Persistence is the dogged determination you have to complete what you strive for—the “never say die” attitude. This is a powerful quality for success because most worthwhile endeavours are difficult to achieve.
Enlightened persistence, on the other hand, is the ability to differentiate between what is worth persisting in and what is wiser to desist from pursuing. Enlightened persistence forces you to revisit your goals.
Enlightenment is a strong word—it implies the goal you are chasing is larger than yourself and will make a difference. Here are two simple examples of what happens when you persist in the wrong things:
You are climbing a very tall tree to pick some fruit. However, eventually, when you get to the top, you find out that you do not like the fruit because you were climbing the wrong tree. Many people chase goals for many years and eventually get there only to wonder why they were chasing these goals.
You are planning to go from Vancouver to Seattle, to the south, but have a map tracing the route to Whistler, north of Vancouver. You will not get to Seattle no matter how fast you go or how much you persist or how positively you think. You need to change your direction to reach your destination.
If you are persisting just for fame, you may end up climbing the wrong tree and not enjoying the fruits you get, or going in the wrong direction and ending up in a different location than you’d hoped. There are many examples of people who were famous but unhappy. If you read the biographies of some famous people, you will see tales of regret, betrayal, addiction, unhappiness and even bankruptcy.
Be clear about your goals, articulate them well and also check how they will enrich your life once achieved. As Socrates puts it, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
When you receive a brilliant idea in a conversation, seminar reading, listening to an audio tape or watching a video, stop everything you are doing.
Jump straight into implementing the idea in whatever format possible at that moment. Some ideas are grand and cannot be implemented right away. However, the planning can be done, which is a great start to any idea.
If you fail to take this action right away the chances of you implementing the idea are grossly minimized.
Great ideas come to all of us, but only those who act upon them right away benefit. The rest are left with excuses!
How important is what you are grappling with now? If it’s very important in terms of results it can create for you, and the consequences of not achieving desired outcome are big, then it requires your undivided attention.
Get all the facts on the table to expedite the decision-making and planning process. When you have incomplete information, it takes much longer to decide and plan. If you desire efficiency, avoid discussing outcomes before you have all the facts. If you are meeting to discuss the facts you need, that is fine as long as you are clear of the meeting’s purpose.
Thoroughly preparing for a meeting can greatly enhance the outcome in terms of the overall results.
Fear can limit your ability to set goals, negotiate and perform.
Why do people weaken with fear? In most cases, it’s because they have a low opinion of their own ability.
Most people judge you by the way you judge yourself. If you have a high opinion of yourself, you will carry yourself accordingly. If you have a low opinion of yourself, you will carry yourself accordingly.
Once you start believing in something (including yourself!) things begin to set in motion, and you attract help from unknown sources. Your demeanour changes, and you add a positive spin to everything you do. You walk like a winner!
The beauty of the calendar is that it often gives you an opportunity to make a fresh start.
Every Sunday you can make a fresh start. If you are in Dubai, it is Friday when you can make a fresh start. So already, you have 52 opportunities during the year to make a new beginning. Then there is the first of every month – there you have another 12 opportunities. Then you have special days – your birthday, your children’s birthdays, your parents’ birthdays, anniversaries and so on. So many opportunities to make an excuse to make a new beginning.
Why do we need an excuse? No matter how disciplined you are, life can take you away from your goals or core focus. A deadline comes in taking all your energies and putting everything else on a back burner. A short term emergency makes you totally consumed. These incidents can cause you to become imbalanced. Sometimes, it is the opposite – the daily routine makes you become boring and narrow, requiring a shake up to take you away from the rut.
Whatever the case, it is useful to take stock now and then to ask whether you are living a life that you are proud of, and making a positive difference to one and all – including yourself!
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