What does it mean?
Keep trying until the end. Don't give in. Keep your mind on the task and see it through to completion. The old line of 'If at first you don't succeed, try and then try again' is said often because it holds true time and time again.
Why does it matter?
You will never reach your goals if you stop part way. If reaching the top of the mountain were easy, everyone would do it. Achieving goals that matter and are important is meant to be hard; by their nature they are a challenge and will test your will power. Persistence is the biggest hurdle to success.
When should you use it?
Whenever you face a hurdle that you cannot get over on your first attempt. When you need to keep at something to the end, when the goal takes time and energy over a long period of time. When you are at your limits imagine you are the mountaineer nearing the sumit, give up and you fall to your death, keep trying and you can achieve your goal.
In the Karate Kid, Daniel seeks the assistance of Mr Miyagi as a Karate coach. Daniel is desperate to learn how to use Karate to defeat 'The Cobras' a gang of teens who use their skills to bully others. Daniel is hoping for a quick fix but learns that only through persistence can he become a true master.
A useful quote
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 failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
5 Top Strategies:
- Keep trying, don't give up.
- Have a plan with goals along the way. Reward yourself when you reach each little goal. Break the problem down into manageable chunks. Don't let the size of your task overwhelm you.
- Look for alternative solutions, re-evaluate your plan of attack, keep the pieces that work change what isn't helping, be prepared to start over.
- Remind yourself of other goals you have achieved by overcoming challenges, if you did it then you can do it again. Build on your success.
- You don't have to do it all alone, look for help and support along the way
- Keep trying, never give up.
5 Questions to ask about your thinking:
- Why do I want to stop now? What is the barrier I am facing and how do I get past it?
- Is my plan of attack working? If yes, how can I be sure? If no, what needs to change?
- What have I not understood about the challenge?
- Am I on track?
- Why is this goal important? Take time at the hard points to remind yourself of why the goal is worth achieving.
Thinking Routines for Persistence
- Think, Puzzle, Explore - A routine for thinking deeply about a problem or topic. Begin with 'What do you think you know about the topic/problem?' then move to 'What questions or puzzles do you have about the topic?' finally consider 'How can you explore this topic?'. Use this routine at the beginning of your learning, in the middle and whenever you need to evaluate your progress.
- Generate, Sort, Connect, Elaborate (A Mind-mapping strategy)- Generate a list of ideas and initial thoughts. Sort your ideas by importance or usefulness. Connect your ideas by using lines making a map of your ideas with their links. Elaborate on any ideas or explore the most important ideas or clusters in greater depth. Use to get yourself started and revisit the map you produce often. Combine with 'Think, Puzzle, Explore' to make Elaboration easier.