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The Payoff of Persistence

 

The Payoff of Persistence

Rabbi Evan Moffic writes, “When Moses first confronts Pharaoh and tells him to “Let my people go,” Pharaoh laughs. He brushes Moses off. This pattern repeats several times.

Moses could easily have given up. He faced difficult odds, to begin with. Who was this lowly shepherd to challenge the Pharaoh, the most powerful ruler on earth?

But Moses persists. Behind his persistence was faith. He knew the justness of his cause. He knew, as the Chicago Blues Brothers’ later put it, that he was “on a mission from God.””

Galatians 6:9 gives us, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

What is persistence?

In the bible the word used is hypomonē and it means:

steadfastness, constancy, endurance

in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings

patiently, and steadfastly

a patient, steadfast waiting for

a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

It is often linked with words like endurance, gain, patience, sufferings, character, encouragement, affliction, hardship, and distress.

Dictionary.com provides a good summary of the meaning of persistent,

  • adjective
  • persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc.; persevering:
  • a most annoyingly persistent young man.
  • lasting or enduring tenaciously:
  • the persistent aroma of verbena; a persistent cough.
  • constantly repeated; continued:
  • persistent noise.

Biology.

  • continuing or permanent.
  • having continuity of phylogenetic characteristics.

Botany.

  • remaining attached beyond the usual time, like flowers, flower parts, or leaves.

I included the Biology and Botany references because they aptly illustrate the full meaning of persistence – never give up!

Why is Persistence important

You will never know what will happen when you persist. There are a thousand stories out there that recount people who quit just short of their goal. Men who dug for gold and stop a foot short of the vein, people looking for diamonds and went all over the world, and yet they were right there in their own backyard or just stopped short of finishing the race. Persistence is the key to success.

If there is anything you really want to achieve, and really believe in, you owe it to yourself to keep going no matter what. Churchill said, “Never give up! Never give up! Never, never, never, never, never! Ray Kroc’s motto was “Press On”. A.L. Williams coined the phrase, “Do It”.

Persistence does not come easy or cheaply. It takes hard work, determination, and thick skin. The key is, if you don’t persist, you will not reach your goal or full potential.  And as Gordon Tredgold wrote, “As leaders, persistence is a quality that we absolutely have to have, nobody will follow a quitter, if that is our reputation then why should people follow us. If we lack persistence, they know that at the first sign of trouble we will waver and at the first failure there is a high probability that we will quit.”

 

Other important reasons to persist:

  1. Persistence will uncover your weaknesses, which in turn will give you an opportunity to improve yourself and your goal. Since most of us stand on the shoulders of giants it gives others a leg up through you.,
  2. Persistence gives you the experience of having done it and propels you forward as well as others. Roger Bannister broke the world record in running the first mile in under 4 minutes. Since then, more than 4,000 people have been able to do the same.
  3. Success comes at a price and by persisting you earn the right to enjoy that success and appreciate the true value of it.
  4. Not many people think about being someone to look up to, but with your persistence and diligence, you set an example for others to follow. That may not be your goals but what a wonderful side benefit.
  5. Many of the gurus maintain that to be financially successful you need to be an expert in your field. By being persistent and continuing you will easily gain that 10,000 hours of practice and through persistence become that expert.

Strategies to keep on going.

