We all have the momentum. That time when we start to work on something new, be it a new project, a new idea or a new challenge.
When we start something new, our willpower is at the maximum exponent so it’s easy to do it. We’re only at the surface of something, so we don’t have any problems yet, we don’t have many discussions, agreements and disagreements, choices and struggles.
You probably have heard it before that is best to finish one project than to start twenty new and not finish one.
That’s something that only perseverance can achieve. But its a hard walk, no doubts. So we give up pretty easily. I would lie if I say that this didn’t happen to me.
In the last years, I have started some projects and I’ve made some plans that I was very excited about but I ended up giving up on them. I’m not saying that they were bad ideas, some were pretty good, but I failed because I hadn’t the discipline of perseverance.
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc.,especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
3 actions to be more perseverant
Start to say “no” more often
This looks like a simple thing, but believe me it’s harder than you might think. More often than not we find ourselves saying yes to a lot of things that aren’t truly important for us. But I didn’t realized how saying yes was actually saying no. I mean, when you say yes to something, you actually are saying no to a lot of other things that you could be doing in that time. Use this rule to help you make your choices:
If you’re not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, say “no”. — Derek Silvers
I’ve been using this rule, since I heard Derek Silvers on Tim Ferris podcast. This simple rule has change my life. I’m a lot more focused now, I do a lot less things but I stick to what truly matters to me and the results are far beyond my expectations. Unless I’m truly excited about something, I just say no. Less bullshit, more important things done.
Focusing is about saying no — Steve Jobs
Be more present
One key aspect of Mindfulness is being present, being in the moment, and certainly I want to bring to my daily life. Most of the times I see people to focused on prize than on journey itself, only to realize that the prize isn’t worthy and the journey passed by without due appreciation.
For example, I see a lot of people going to college to get a degree, not to learn. They don’t care if they learn a lot or if it’s actually that course that fits their interests. What matters is the certificate saying that they are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, whatever. Guess what: that paper is not as good as they thought and now the journey is gone.
Be more present everyday, enjoy the little things, be grateful for what you have. This is will help you when you need the most.
The journey is the reward — Steve Jobs
Bet on long-term
Most of the things that are worth doing, are long term. Ask Warren Buffett, the biggest investor in the world, what’s his secret? Long-term investments.
Three of his longest holdings are shown below:
- American Express (AXP): 1st purchase in 1964
- Coca-Cola (KO): 1st purchase in 1988
- Wells Fargon (WFC): 1st purchase in 1989
The first one, American Express, dates early as 1964. That means he first invested in the company 53 years ago. Long-term investments are what get you most pleasure and returns. This two quotes below from Warren Buffett show how he thinks about investing:
“If you aren’t willing to own a stock for ten years, don’t even think about owning it for ten minutes”
”When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever”
Same applies in other aspects of life, not just in business. If you want a strong body shape, it might take you years of training, same as relationships, and the list goes on.
Don’t expect overnight results. Don’t chase overnight results. It might take years to get where you want to be. Be perseverant.