challenges, setbacks and yes – even a torn cartilage in my knee. These couldn’t derail me from earning my black belt and becoming a master instructor.
Because of what I’m going to share with you today. If you stay on course and stubbornly persist, you can eventually achieve success.
Today, let’s look at how having a spirit of perseverance can help set you up for success in anything you undertake.
Come along now and let’s explore the wonders of never giving up!
The Power of Persistence
You don’t have to be perfect to get better. Even though you might make progress quickly in the beginning, it will slow down eventually.
When I first started learning martial arts, it seemed like I was being introduced to something new every day. Then, after a while, it began to feel like I was doing the same thing over and over again with little progress.
These are the times that can lead to frustration and discouragement.
The trick is to keep doing what needs to be done over an extended period of time. You need to keep making progress, even if it’s incremental, if you want to become an expert at something.
If you’re patient and motivated, and have a great teacher or mentor, you can become great at anything.
Just think about how much progress you would have made if you started working on something 10 years ago and stayed committed. Think of all the knowledge and skills you would have picked up along the way. You would be among the absolute best in your field.
This is the power of persistence.
To keep improving, you need to develop a philosophy that supports constant growth. You need to create a positive mindset that will help you stay on course.
How to Improve Your Persistence
You can increase your motivation and persistence by developing a mindset that gives you the ability to keep moving forward. Here’s some tips to help you stay on track.
- Commit to incremental improvement
Realize if you want to achieve a goal, you’ve got to break it down into small, achievable steps. And even a minuscule amount of improvement towards your goal each day is enough. A tiny amount of improvement each day, or even each week or month, is more than enough to achieve something you desire.
Whether you’re interested in learning martial arts, earning more money, or perfecting your welding skills, slow and steady progress is enough to achieve your goal. Taking action towards it every day can make seemingly impossible goals into a reality.
This leads us to the second tip.
2. Set specific goals.
Let’s say you want to learn to play the guitar. Now you need to set a specific goal.
Once you’re up to speed, test yourself with songs that use barre chords and fingerpicking. Then take it up another notch with songs like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin, ‘Tears in Heaven’ by Eric Clapton, or ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles.
Setting an ambitious, yet achievable target is key to reaching success. It will help you increase your levels of success, while keeping you motivated.
Now, to improve your skill, you need the next tip.
3. Practice daily.
An ongoing effort to exceed yesterday’s achievements should be your number one goal. This means you must practice daily.
Let’s say you want to become an ace guitarist. Plucking away for a few minutes every day for 20 years will only get you so far. After all that time, you might be playing some basic chords, strumming the same dull tunes.
But what if you targeted a full year dedicated to mastering those strings and frets? This can truly make a difference.
Imagine, with just 30 minutes of practice per day, by the end of the first month you’ll be starting to get a handle on those awkward finger placements. As you keep going, by month two, you might even be able to play an easy song.
As you develop discipline and keep your daily routine in place, those scales and tricky chords become like second nature. You’re astonished at how much progress you’ve made after a full year.
Now you find yourself transitioning between chords quickly and confidently. You’re fingerpicking intricate passages. Maybe you’re even composing your own music.
Once you’re practicing daily, it’s time to…
4. Measure your progress.
It’s almost impossible to improve unless you understand how your efforts are working. So, if you’re serious about improvement, track your progress. Establish tangible ways to measure your success and review them regularly.
For example, for a fitness goal it might be a bodyweight of 160 pounds. It could be doing twenty-five pushups and crunches in less than 90 seconds.
One of the best ways to develop persistence in a fitness program is to keep track of how well your efforts are working. Use a fitness app or a journal to record your progress.
You can also use fitness tests such as timed runs, maximum pushups, or pull-ups. Repeat the tests at regular intervals to see your improvement.
Take photos of yourself at regular intervals. This allows you to see changes in your body over time.
Finally, celebrate your achievements. When you reach a milestone, such as running your first mile without stopping, reward yourself with something that will help keep you going.
By measuring your progress, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come. You’ll also identify areas where you might need to adjust your approach. This can help you develop the motivation you need to stay on track to reach your goals.
