Did you, like me, grow up reading the story of Robert the Bruce and The Spider? Try, try again was the moral we were told. Despite, this early learning, I confess that persistence is not one of my virtues. I know that about myself. There are plenty of drafts, ideas, unfinished embroidery projects, incomplete note-books that are a testament to my lack of persistence.
Is Persistence Always Good
If my mother were alive she’d vouch for my inability to be persistent. She was the epitome of persistence though. Mum would see ideas through and complete projects she started. She’d often drive us (mostly Dad) mad with her need to do something she thought was necessary! See, I already told you one of the reasons why persistence might not be good!
I’m not a bucket-list kind of person but I can appreciate how that might work for some people. I do believe we must have plans and goals but not at the cost of everything else. Our persisting with some goals might affect our relationships. Often people will focus on their career goals at the cost of family and other relationships. Sometimes it might affect our health as well.
I cringe when I think of some people (the type deified in Bollywood movies) that would persist with making a girl they liked fall in love with them! Sometimes their persistence bordered on stalking making the girl and every one uncomfortable.
Being persistent alone is not enough. We must be adaptive as well. In his book ‘Think and Grow Rich’, Napoleon Hill tells us that Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company was known for his persistence. Once Ford got an idea, no matter how long it too, he would persist with it until he succeeded. This helped him to build Ford into the largest automotive manufacturer of his time. However, it was this sticking to an idea that caused the ruin of Ford by his refusal to modify the design of the Model ‘T’ Ford. The same quality that served him so well in building his company worked against him in adapting to change.
We should not give up too easily, and yet we must know too when it’s time to let things go in the interest of the higher good.
Do you consider yourself a persistent person?