I write my blog posts weekly. Originally I really liked the idea of doing them in a big batches like I’ve heard suggested by productivity experts. It makes sense, doesn’t it? You just sit down and create all at once, but the challenge is that you lose the option of spontaneity.
To be truthful, I’m not a spontaneous person, much to my husbands dismay, but when it comes to writing and podcasting, I think that spontaneity is a necessity. Each week something happens in my life that clearly dictates what I need to share. This week it was a really fun experience. Normally, I’ll just have something on my mind, or I’ll have read or listened to something that ignited an idea, but this week I had a mini-me moment.
If you don’t have a mini-me, as I’m so fortunate to have you might not be able to relate, but indulge me. I have a daughter who is six and she is literally a mini-me. She looks like me, she acts like me and just for added benefit she repeats the things I say. There’s nothing in the world more humbling than hearing your children talk to each other in your “not so nice voice.” But, of course there’s a flip side and it is heart-warming when you hear them talk to each other in your sweet and kind voice. Children are little recorders. They hear all the things you say and play them back when least expected.
You have to know a little something about our family, we’re kinda into nature. My daughter loves bugs and plants, and sticks and dirt and animals. However, she has a special affinity for butterflies. We’re fortunate enough to live along the Pacific Flyway for birds and Monarch Butterflies. Each year, as the Monarch migrates from North America into Mexico, we get masses of Monarch Butterflies. If you’ve never seen one, they are beautiful dark orange with black veins and they are certainly the largest butterflies in our area. My daughter has a bug collection and she’s caught an amazing, large number of butterflies for her collection, but she’s not been able to catch a Monarch. If we see one while we’re driving, or at a local park or just in our backyard she goes crazy. She’s been wanting to catch a Monarch for about a year now and I keep expecting her to move on — after all, she’s six.
Yesterday I was working at my computer and she yells from the backyard that she’s caught a Monarch. She’s caught other orange colored moths in the past and thought they were Monarchs, so I thought it was a false alarm, but it wasn’t. She’d indeed caught a Monarch Butterfly. As we were putting the butterfly in her bug cage the first words out of her mouth were,
That sure took a lot of persistence.
My heart smiled a big wide smile and I used that moment as a chance to talk to her about the value of persistence. My mini-me was spouting goodness and I was elated. It didn’t take long to realize that this young 6-year-old had been at this for nearly a year. It had taken her 16% of her life to catch this butterfly, if I wanted to apply 16% of my life to a project that would be 6.5 years. That’s a really long time.
Why do we give up?
So many adults don’t have the ability to apply persistence to areas of their lives that desperately need it. If you’re thinking about starting a business, or if you have started a business, you’re going to need a lot of persistence. It’s a key foundational concept for business ownership. So if it’s so important why don’t more people apply the principles of persistence?
1. We just don’t want it that badly.
If you really want something you’ll be willing to do whatever it takes, spend whatever it takes and build whatever it takes because you just really, really down deep in the pit of your stomach want it. You want it more than you want to watch TV, or read a novel. More than you want to go to a party, or play on your computer. You want it more and you make it a priority. You want it with your whole heart and you’re willing to make sacrifices to get it.
2. We question our abilities.
We question whether or not we have what it takes to stick it out or create something larger than ourselves. We question our talents, our training and our resolve. I’ll never forget when my daughter at age 4 told me she was going to catch a butterfly with her hands. I, being the ever true motivator promptly told her she couldn’t catch a butterfly by hand and that she should go do something else, but then a few weeks later she walked into the house with a butterfly. Asked how she’d gotten it, she told me she’d caught it with her hands.
Do you know that you have what it takes even when those in authority, or those who have your best interest at heart tell you that it isn’t possible?
Prior to starting my event production company a boss told me that I could never put on an event that large, 9 years and $800,000 in annual sales proved that boss wrong. We all have shortcomings, but we don’t need to work to focus on our limitations, we need to work to focus on our strengths.
Often the more we get into something, the more we realize it doesn’t look the way we’d hoped it would look. There isn’t a magical fairy who is going to wave a wand and make life all hearts and rainbows. It doesn’t matter what you do, there are going to be good days and there are going to be bad days, that’s called life. But when you do what you love, the bad days are far outshadowed by the good. When things get tough, don’t get discouraged. It may turn out even greater than your original hopes. I’ve had that happen often to me in business. I imagine how something will be, create expectations and then get disillusioned when the result isn’t what I’d expect. Steadfastness has often turned out an even greater result than my original hope, but it is delivered in a different package.
Sometimes you have to do the things that are hard to get to your end goal. Persistence is doing what you may not want to do to get what you really need. This morning I did not want to go to the gym, but I went because I have a commitment to be persistent. I’m not going to get a flat stomach by sleeping in and you won’t have a successful business by quitting after a couple of hard months.
Persistence pays off. Stick to your goals! Each day resolve to do whatever it takes to create the life you need and want.