The next step is to gather more knowledge.
5.Become an expert.
Notice this isn’t the first step. Not even close. It’s the fifth step because, in the beginning, you don’t need to spend your time getting more information. As all persistent people know, first, you need to get started.
Once you’re committed, practicing daily, have specific goals, and measuring your progress, it’s time to find materials to help you improve.
Let’s say you want to become a better photographer. You’ve started taking photos. To become proficient, you’re going to need to work through some levels of success.
You can start by gaining a solid foundation in the fundamentals. This might be picking up a book on exposure, composition, and lighting. Next, pick up tutorials online or take some beginner courses.
After you’ve got a handle on the basics, invest in quality photography equipment. This includes the best cameras and lenses for top-notch results.
And find a group that you can resonate with. It will energize you to be around like-minded folks who are on the same path as you.
Finally, never stop learning. Keep investing in your knowledge base. Immerse yourself in workshops, books, and advanced courses so that you remain well-informed and highly motivated.
6. Get a mentor.
Getting regular feedback from someone that knows what they’re talking about can be much more effective than going at it alone. That’s where a mentor comes in. A mentor is a trusted advisor with a personal stake in your success who helps you along your path.
This expert will keep pushing you to keep focused on the task at hand. They can also give you the positive feedback you need to stay motivated and on track.
Let’s say you want to take your writing skills to the next level. Look for a successful person in that field. Here I’m not talking about some random person who claims to be a “writing guru”. You need someone who knows their stuff when it comes to your genre or area of interest.
Check their background. Whether it’s a published author, a writing teacher, or a seasoned pro, make sure they’ve got the chops to back it up.
Next, share your goals with your mentor. Be specific. How many pages or chapters are you aiming to get done? Are you submitting to a literary magazine or agent? Or maybe you just want to jazz up your prose style?
Whatever the goal, let your mentor know.
Now comes the fun part, get ready for some feedback! This is where your mentor really helps. They can supply constructive criticism and point out areas for improvement. When you run into challenging times, they can provide a dose of encouragement.
And finally, use your mentor as an accountability partner. Having someone else invested in your progress can give you the ability to keep pushing forward.
This leads to our last tip, and, in my opinion, the most important one.
7. Be patient.
Progress often comes quickly at first and then slows to a crawl. This is true for any field. That’s why the importance of patience can’t be overemphasized. Be patient and progress will come.
For example, let’s say you’re learning martial arts and your goal is to become a black belt. In the beginning, progress can come quickly and feel exciting. You’re learning all the basics and as you practice new self-defense techniques.
Lots of fresh material to learn and practice gives you good reasons to keep coming. Each class session is different and stimulating, giving you the ability to remain excited and motivated.
As you continue practicing, you begin learning more complex techniques. Your fitness improves as well as your self-esteem. But, while you practice more, your progress slows. It takes time to see even small improvements.
Now you move to the advanced level. You may spend weeks or even months working on advanced techniques. It feels like you’re not making any progress. This is when negative thoughts can begin to creep in.
Oftentimes, this is where people quit, right before they reach their goal.
Here’s where it’s essential to remain patient. Keep in mind that progress will slow down over time. Remember the importance of patience and practice. This will help you overcome any obstacles you may be facing.
Persistence – the Key to Achieving the Impossible
Persistence truly gives you the ability to get what you want out of life. It is the secret sauce to achieving the impossible, the trait all champions.
Think of it like having a GPS that helps you navigate life in the face of adversity. While there may be a few detours, with persistence, you’ll eventually reach your destination.
So, the next time someone tells you to be persistent, don’t just roll your eyes and shrug it off. Realize that it’s what keeps us going, no matter the adversity.
As Steve Jobs tells us, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance….”
Get committed to what you want to get out of life. Set goals to get there. Measure your progress. Become an expert. Find someone to help you on your path. Be patient.
More than anything, begin.
Don’t be afraid, embrace the challenge and never, ever give up.
Trust me. It’ll be worth the fight in the end.
With time and persistence, you can conquer the world!
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