What do you desire? Do you have the persistence to accomplish it? You can probably answer that question right now because I think the majority of us dream of something but just lack the will power, or persistence, to follow through to achievement.
Why is that? Why do we struggle to follow through with our desire to be and/or achieve more?
Napoleon Hill insists that persistence is a state of mind and can be cultivated. Like all states of mind, persistence is based upon definite causes.
Take a minute to grab a piece of paper and write down on the top what you desire, a life goal, and answer the follow questions;
DEFINITENESS OF PURPOSE. Knowing what one wants is the first and, perhaps, the most important step toward the development of persistence. A strong motive forces one to surmount many difficulties.
Why do you want to achieve this goal, what is the purpose? How will it benefit you and the more important question, how will it benefit others?
DESIRE. It is comparatively easy to acquire and to maintain persistence in pursuing the object of intense desire.
In order to live your purpose you need to focus on what the positive outcomes will be in your life and why you desire this goal/purpose? We do have to remember that our purpose on this planet is to add value to others. If your desires focus on your own gratification you will eventually fail or die a lonely miserable life.
SELF-RELIANCE. Belief in one’s ability to carry out a plan encourages one to follow the plan through with persistence.
Do you believe you can achieve your goal and purpose? If not, what can you do to believe in yourself more?
DEFINITENESS OF PLANS. Organized plans, even though they may be weak and entirely impractical, encourage persistence. I believe one of the main reasons why people don’t achieve their purpose is due to not writing out the process to accomplish it.
How can you break your goal down to actionable tasks to make them easier to accomplish?
ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE. Knowing that one’s plans are sound, based upon experience or observation, encourages persistence; “guessing” instead of “knowing” destroys persistence.
What can you do daily to increase your knowledge to help you achieve your purpose?
CO-OPERATION. Sympathy, understanding, and harmonious cooperation with others tend to develop persistence. Although this can also sabotage your plans due to criticism, you need to carefully choose who you share your purpose with.
Who will encourage and help you accomplish your desire or purpose? Who will laugh and criticize you?
WILL-POWER. The habit of concentrating one’s thoughts upon the building of plans for the attainment of a definite purpose, leads to persistence.
What actions can you schedule daily/weekly/monthly to increase your will-power?
HABIT. Persistence is the direct result of habit. The mind absorbs and becomes a part of the daily experiences upon which it feeds. Everyone’s life revolves around habits, even to the extent of not even realizing that we do them.
What is one habit you can change that will help you develop the persistence to accomplish your goals to achieve your desire?
These steps sound easy enough but unfortunately, like most easy things in life, they’re the hardest to implement. If you consistently struggle to achieve your desires then you need to examine what symptoms that cause you lack of persistence and then overcome them.
SYMPTOMS OF LACK OF PERSISTENCE
Here you will find the real enemies which stand between you and noteworthy achievement. Here you will find not only the “symptoms” indicating weakness of PERSISTENCE, but also the deeply seated subconscious causes of this weakness. Study the list carefully, and face yourself squarely IF YOU REALLY WISH TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE, AND WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF DOING. These are the weaknesses which must be mastered by all who accumulate riches.
1. Failure to recognize and to clearly define exactly what one wants.
WHAT IS YOU DEFINITE PURPOSE? If you don’t know, don’t feel bad, the majority of people don’t. When I ask people what their goals are they either don’t know or don’t want to share them, probably due to the fear of criticism.
2. Procrastination, with or without cause. (Usually backed up with a formidable array of alibis and excuses).
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO START DOING TODAY? Do you procrastinate because you doubt yourself? If that’s the case then you need to start with the next symptom to the lack of persistence.
3. Lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge.
YOU CANNOT CHANGE WHAT YOU THINK TILL YOU CHANGE WHAT YOU STUDY. Is your purpose to live a long and healthy life? Do you want to become a realtor? The first step in achieving any goal or purpose is to know why it’s important and how to do it. You don’t achieve your purpose, or stay healthy by taking a pill. Focus daily on learning one thing that will help you achieve your purpose.
4. Indecision, the habit of “passing the buck” on all occasions, instead of facing issues squarely. (Also backed by alibis).
WHEN YOU BLAME OTHERS FOR YOUR MISTAKES YOU’LL ALWAYS MAKE MISTAKES. Once you realize that you’re responsible for the results you get, you’ll get better results.
5. The habit of relying upon alibis instead of creating definite plans for the solution of problems.
ARE YOU TIRED OF YOUR OWN EXCUSES? Look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How do I hold myself accountable?” Do you like the answer?
6. Self-satisfaction. There is but little remedy for this affliction, and no hope for those who suffer from it.
TO ACHIEVE YOUR PURPOSE YOU NEED TO DO WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE TO DO? Why do some people struggle to give up bad, life destructive habits? Temporary self-satisfaction is more of a priority then having to sacrifice something or do what’s hard to achieve your desires.
