Archives For Persistence

George Washington

February 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

Only one year after they married, on February 22, 1732, Augustine and Mary Bell Washington delivered their first child, George Washington. Augustine was a third-generation English colonist who settled on a farm along the Rappahannock River opposite Fredericksburg in 1738.

After the unfortunate passing of his father in 1743, George inherited the more modest Rappahannock River plantation where he lived with his mother and ten inherited slaves. Augustine left most of his property to his sons from his first marriage.

George Washington’s formal education ended when his father passed away. Washington, at the age of thirteen wrote and started practicing his “Rules of Civility” to adopt better habits and manners to climb higher up in Virginia’s society. He trained as a land surveyor and at 16 helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. In 1749, at seventeen years old, he was appointed county surveyor of the frontier county of Culpeper.

George contracted smallpox while on the island Barbados from 1751-1752 with his half-brother Lawrence who was attempting to cure his respiratory illness. This was only one of a number of severe illnesses that affected George’s health. One of the possible reasons for Washington’s infertility could have been caused by having tuberculosis.

Upon his return from Barbados, at twenty years old, George joined the Freemasons. He is the first of many Presidents to belong to the closed society to include Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford, to name a few.

George was sworn in as a Major in the Virginia militia and in February 1753 Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie sent Washington and 150 soldiers to the Ohio Valley to deliver a letter to the French stating Virginia’s claim of the land. Washington’s men fought against French soldiers who pushed them to retreat to the makeshift Fort Necessity, where he was forced to surrender. He published his journal of his experience which was the beginning of giving him a reputation for courage and leadership among the colonists

He returned to military service in 1754 and was commissioned a lieutenant colonel and served as an aide to General Edward Braddock. During a battle alongside the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755, General Braddock was mortally wounded and Washington assumed command and exhibited great courage, he had two horses shot out from under him and a number of musket shoots through his cloak. He led the men to safety and was later recognized for his conduct in battle with a promotion and was given command of the entire military force of Virginia. In 1758 Washington became a brigade commander, the only American to achieve that rank during the war.

Washington’s self-control was key to his character, he had mastered himself and he could the master events he was involved in. Despite being surrounded by fear, despair, indecisiveness, treason, and the threat of mutiny, he remained confident and steadfast, displaying high emotional intelligence and integrity.

He resigned his commission in 1758 and married Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759. Martha was a young widow who had inherited an enormous amount of wealth after the passing of her first husband, making her the wealthiest widow in Virginia. The newlywed couple, along with Marth’s two young children, Jacky, and Patsy moved to Mount Vernon.

George, finally being accepted into Virginia’s upper class, became a gentleman farmer at Mount Vernon. He established himself as an innovative farmer, who switched from tobacco to wheat as his main cash crop. He experimented with new crops, fertilizers, crop rotation, tools, and livestock breeding. He even grew hemp, but not just for fiber, his meticulous journal indicated he was growing just female plants with higher THC content to help deal with his toothaches. He also expanded the work of the plantation to include flour milling and commercial fishing and even operated a distillery that produced over 11,000 gallons of rye whiskey, becoming one of his most successful enterprises.

Eventually, just like his fellow planters, Washington felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew, he voiced his resistance to the restrictions.

When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington, one of the Virginia delegates, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that lasted six grueling years.

Martha Washington joined her husband in his winter quarters every year of the war. Together they entertained his officers and guests. A patriot in her own right, Mrs. Washington made it her war too, nursing sick and wounded soldiers and raising money for the troops. Needlework helped her to pass the time through the long, cold winters. In all, she would spend about half the war in camp.

George realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British and started using unconventional tactics. He reported to Congress, “We should on all occasions avoid a general action, or put anything to the Risqué, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn.” Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly.

