Last night I watched a documentary about how the superb car Corvette is made. They presented the history of this car and stated that perseverance was the key factor that conducted to what this car is today, the perseverance of those that made and improved it. This statement made me think: What is perseverance? Why is this personality trait of a person so important? and How do this work to reach such great results?
1. Perseverance is a personality trait. If personality is compounded by two large dimensions, such as temperament (mostly genetic) and character (mostly constructed by environment, education and experience), then perseverence belong to the last one. All these mean perseverance is a quality you can acquire, build and improve anytime. Let’s assume that there is nobody who totally lacks it, but there are a lot of us who aren’t concerned about it or don’t develop it to its full potential. The good news is that this trait is in the range of human control, that you can improve it and benefit it.
2. Perseverance is a habit: the habit of keep trying when others give up, of staying when difficulty arise, the habit to endure while doing something that your immediate wish is to quit. We also can see it as the ability to steady pursue a goal, as the capacity to keep working toward an objective, especially when the path to the end is hard. It is the skill to stay at a difficult task.
3. Perseverance is a choice, before you choused to persevere, you was in the face of either/or, either fly or persevere. This option is needed in such situations as goal achievement or dealing with adversity, it must be called forth when there is a goal to achieve or a tough context in your life.
4. Perseverance requires you to center your attention on what is in your power to do, on what is in your control and let aside what is out of your influence. When you are doing something, there are things that can be done and influenced by you, but also things that are outside your control (chance, etc.), concentrate on first and ignore the last ones. Perserverance also requires diligence, strong will, patience and commitment to endure.
5. You can take this omnipotent factor as a twofold investment: an investment in yourself, because when you persevere in doing something to the end, despite the difficulties and toughness of a task, you will acquire a powerful habit; and an investment in a valuable activity and result, any activity is like a business, it requires a good investment in order to produce a valuable result.
6. Perseverance isn’t always constructive and can be harmful in some situations; this happens when it is overdone and when people stick to plans that evidence show there is a very small probability to succeed. In this case, it isn’t an intelligent and wise perseverance, but a foolish one that makes you persevere when there is clear evidence that a certain activity can’t bring a positive result. It can’t be even named perseverence, but blind stubbornness. You have to stop when trying-over-and-over-again becomes harmful for your well-being. Yet persistence is the key to success, you have to be aware and know when to stop. Successful people don’t try a few times (don’t make just a few sales calls, but many) and then abandon, but keep trying until the light of success begin to show little by little, because rejections don’t discourage them. But there are limits that endurance alone can not surpass. Perseverance isn’t a universal solution; it may be maladaptive when you persistently cling to a wishful hope when there is information that your hope isn’t based on facts and reality. Perseverance is not a purpose in itself and it isn’t precious as a kind of long and unproductive suffering, even if this practice of a painful patience may form a strong determination in you.
7. Where perseverance comes from? It is a question that can’t be straight answered. What is sure is that perseverance is strong linked to optimism (because it finds the good in the worst of all situations), to the hope that in the end the effort will be rewarded with a great result. What motivates you to persevere in a task is the mental image of the final result and so we can say that persistence is strong connected to your motivation, it is in fact a motivational factor. It happens when you feel strong in the face of difficulty. You can take it as a quiet strength that keeps you on the task from the start to the finish, no matter how long it takes to achieve it.
8. But after answered the question What is perseverance?, someone still can ask me: Why is perseverance so important? Why can’t we give it up? To these questions I’ll answer: because it is omnipotent. The man who acquire and improve it to its highest level can do everything he humanly wants. If God made these all by His omnipotent power, you can do what you want to do by the omnipotent perseverance and will.
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” Newt Gingrich
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” Walter Elliott