As some of you already know, I’ve been studying the classic Think and Grow Rich for the past few days now. My challenge is this — study Chapter 9: Persistence: The Sustained Effort Necessary to Induce Faith for 15 consecutive days. If I skip it, I go back and start at Day 1. Easy, right? Well, I’ve restarted the whole thing four times already!
It’s that damn hard! Sure, I’ve got a busy schedule… but they’re all excuses that I’m waiting on to happen. That’s the cold-hard-truth of it all.
Today, I’m onto my fourth attempt and hopefully will see myself through the 15 day challenge. And if I do, I’ll continue further till the last day of April. Essentially making it a 20-day challenge.
So, while I’m at it, I thought of sharing some of the nuggets here with you and whatmore than starting off with the symptoms indicating the lack of persistence! It’s THE real deal! And both you and I know how that feels… like the enemy standing in the way of our dreams.
The list below is to be bookmarked and studied because only a careful analysis would give you the courage to understand who you are and what you’re capable of doing. I staunchly believe the list below is something you should conquer in this lifetime. And sooner you do that, the better.
Here’s the list:
- Failure to recognize and to clearly define exactly what one wants. This is the granddaddy of all of our problems… not knowing what we really want. Investing time to understand your weakenesses and strengths is the first steps towards knowing what you want in life. Sure, you may eventually settle for something that you started with and that is okay… but you have to start somewhere. And discovering that is critical to set the proverbial “ball” rolling.
- Procrastination, with or without cause. (Usually backed up with a formidable array of alibis and excuses). I would love to jab on this… but I’ve got better things to do right now. Perhaps, tomorrow. Got the point? Good. Moving on…
- Lack of interest in acquiring specialized knowledge. You can’t be a wandering generality… we’ve got many of them. You need to become a meaningful specific particularly when it comes to your knowledge base. Having a niche isn’t important… unless you want to get paid. Explore it, discover it, match it to your strengths and go deeper.
- Indecision, the habit of “passing the buck” on all occasions, instead of facing issues squarely. (Also backed by alibis). “To be or not to be. That is the question” has riddled thousands (understatement… perhaps a billion) of men and women to a life of desperation and dejection. You need to be able to put your foot down and move with what you have. Often, in my experience, you’re better off executing on something based on what you know than waiting for just the right time.
- The habit of relying upon alibis instead of creating definite plans for the solution of problems. There’s so much to gain by being a solutions-focused person than a problem-finder. We’ve got many of the latter and success lies in your ability to find the solutions and further progress than get in the way.
- Self-satisfaction. There is but the, little remedy for this affliction, and no hope for those who suffer from it. If you’re happy with what you’ve achieved, you haven’t worked hard enough. I also feel that getting satisfied too early is a sign of laziness. You’re not pushing yourself hard enough.
- Indifference usually reflected in one’s readiness to compromise on all occasions, rather than meet opposition and fight it. Duh. Self-explanatory but a critical reason why we lack persistence. Instead of settling for the mediocre, fight for the best.
- The habit of blaming others for one’s mistakes, and accepting unfavorable circumstances as being unavoidable. Please don’t do that, it just reveals your character, rendering your talents completely useless when it comes to collaboration and innovation — the currency of progress in this day and age.
- WEAKNESS OF DESIRE, due to neglect in the choice of MOTIVES that impel action. If you don’t want it, you probably won’t have it. Being rich (in terms of wealth, health and wisdom) is a priviledge for the ones who really want it. Others are simply ignored by the universe.
- Willingness, even eagerness, to quit at the first sign of defeat. (Based upon one or more of the 6 basic fears). I’ll be honest… this was me until I realised I can’t have it easy all the time. My decision to face my fears despite the odds and developing the mental strength to not quit has been pivotal in my personal growth.
- Lack of ORGANIZED PLANS, placed in writing where they may be analyzed. I’m big on this because most of us float on a day-to-day basis. I choose to navigate. There’s a difference. Floating is equivalent to being on the water and letting the tides/waves decide where you’re heading while when you cruise, you decide where you want to do. And you can’t cruise unless you have solid plans in place. You need to get into the habit of planning your day and then your weeks, months, years and life. Start small and grow from there.
- The habit of neglecting to move on ideas, or to grasp opportunity when it presents itself. The habits 2,4 and 9 above complement this one (in an outstandingly bad way). Don’t just sit on ideas (great or otherwise) instead act on them. Make a plan and jump! John Maxwell says it the best, “jump and grow your wings on the way down.” Opportunities are limited and they won’t lead you anywhere if you don’t act on them. And yes, waiting for another opportunity is stupid. The next opportunity is almost always the better one, but the one that you have right now is possibly the best one that you have.
- WISHING instead of WILLING. Jim Rohn said it the best, “don’t wish things were better. Wish you were better.” Work on yourself. Conquer the habits mentioned above and below and you’ll be far ahead of the rest of the herd.
- The habit of compromising with POVERTY instead of aiming at riches. The general absence of ambition to be, to do, and to own. This is one of the most profound points in this list — you need to develop a rich mindset instead of a “poverty” mindset. And that would mean not settling for the mediocre when you clearly know there’s something better out there. Why? Because only the poor would think of it that way. Don’t confuse this as a contradiction to #12. This is difference — the emphasis on what you have right now. Don’t settle for less. This may sound obvious but when that voice inside your head says, “Sunil, you don’t deserve that much. Settle for the lesser price, you can live with that” — know that you’re settling for being “poor” than being “rich.”
- Searching for all the short-cuts to riches, trying to GET without GIVING a fair equivalent, usually reflected in the habit of gambling, endeavoring to drive “sharp” bargains. There are no short-cuts. Getting rich (wealth, health and wisdom) is a lifelong journey with a not set destination. The sooner you realise that the better. Seeking short-cuts is a waste of time and would keep you away from starting your pathway to becoming rich.
- FEAR OF CRITICISM, failure to create plans and to put them into action, because of what other people will think, do, or say. This enemy belongs at the head of the list, because it generally exists in one’s subconscious mind, where its presence is not recognized. Almost everyone has this fear embedded in their subconscious to some degree. Some of the most success out there have learned to channelize this masterfully. Others, including me, struggle with it every now and then. Still others feel trapped by it and give it. Don’t let that be you. Fear of criticism is a state of mind that warrants careful analysis. Because the most self-aware you are of this fear the more control you are in.
Just reading this list through isn’t enough. You need to study it and make a conscious effort to work on each of the points. Better still, study the book and start apply the principles to your life and see the magic happen.