Persistence has to do with overcoming an obstacle. When we see hurdles or roadblocks, we need to figure out how to jump over them, go around them, or knock them down. That’s persistence. It is forcing us to achieve success despite all the stumbling blocks. If we are trying to start a new business for example, and we cannot get a bank loan, then we must persist. We must find alternative ways to get capital. Perseverance in this case won’t help us at all.
Perseverance is about ignoring and enduring hardship. In any pursuit we may have in life, we are going to have problems and challenges. We’ll also notice that some of those challenges can’t be dealt with through strategy or increased effort. What we must do is endure the struggle. We must ignore the naysayer. We must persevere. If we are running a business for example, and there is an economic dip that affects our sales, then we must persevere. We must endure the slump in growth or maybe even a dip in stability. We must survive the storms. There is very little that we can do in that time to persist.
Both persistence and perseverance are characteristics we want to utilize to become successful. A valuable distinction, then, is to know and understand which one to use in our times of challenge. And maybe that’s why some people are so cynical about these traits - because they misuse them and then complain that they don’t work. Of course, if we try to persist to get out of the rain in the middle of the ocean while there is a storm, then we won’t be successful and we may even complain. If we try to persevere in our career during times of corporate change and rightsizing, then we’re likely to get laid off and complain about it.
And, without fail, there will be times when we need to do both. We need to persist and persevere. Network marketing is a good example for this. We need to persist and keep showing people our business plan. That may mean that we need counseling to improve our approach in contacting, enhance our presentation skills, or modify our technique for doing a follow-through. And we need to persevere as we get all the “No’s” and all the rejections. We need to endure that pain in order to find the people that do want to be in our business.
Remember that there are probably quotes that don’t fully agree with my distinction. That’s not to say that those quotes are bad or my distinction is false. Don’t try to mismatch as I discussed in the introduction of Volume I. Let’s use the distinction where it empowers us. If we don’t use it, we’ll lose it. Thomas Edison said, “The value in an idea lies in the using of it.”
Let's love the world together...
Danish Ahmed, blind visionary