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Audrey Marlene's Life Alert Bulletin, LAB Ezine
August 19, 2007
Dear Subscriber

The Two Faces of Persistence

"We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough."-Kellen Helen

Throughout our lives we hear slogans such as "Never Give Up" or "Donít be a Quitter." They are words by which I live by and strongly believe in. You should always remain persistent to your task, however, there comes a time when giving up may be the best thing to do. This is the other face of being persistent. Let's examine both.

Persistence is the ability to stick with something, even when you feel like quitting. This is a remarkable quality to possess. Even with the best of talents, education, or resources, without your persistent effort, nothing will get accomplished.

Interestingly persistence fuels motivation. With each persistent step you take and succeed at, no matter how small, you gain the motivation to move on to the next. For example, if you want to lose weight you create a plan for dieting and exercise. You begin with enormous enthusiasm and you push yourself. After 1 week, of persistent effort you notice your clothes feel looser and the scale shows youíve lost 5 pounds. This gives you the incentive and motivation to continue.

In carrying out a task, you may encounter bumps such as self-doubt, lack of enthusiasm, or fear along the way. This can demotivate you and cause you to question your efforts or give you a reason to rest easy on your laurels. However, the best way to overcome these setbacks is to persist. Keep pushing!

There is the other face of persistence where you must decide when to quit. After years of trying with no results, how do you know when giving up is the best thing to do? This is a difficult thing to do especially when you believe in hanging on until the bitter end. Failure is a difficult thing to accept, so we keep fighting. However, it is from our failures that we succeed.

How to know when to give up.

  • Reexamine your goals. Are you achieving any amount of positive results? Are the results increasing over time?

  • Look at how long youíve been working on this plan. Is this a plan you devised a decade ago? With such a changing world and modern technology, is this plan still viable?

  • Have someone access your plan. Sometimes we need a new set of objective eyes to point out things we cannot see. This can bring more clarity and fresh ideas regarding your goals. Be open to suggestions.

  • Understanding that giving up on a failing project is not failure. Consider it a step closer towards success. Sometimes we have to fail in order to succeed. Read about Bill Gateís failure at Wikipedia.

  • Remember stubbornness is sometimes disguised as persistence. Make sure you know the difference.

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