  1. Make sure that you back up your desire with an equal or greater commitment to attain that desire. Tony Robbins loves to say that people do things based on pain and pleasure and often will work harder on avoiding pain than gaining pleasure. Make your WHY much bigger than your HOW.
  2. Prepare for eventual problems or setbacks. Nothing in life comes easily or smoothly. We are human and will slip back or fall occasionally, it is the ability and desire to get back up that separate’s winners from losers. As mentioned in point one, if your why is big enough you will find the strength to get back up.
  3. Think and believe in the long term. How often have we heard that “from a small acorn a giant oak grows?” How a repetitive drop of water can bore a hole in a rock. We must all look at the long-term consequences of our actions today. Yes, learn from the past, live in today, but work for the future. You can and will make a difference by persisting for good.
  4. Build your team! Nothing occurs in a vacuum. By having an advisory board or mastermind group you can share your challenges and find either support or novel ways to overcome a challenge. True, these teams are usually found in the business world, but they can be created for personal things as well. I am reading a fascinating book by Immanuel Velikovsky and in the forward, he lists all the people he wrote to, discussing his theories and thoughts. Yes, wrote to them, because he was in the pre-internet era. Among the luminaries, he wrote to was Albert Einstein. The point is that you can easily invite others, notable others, to help look at what you are thinking, doing, and hoping to achieve and get advice from people who may have been there before. Quick note, I always read the forwards, introductions, and prefaces as quite often I learn more from there than anywhere else.
  5. Have a growth mindset, you need to be like a plant, if you are not growing you are dying. We constantly hear of the success people enjoy but rarely know the many times they stumbled, fell, failed, and almost quit. With a growth mindset, you believe that you can develop talent, knowledge, and creativity. You also believe that you can train yourself to have self-discipline, tenacity, and determination. As Rev. Schuler always said, “Be a possibilities thinker!”

Anything is possible if you stick to it like glue. Yes, there are extremes that you may not physically overcome, but there are solutions to all the rest of your challenges. There can be a massive payoff from persistence.

 

Chuck Groot is an author, speaker, teacher. His love of God has spanned over 6 decades and he finds the more he studies the Bible, the less he knows, the more he succeeds the more dependant on God he becomes, and that there is nothing outside of loving God our Father, and being loved in return.

 

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Bibliography

7 Reasons Why Persistence is the Key to Success. (2021, 1 24). Retrieved from Mag for Living: http://www.magforliving.com/7-reasons-why-persistence-is-the-key-to-success/

Hereford, Z. (2021, 1 24). The Power of Persistence. Retrieved from Essential Life Skills: https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/persistence-perseverance.html

Importance Of Persistence In Life. (2021, 1 24). Retrieved from Go To Things: https://www.gotothings.com/motivation/importance-of-persistence-in-life.htm

Macabasco, L. (2021, 1 24). 6 Effective Ways to Become Persistent. Retrieved from Life Hack: https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/6-effective-ways-to-become-persistent.html

Mackay, H. (2018, March 19). Persistence is the key to success in our lives. Retrieved from Times Union: https://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Persistence-is-the-key-to-success-in-our-lives-12765259.php#:~:text=Perseverance%20separates%20the%20winners%20from,when%20the%20reward%20is%20delayed.

Martin. (2021, 1 24). Self Improvement: Th Important of Persistence. Retrieved from Erupting Mind: https://www.eruptingmind.com/importance-of-persistence/

Moffic, R. E. (2015, 1 2). 20 Things You Can Learn About Leadership From Moses . 20 Things You Can Learn About Leadership From Moses . Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Mounce, B. (2021, 1 24). ὑπομονή. Retrieved from Bill Mounce: https://www.billmounce.com/greek-dictionary/hypomone

Oppong, T. (2017, March 17). Persist. It Matters. Retrieved from Medium: https://medium.com/personal-growth/persist-it-matters-7e4270f7c078

Persistence. (2021, 1 24). Retrieved from Open bible: https://www.openbible.info/topics/persistence

Pollock, M. D. (2021, 1 31). The Science of Perseverance – How Your Beliefs Can Strengthen (or Weaken) Your Motivation. Retrieved from Michael Pollock: https://www.michaeldpollock.com/mindset-motivation-perseverance/

Tredgold, G. (2021, 1 24). Why Persistence in an Important Quality for Leaders? Retrieved from Gordon Tredgold: https://gordontredgold.com/why-persistence-in-an-important-quality-for-leaders/

ὑπομονή. (2021, 1 24). Retrieved from Blue Letter Bible: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g5281