Although the tale goes that George Washington never told a lie, that wasn’t true during the revolutionary war, lying was part of his strategy. Washington used double spies to send misinformation to the British. In one situation he had a double spy tell the British that he had 40,000 soldiers knowing that they wouldn’t believe that number. He later wrote a message stating that they had 9,000 soldiers and outlined their weapons and rations. The British believed this second misinformation and decided the colonies had to large of an army to attack so delayed till after winter, Washington had less than 2,000 soldiers and was able to cross the Delaware river on December 26, 1776 for a surprise attack against the British.

Finally in 1781 with the aid of French allies–he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

On December 23, 1783, Washington presented himself before Congress in Annapolis, Maryland, and resigned his commission. Washington had the wisdom to give up power when he could have been crowned a king. He left Annapolis and went home to Mount Vernon with the fixed intention of never again serving in public life. This one act, without precedent in modern history, made him an international hero.

Washington longed to retire to the fields of Mount Vernon. But he soon realized that the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was not functioning well, so he became a prime mover in the steps leading to the 1787 Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia.

Once the Constitution was approved, Washington hoped to retire again to private life. But when the first presidential election was held, he received a vote from every elector. He remains the only President in American history to be elected by the unanimous voice of the people.

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. The crowd responded “Long live George Washington, President of the United States.” The spectators responded with chants of “God bless our Washington! Long live our beloved President!” They celebrated in the only way they knew, as if greeting a new monarch with the customary cry of “Long live the king!”

In his First Inaugural Address, with only one tooth in his mouth, Washington confessed that he was unpracticed in the duties of civil administration; however, he was one of the most able administrators ever to serve as President. He administered the government with fairness and integrity, assuring Americans that the President could exercise extensive executive authority without corruption.

Further, he executed the laws with restraint, establishing precedents for broad-ranging presidential authority. His integrity was most pure, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “His justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motive of interest or consanguinity, friendship, or hatred, being able to bias his decision.” Washington set a standard for presidential integrity rarely met by his successors, although he established an ideal by which they all are judged. No President, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, served at the same unselfish level as George Washington.

He did not infringe upon the policy making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. Foreign policy became a Presidential concern when the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England. Washington refused to accept the recommendations of the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. He insisted upon a neutral course until the United States could grow stronger.

Wearied of politics and feeling old, he retired at the end of his second term. In his farewell address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon. On a cold and wet December day, Washington, who always checked the grounds daily, became cold and damp which resulted in a throat infection. Despite receiving a regimen of blood-lettings, induced vomiting, an enema, and potions of vinegar and sage tea, Washington’s condition worsened. After the fourth bloodletting, totaling 32 ounces of blood, he improved slightly and was able to swallow but by 10 p.m. his condition deteriorated. Before his death Washington called for his two wills and directed that the unused one be burned. He passed away at 10:20 pm on December 14, 1799.

According to his wishes, Washington was not buried for three days. During that time his body lay in a mahogany casket at Mount Vernon and on December 18, 1799 a solemn funeral was held.

By the time of his death he had expanded the plantation from 2,000 to 8,000 acres consisting of five farms, with more than 3,000 acres under cultivation. Washington made provisions in his will to free all of his own slaves after his wife’s death but could not free those whom Martha had brought to the marriage. In the months after George’s death, a new threat to Martha’s security arose after the slaves who would gain their freedom became restless and rumors circulated about a suspicious fire at Mount Vernon. Fearing for her life, Martha decided to free her deceased husband’s slaves and on January 1, 1801 Washington’s slaves gained their liberty. He was the only slaveholder among the founding fathers to free his slaves.

Martha’s health, always somewhat precarious, now declined, she died on May 22, 1802, just two and a half years after George Washington.

In 1976 Washington was posthumously awarded the highest rank in the U.S. military as General of the Armies of the United States. He is considered the father of the US military for establishing the framework for how American soldiers should organize themselves, behave, and how they should relate to civilian leaders. Nobody will ever outrank him.

