Grow Your Perseverance

When J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter, 12 different publishers rejected the book. Even Bloomsbury, the publishing house that finally purchased Rowling’s manuscript, advised Rowling to “get a day job”. 

Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before he got financing for creating Disney World.
Harrison Ford moonlighted as a carpenter to support his young family before getting his first big break in movies.

Walt could have given up after his 100th rejection, while Rowling should have ideally considered an alternative career or Ford could have simply given up his dream of acting. But with every setback, these individuals shrugged off defeat and went on to try one more time.

It is not surprising then that Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

Perseverance is often the defining factor between having a dream and living it. So how do we grow this quality and make it a part of our living fabric?

How do we grow our perseverance?

The answer lies in the word itself. Let’s examine the word, P-E-R-S-E-V-E-R-E

P- Purpose – Purpose lies at the core of perseverance. Every story of perseverance derives its strength from the purpose, around which it revolves. If the purpose is ambiguous, it will not sustain on your path for the long haul. It is therefore crucial to first define your purpose, find out what really makes you come alive, and once you have clarified your purpose, set out a plan of action. Identify potential challenges you could face and develop resources that could help you navigate them. Finally, take the first step and keep going on.

E – Enthusiasm – Enthusiasm is the positive energy you bring to every task. It forms the key ingredient that spurs you when times get difficult or the wait seems endless. The easiest way to boost enthusiasm is to do what you love, or love what you do. Secondly, learn to see the silver lining in every moment. Surround yourself with life affirming thoughts that support you and spur you on. Thirdly, practice gratitude to fuel your enthusiasm. Think of five things that make you feel thankful every day.

R – Resilience When the going gets though, the tough get going. Resilience is the ability to bounce back whenever you fall down. Resilient people don’t allow setbacks to slow them down, but use them as stepping-stones to their success. A setback becomes a failure only when we decide to stop trying. Arunima Sinha, an Indian national level volleyball player was pushed out of a running train by thieves in 2011 while resisting them. One of her legs had to be amputated below the knee as a result. While still being treated in the hospital, she resolved to climb Mount Everest. On 21 May 2013, just two years after the accident, Arunima became the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest.

S – Support – We are all interconnected and inter-dependent. Our dreams are not our dreams alone; they are the manifestation of our collective consciousness. Hence it’s a good idea to involve people in our dreams and help them achieve theirs. Invite, welcome and acknowledge support from family, friends or mentors, as well as strangers. Every person we meet is our teacher and a potential participant in our journey.

E – Efficiency – Make sure your daily actions and processes are imbued with efficiency. Efficiency happens when you identify and consistently practice a set of productive daily habits. Sportsmen and artists spend a great amount of time practicing their skill, learning and imbibing the best practices in their field to ensure each move is super efficient and purposeful.

V – Values – A purpose that is not aligned with your values will lose steam halfway. Your belief system will provide you with a set of core values that mature with your experiences and knowledge. You can adjust your systems as you grow, holding onto precious values that retain meaning. During change, your values and belief systems will keep you from feeling lost or unbalanced. They will keep you emotionally strong and help you get started on the next leg of the journey.  You are able to make life decisions from your core values and principles, rather than succumbing to a reactive, “firefighting” mode.

E – Eliminate – Eliminate all that is unnecessary, irrelevant and takes you away form your purpose. Clutter distracts your mind and weakens your perseverance. Then, whether it’s mindlessly surfing the net, gossiping with friends or spending time at the mall, make an undoing list and consciously choose to set your priorities.

R – Review – Make it a habit to regularly review your tasks and identify patterns or actions, which have led to maximum results. Simultaneously, rethink, change or eliminate all that is no longer serving your purpose. In this way you hone your perseverance and avoid running after wrong goals and ideas.

E – Elasticity – refers to flexibility. Remember that life is a spontaneous, dynamic process. While it is important to keep your eye on your purpose, many times you might be called upon to take unfamiliar detours and make changes in your journey. Remain alert and open to life and constantly expand your comfort zone.

To conclude, perseverance is not just one word or approach, it is in effect a way of life which assimilates a mix of attitude, habits, beliefs and values to hone us to be our best.


Share this post on social media

leave a comment