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Persistence - Repetition is the Mother of Excellence

Oct 28, 2020

I think of Dory in Finding Nemo and her reminding herself, "just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Dory of course had short term memory issues and felt like she needed to remind herself to keep swimming.

Of course a fish doesn't need to be reminded to just keep swimming, swimming is a part of who a fish is, it is a part of their character. As business owners we want to be known by our regular actions, our habits, that become a part of our character.

The value of persistence in life and business is many times underrated in developing the habits that lead to success.

The dictionary says persistence is firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

We could have a whole conversation about being obstinate. Henry Ford was considered by many to be obstinate, and what he really was, was persistent. He was persistent in what he wanted, and did whatever it took to get it. He expected persistent action from those who worked for him. It is how he got great results and how he revolutionized the industrial age.

Persistence is continued movement, continuing to do the things necessary in spite of difficulty or opposition.

This is hard for many people, they quit at the first sign of resistance, even perceived resistance. We have a great business idea and the voice in our head says, "but wait you have never done that before," and many people quit right there. The truth the voice in our head forgets is, before we have done anything, we haven't done it before. We didn't walk before we stood up and tried walking. We didn't use a computer or a smartphone before picking one up and trying. So why does that voice lie to us? The voice is trying to keep us in our comfort zone. The comfort zone is safe and the voice is a part of our mind trying to protect us.

Athletes are some of the best examples of persistence.

Professional athletes and Olympic athletes make their sports look easy. We see their best performances, the time they are in the spot light and many of us on our couches think, well that looks too easy. Others think that oh they were just lucky, in the right place at the right time. What we don't see is them waking up at 4am everyday for the last ten years, working out in the gym each day, practicing their skills for 5 or 6 hours a day, and then watching film and learning how to improve before they go out and practice for 2 more hours. Athletes push through pain, push through injuries and they certainly push through the voice in their head telling them to quit.

Persistence is what is necessary for the development of good habits.

The crazy thing is many of us are good at bad habits; eating too much, drinking too much, spending time on Facebook, spending time shopping. There are a lot of things that just seem to fill the void and make us feel very busy. If we aren't intentional about developing good beneficial habits, the bad habits naturally slip in.

Developing good habits requires us to focus on the things that help us grow, help us grow our business. It starts with a good morning routine, waking up early, reading, drinking water, exercise, keeping gratitude journal, and one of the most powerful disciplines in a routine can be visualizing what you want to accomplish in the day, what does it feel like to have those things done?

Developing the habits for health, it isn't what you can do in one day, it is the regular persistent exercise that leads to health. Ten sit ups by themselves won't change much, but ten sit ups everyday after a few months will have a large impact, after one year it will be significant. In our microwave culture, we want immediate results from as little activity as necessary.

Where do you need to develop good habits? What activity do you need to be persistent in for the sake of your business?

Persistence is the continuous action in spite of challenges or obstacles. I encourage you to work on adding a new activity to your daily routine for 30 days and be persistent.