Last week I wrote about career resilience and the need for us to develop four patterns in our work lives:
One thing that I've observed about resilient people is that they persist. Even when things are at their worst or it seems like they are going nowhere, resilient people are persistent people. As Steve Pavlina puts it, "they press on, even when they feel like quitting."
Persistence is one of the major Coping patterns we need to develop in our lives if we ever hope to be truly resilient. Without persistence, we won't be able to work on any of the other patterns we need to grow in ourselves, because honestly, developing career resilience isn't always easy work.
The problem with persistence is that it's not terribly sexy. It's the daily, weekly, monthly grind of self-discipline, of slogging through mud when we feel like just giving up. Believe me, I struggle with persistence all the time, so I know it's not an easy thing to do.
But resilience requires persistence. It takes diligence to forge new habits and self discipline to bring our vision into reality. The essence of reslience is not giving up. Persistence is what makes sure that we don't.
Where do we need to show persistence? I think in two ways--persistence of vision and persistence of action.
Persistence of vision is having a clear image of where we want to go--direction, not necessarily destination. Persistence of vision is what drives us to create, to the actions that we need to take to move forward.
Persistence of action is even more important, though, because this is often where we fall down. We may have a persistent vision of where we want to go, but we fail to take the steps to actually get there.---especially if we encounter obstacles or challenges along the way that make us want to give up.
So how to develop our persistence muscles? Probably the best advice I've seen on this comes from this post by Todd Warren (quoting Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich). We need to have:
1. "A definite purpose backed by burning desire for its fulfillment"
2. "A definite plan backed by continuous action."
3. "A mind closed tightly against all negative and discouraging influences, including negative suggestions of relatives, friends and acquaintances."
4. "A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose."
A purpose, motivation to achieve that purpose, a plan that turns into action, a positive mind and supportive people--that's what we need to practice persistence. And these are the tools of career resilience, too.