What is Persistence?

Persistence is the act of trying again and again to accomplish one’s goals, despite any obstacles that arise. Purpose is critical to Persistence. It helps drive, motivate, and engage high level persisters on a daily basis. If your purpose is clear and you believe it deeply, it becomes a calling- something that you feel profoundly drawn to accomplishing, against any and all odds. Often, this calling includes making a difference and serving others in some way. If your purpose becomes a calling, it will include*:

  1. Connection to others
  2. Connection to the big picture view of your
    life and what you want to do and be
  3. An expression of your deepest values

It is all too easy to be distracted by talent. Talented people and those around them often believe that “Talent is enough.” and “Talent will be successful.” Nothing is further from the truth. Talent and potential are factors, but what you do with your talent and potential is what really matters. The gap between your potential and what you do with it is defined by how much Persistence and grit** you have. In other words, talent is not a destiny, only a possibility. Your level of grit is what makes that possibility into reality. Effort and tenacity are the most important indicators of success.

* Duckworth, Angela
** The term Grit is used interchangeably with Persistence in this Pillar. Technically,
Grit is used in reference to educational goals, while Persistence is used to
reference other goals, however they are commonly used interchangeably.