“Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” – Napoleon Hill
Persistence is a quality I have struggled with a lot. I’ve been told I quit things and have that belief still ingrained in me, much to my disliking. Since my viewpoint is that I quit, then when I do feel compelled to move in a new direction, negative feelings that I am a quitter rise inside me. Am I quitting or being redirected? Do I need to finish all the little things if I’m very clear on the overall direction I’m going?
Napoleon Hill speaks of persistence being what set Thomas Edison and Henry Ford apart from everyone else. “I found no quality save persistence, in either of them, that even remotely suggested the major source of their stupendous achievements.” He goes onto say, “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.”
The fact that I am persistent is a huge realization to me. My self image definitely has been programed wanting me to think that I am not persistent, I am flakey, don’t complete things I start, give up when it gets hard, etc. That’s been a powerful belief I’ve had since childhood and continues to pop up and debilitate me as an adult.
A belief gets put into place over time through repetition or from an emotional response to an event. The self belief that I’m not consistent got put into place over years of “authority figures” reminding me about my lack. Then I started to “see” it everywhere that I am inconsistent. However when I view my progress of my goals I have been extremely persistent. I worked almost 24/7 for five years building my first company, went through the foster system for a year and a half to adopt my children and knew I would build a new life in Hawaii and created an amazing one in less than a year.
On my big goals I am very persistence and achieve them. It’s the day-to-day things that still rattle my self-image. Now I have to two events I bring up when I need to “call upon” my belief that I am persistant. The first one was jumping off the telephone pole at PSI-7. I learned when it gets challenging I talk myself out of my desire, even when I’m 95% there! In that case I kept persisting on figuring out how to climb onto the top of the telephone pole and succeeded. Once standing up, then I got to jump off and catch the trapeze which is the image I had in mind. I have used this new belief about myself with persistence many, many times in the year and a half since the pole when I wanted to quit in all different areas of my life.
My new persistent attitude towards hiking stemmed from my Kalalau journey. On that 11 mile hike down the Na Pali last summer, there was no doubt in my mind I would make it to the end. I saw myself there! Even when I got lost 8 miles out and had to spend the night alone without my tent, I still knew I would make it to the end – as angry and exhausted as I was! After that experience now I know I can complete any hike and set off with that belief and that’s been my new experience.
On Saturday I went with my hiking club to Guardian Falls which is on the way to Mt Waialeale, the wettest spot on Earth. It was an epic hike and very challenging. I wanted to quit when the rain started and several times when I felt a lot of fatigue the desire to quit popped into my mind. However every time the suggestion to quit, or even stop for awhile, I kept going and almost immediately the negative feeling passed. As soon as I felt better, the group would reach the destination or opt for a break. Coincidence? Hehe, I think not! It was just another lesson for me in persistence and who’s in charge of creating my experience – my positive intention or the negative opposite?
Writing this post on persistence was on my mind all day yesterday, too. I woke up feeling negative and the feeling lasted all day. I also am very clear on the principle that what I resist persists. I do not want this feeling to persist so instead my day got detoured. The most important thing to me is how I feel so I use negative feelings now as a wake up call to reassess things and stop to figure out what is bothering me. Yesterday my negative vibration kept attracting “ugh” things – nothing too bad just not positive and free flowing. Customers asking redundant questions, workers not communicating, just stuff like that. And it was my goal is finish this post and just didn’t feel like doing it. So instead I did things yesterday that made me happy to create a better tomorrow. And today, I felt better! Though it’s still been hard finishing this post. Persistence, being committed to keep going at it! It doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be on-time necessarily, it just has to be constant. And if you’re constantly going in a direction you want to go in, you’ll arrive!
I am SOOO glad for hiking because it is a wonderful experience of the rewards of persistence! Here’s some of my favorite photos including passing the spot where the original Jurassic Park sign was