7. Indifference, usually reflected in one’s readiness to compromise on all occasions, rather than meet opposition and fight it.
PEOPLE WHO COMPROMISE THEIR BELIEFS DEVALUE THEMSELVES. Each time you agree to do something that you disagree with, do you lessen your values? It’s alright to compromise on certain things, but not when it comes to achieving your ultimate purpose.
8. The habit of blaming others for one’s mistakes, and accepting unfavorable circumstances as being unavoidable.
YOU ARE THE RESULTS OF YOUR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS. People who complain about not having enough money usually blame their employer for not paying them enough. Here’s a thought, become more valuable by increasing your knowledge, skills and abilities and people will find more value in you.
9. Weakness of desire, due to neglect in the choice of MOTIVES that impel action.
LIFE BECOMES TOO EASY. We all get comfortable when we can pay the bills and enjoy life, but is it at the cost of achieving your desire to help someone else achieve theirs?
10. Willingness, even eagerness, to quit at the first sign of defeat.
OBSTACLES TO OUR DESIRES TEST OUR PERSISTENCE. If it was easy to accomplish your goals and achieve what you desire, everyone would do it. If you quit when it gets hard you either don’t deserve to accomplish your desire or it’s not your true purpose for being born. Don’t give up on you.
11. Lack of ORGANIZED PLANS, placed in writing where they may be analyzed.
BREAK DOWN THE BIG GOALS INTO SMALLER TASKS. One reason why some people never start to achieve their desire is because it looks too hard. You need to break it down into actionable, time bound steps. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you achieve your desires, one step toward it each day.
12. The habit of neglecting to move on ideas, or to grasp opportunity when it presents itself.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. I think one of the main reasons why we fail to move on ideas is because we doubt our abilities. Sometimes you just need to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
13. WISHING instead of WILLING.
THERE’S NO GENIE TO GRANT YOU WISHES. If you wish for a million dollars you still have to at least play the lottery. Instead of the lottery take that money and spend it on your own development. It’s a better investment and you have a greater chance at earning a million dollars.
14. The habit of compromising with POVERTY instead of aiming at riches. General absence of ambition to be, to do, and to own.
POVERTY IS A CHOICE. If you’ve grown up in poverty then you have a choice, continue living your current paradigm or develop a new one. The majority of people living in poverty don’t add value to themselves. If you live in the United States then poverty is a choice, if you rely on someone or something else for your own happiness you’ll be unhappy.
15. Searching for all the short-cuts to riches, trying to GET without GIVING a fair equivalent, usually reflected in the habit of gambling, endeavoring to drive “sharp” bargains.
“IF YOU HELP ENOUGH PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT THEY’LL HELP YOU GET WHAT YOU WANT.” Zig Ziglar’s tag line says it all. You have to give to get, but you have to have something worth giving. People who don’t give may feel like they have nothing to give or don’t value themselves enough to believe that they have something of value to give. Which means they haven’t found their true purpose.
16. FEAR OF CRITICISM, failure to create plans and to put them into action, because of what other people will think, do, or say. This enemy belongs at the head of the list, because it generally exists in one’s subconscious mind, where its presence is not recognized.
PEOPLE WHO CRITICIZE ARE JEALOUS. Unfortunately this fear stops us from even sharing our goals. I’ve done some off the wall things in my life and believe me I’ve been criticized for it. I’m willing to live with my decisions and hopefully improve because of them. People who criticize are usually those who are afraid to do what you’re doing.
Look the list over and examine each symptom for the lack of persistence and find a way to heal yourself so that you can move forward in achieving your desire.
Napoleon Hill gives us four simple steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE. They call for no great amount of intelligence, no particular amount of education, and but little time or effort.
The necessary steps which lead to the habit of PERSISTENCE are;
1. A DEFINITE PURPOSE BACKED BY BURNING DESIRE FOR ITS FULFILLMENT.
2. A DEFINITE PLAN, EXPRESSED IN CONTINUOUS ACTION.
3. A MIND CLOSED TIGHTLY AGAINST ALL NEGATIVE AND DISCOURAGING INFLUENCES, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances.
4. A FRIENDLY ALLIANCE WITH ONE OR MORE PERSONS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE ONE TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH BOTH PLAN AND PURPOSE.
These four steps are essential for success in all walks of life. The entire purpose of the thirteen principles of the Think and Grow Rich philosophy is to enable one to take these four steps as a matter of habit.
It’s our daily habits that make who we are. If you don’t like your habits and struggle to change them then find someone who can help you, or at least hold you accountable. Some people have a trusted friend, belong to a mastermind group or hire a professional coach.
WHAT WILL YOU DO TO ACHIEVE YOUR DESIRES?