 

References:

Video’s

George Washington – Full Episode
http://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-9524786/videos/george-washington-full-episode-2073414290

History Brief: The Leadership of George Washington
https://youtu.be/wiGb5WuycPE

George Washington – Servant Leadership Personified
https://youtu.be/rWx0WjKfNsI

Articles

George Washington
https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/georgewashington

George Washington – Mount Vernon
http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/biography/

George Washington Biography
http://www.biography.com/people/george-washington-9524786

George Washington: The Reluctant President
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/george-washington-the-reluctant-president-49492/?no-ist

Funny George Washington Quotes
http://www.searchquotes.com/search/Funny_George_Washington/

George Washington Timeline
http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/history/biography-of-george-washington/

Little Known Facts About George Washington
http://www.biography.com/news/george-washington-biography-facts

George Washington
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington

What Made George Washington a Good Military Leader?
http://edsitement.neh.gov/curriculum-unit/what-made-george-washington-good-military-leader

The Character of George Washington
http://www.visionandvalues.org/2010/03/the-character-of-george-washington/

The 9 Deadly Diseases That Plagued George Washington
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/george-washingtons-medical-chart/

110 Rules of Civility
http://www.110rules.com/

Books

George Washington On Leadership
http://amzn.to/1PU5fw1

George Washington’s Leadership Lessons: What the Father of Our Country Can Teach Us About Effective Leadership and Character
http://amzn.to/1QeH11H

Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation
http://amzn.to/1PxbILY

I was 27 when I first heard this quote. I remember it vividly. I was sitting at my desk, pondering my path in life. I was about to be a father, and with the notion of having a child I began to think of what I had accomplished so far. Of course, when we think back on our own lives we seem to refuse ourselves the positivity thoughts that we have made it this far living, and we have so much more to go. But as I felt the weight of parenthood beginning to bear down, I found myself wondering what I would do with my life. I wanted to be a writer, first and foremost, but the venture was proving far more difficult than I had originally assumed. After all, it’s easy to read a book, it must be easy to write one. Right? I had heard I had some skill or talent for the trade, and I believed I had some good knowledge to guide my way. However things aren’t always how we first view them.

As I sat reminiscing, I was asked to pick a quote of the day to hopefully inspire those in our organization. I typed three words into the google search bar, “inspiring work quote,” and yielded these words,

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. 

~Calvin Coolidge

Though a lengthy verse, Coolidge’s words are so poetic that one may find it hard to get out of their head. I know I haven’t been able to. But it has achieved more than act as adhesive to my mind, it has helped me to understand that only through persistence can your passion or dream be realized. Only through persistence are actions carried out, decisions made, and success possible.

I used to have the meaning of persistence confused, or linked up with the meaning of progress. But that’s not entirely incorrect. Is it? While learning about Mr. Coolidge, I began to understand how closely the two are related. The only American president born on July 4th, John Calvin Coolidge Jr was a man of few words, yet when he did speak everyone listened.

“Silent Cal” began his career as a lawyer in Northampton, Massachusetts, but quickly moved his interests into city offices. After some time with the City Council and acting as City Solicitor, he expanded his growing political interests when he acquired a spot on the House of Representatives, State Senator, and then as mayor of Northampton. The list of positions goes on and on, from Lieutenant Governor and Governor to Vice President and President of the United States. But it was only after all of this that he pondered, before his death in 1933, about his life and began writing. I believe, though it’s not attributed anything in particular, that this quote sprang from his reminiscence of his past and what drove him to do the great things he did. Though he exhibited many qualities of leadership that Mr. Napoleon Hill would condone, Coolidge’s persistence was the driving force behind his motives and his life.

Now, admittedly, up until the time I first found this quote I didn’t know a thing about Calvin Coolidge. In fact, I believe I initially thought he was an auto industry tycoon or something. I laugh at that thought now, but it is a reminder of my ignorance at that time, not toward my knowledge of who Coolidge was, but rather my view on life. It reminds me of my naive dream that I would be a great overnight success. But what I didn’t realize was that without persistence, an overnight success is only successful overnight and becomes nothing without the drive to continue to be great.

