Thursday, May 29, 2008

What Do You Really Want: How To Persist

What do you really want that's important to you and how effectively will you persist, without exception on your path towards it?

After watching yesterday's video on persistence and perseverance, it caused me to realize how often I say I'm persisting in particular aspects of my life, but in reality -- if I examine it closely -- that's simply not true.

More typically, I will persist for a while until I'm uncomfortable, but then quit because I don't like the stretch.

I throw down the shirt in disgust and walk away.

Which I suppose ultimately means it's just not that important to me. Or, more accurately, I've failed to remind myself why it's important ot me.

Be remembering what it is I really want that's most important to me, I'm going to become much more able to persist through the tough spots. I will be more prepared to persist without exception.

Let's say I'm unhappy with my weight.

I want to lose 10 pounds so I begin a daily workout regimen. But after a few days, I feel tired and would rather not work out. So I skip the session. Which makes it easier to skip the next one. Pretty soon, I've abandoned my workout regimen altogether. And then I say I can't lose weight.

Well, at the point I am feeling too tired and don't feel like working out, what is it I really want?

Is it to skip the workout? Or maybe it's to find some energy to allow me to work out. What was it that led me to start the workout regimen in the first place? Oh yeah ... I want to lose 10 pounds. If that's still what I want that's most important to me, then what might I rather want right now. Is it to skip the workout or perhaps it's to do something that motivates me and gives me the energy to work out? Hmm ... given that, what do I want to do next ...

Perhaps I have the impulse to want to feel better, so I reach for the ice cream in the freezer. That will make me feel better ... oh, but what about the 10 pounds? What is it I really want that's important to me? Is it to lose the 10 pounds or is it to feel better right now in this moment?

And if it is to feel better right now in this moment, does it mean it has to be with the ice cream? What else might make me feel better that isn't going to conflict with what I really want, which is to lose the 10 pounds?

As I'm considering or about to make a choice or decision, when I take the time to pause and remind myself what it is I really want, it gives me the perspective to assess my choice. And in doing that, I'm more often than not going to make a better choice that allows me to persist with whatever it is I've chosen to take on.

I remember what I want, which makes it easier for me to persist.

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