-David Joseph Leingang

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?

Is persistence an uncommon word? How many people can you think of that are truly persistent?

I was reading a study about how 31% of employees are actively disengaged in their jobs. The only thing they seem to be persistent at is the ability to do the minimum until it’s time to retire.

Have you looked at someone who is successful and asked yourself how did they get there? I think Calvin Coolidge made life an even playing field when he said,

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

So, through persistence, can a person become successful? Personally I believe there are many levels, besides persistence, to one’s success. But without it, is any of that possible?

So what really causes someone to be persistent? Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich has a chapter on persistence and lists definite causes for a person to have persistence and how it can be cultivated;

  • Definiteness of Purpose – What do you really want in life? It seems like some people really struggle with this question. It’s almost like they’re afraid to unleash the thought. Once you realize your purpose you’ll either have to change or become disappointed because you struggle to live it.
  • Desire – What do you really desire? Do you dream about something but think you’ll never get it? Well, stop thinking like that! The only person stopping you from your desire is YOU.
  • Self-Reliance – Here’s one of the problems that folks have, they don’t believe in themselves. If you’re not self-reliant, if you need people to get you started, you won’t go far.
  • Definiteness of Plans – How do you get there? How do you achieve your purpose? You need to develop a plan.  Just thinking through the steps to get you there is a start, and then get it on paper so you can read it daily and adjust it as needed.
  • Accurate Knowledge – If you know that your plans will work, great. If you’re unsure, than you’ll struggle to follow through with them. Learn more about how to achieve your purpose, find others who are doing it and ask questions.
  • Cooperation – Seek support from others. They’ll either support your purpose or dispute it. If they dispute it, find a new friend.
  • Willpower – You will never get anywhere, even out of bed, unless you have willpower. You need willpower to do what you haven’t done before.
  • Habit – Persistence is the direct result of habit. Good habits help us move forward, bad habits keep us where we are or more than likely, set us back.

When it comes down to it, people with persistence just get it done. They take what some say is impossible and end up beating the odds, through persistence and will-power. They don’t become defeated.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~ Maya Angelou

If you struggle being persistent, then think about how to increase your will power muscle. Just like other muscles that need to be flexed and used, so does your will power. This is essential if you don’t like doing the tasks on your “To Do” list.

You find people at work who are successful because they get things done by being persistent. They may not even really enjoy what they’re doing, but they do it because they’ve developed positive habits. Here’s some of the habits I think attribute to being persistent.

  • Be timely. This doesn’t include showing up to work on time, which should be expected in order to keep your job. Being timely is showing up to meetings on time and ready, having reports completed on time, and meeting assigned milestones. I know that things happen and deadlines are missed, but then you need to be timely in explaining why it’ll be late, not after it is.
  • Be organized. This is a real struggle for some people because their work area is a cluttered mess. If you spend too much time looking for something in your “organized mess” and it’s impacting your productivity, than it may be time to straighten up, unless you like being persistently disorganized.
  • Be respectful. I know you’re asking how this relates to being persistent. I think it’s important to be persistently respectful, even when people get you upset. It’s a sign of self-control, and you’ll struggle being persistent in other areas if you struggle being persistently respectful. Do you think that when someone is disrespectful it’s a way they’re covering up their own insecurities?

One way is to set a time to focus on the tasks and stay at it till it’s completed or set a finish time. Maybe you only want to work on the dreadful task for an hour, schedule the time on your calendar, just like the meeting that you dread, but feel obligated to attend.

If you’re like me I tend to procrastinate and end up rushing at the end to get it done. For me it’s this newsletter, I wasn’t persistent this last year and missed a couple of months. I made the excuse that I was too busy helping my wife start the Mandan Diner and Soda Fountain, but if it writing this newsletter was a priority, I would’ve made it a priority.

What do you need to be more persistent at in 2014?