Perseverance

by jmac on

mj quoute

Why does a person need to learn perseverance?

When times get tough, what do you need to learn about perseverance? I have asked my self prayed many times on what I have to do. I was told very boldly to stick to my dreams of helping others reach theirs. Here is a post I found today that makes it all very clear so you can define your own goals.

A new definition

Perseverance is about pursuing a higher goal and developing an ability to deal with setbacks and failure on the way. Persevering is a combination of mindset and habit. Mechanically it’s about having the stamina to actually keep going and doing the right things. Mentally it’s about knowing where to go and how to deal with setbacks right. Perseverance alone will not make you successful, but without it you will never get anywhere, and with it you can go further than most people.

Persevering is about setting the right goal, having the right mindset and doing the right things habitually. Here is what I’ve seen help other people persevere and what has worked for me over and over.

Set a goal

Most people fail to persevere because they have no larger goal in life. Choose one because keeping going without knowing where to go obviously won’t work. Setting a larger goal, not for your startup or occupation, but in general, is where perseverance starts. It is the single most important thing to persevering – the larger the goal the smaller the challenges will seem on the way.

Most people struggle with this. Today you can do anything. There are no walls, there is no Cold War, our generation doesn’t need to rebuild the country, there is no hyper-inflation. You can do anything and still most people are paralyzed by the possibilities. Don’t waste your time – set a goal. If you lack inspiration, ‘putting a dent in the universe’ is a good starting point.

Once you have your goal in mind, just set a target that will get you closer and start walking. Stop constantly questioning the future and the alternatives. Just pick something and do it and, even if you’re wrong, chances are that on the way you’ll unearth very good alternatives. Better ones than if you had done nothing or something small. Quit stalling and start moving towards your goal.

When I was a teenager I desperately wanted to become a management consultant. In hindsight it turned out to be a dumb idea but I pursued it for a while and it got me closer to what I am doing now. As Patton said: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”

Persevere Mentally – Thinking Right

If you want to persevere you need a certain mindset and perspective on things to make it through the tough spots. Thinking “right” sometimes means thinking what no one else is thinking – the kind of thoughts that seem odd to other people or are obviously contrarian. Paul Graham describes this nicely in  “What You Can’t Say”. Sometimes perseverance involves taking a stance that you might occupy on your own for awhile.

People that persevere expect obstacles and are also contrarian in the sense that they even love and seek them because overcoming them helps them grow. It’s an attitude towards challenges that equates to an opportunity that makes you better once you’ve dealt with it.

One of the inspiring quotes for me in this context is by Arnold Scharzenegger: “I hear this all the time. As a matter of fact, I love it when someone says that no one has ever done this before, because then when I do it that means that I’m the first one that has done it.”

In the face of what feels like extreme challenges (opportunities) you need an unshakeable foundation – self-confidence paired with an unquestioned belief that you will make it through anything. Importantly, self-confidence is a result of skill, not ego. Erich Fromm makes an amazing point in “To have or to be” when he states that ego is what most people groom their entire life; it’s what can be destroyed. Skill on the other hand can’t be taken away from you.

Be what people would call unrealistic. Optimism tends to be your realism. Understand that there are no rules and there is no impossible. Limits are what you impose on yourself – limits are the result of you accepting the status quo and what other people tell you. It is you giving in to the dictatorship of the mean. Realism will lead you to be average.

People that persevere don’t tend to care much about setbacks or dwell on them. They just tick them off their “to-do-list,” learn and move on. Setbacks barely even compute. It’s just the starting point and it’s within your power to master them. There literally are no crises – just minor bumps on the road that you learn from. If you want to persevere take ownership of everything. There is no fate or luck. You alone are fully responsible and you own up to and sort things out immediately. It doesn’t mean beating yourself up, it just means you can’t delegate responsibility to achieve or improve. You control everything – especially yourself. Mind over body. You shape your environment and not the other way round.

When things still get you down remind yourself that perspective changes everything. You think you have it hard? You think you’ve come far? You think 20m per year in income is rich? You think solving XYZ is amazing? You think losing your CTO and co-founder is stressful? The answer to all these questions is no. There is always bigger and better. You could always be off worse. Stop being a baby, stop stressing out and get on with things. Stress is real but it doesn’t mean there is a point to it.

Never be satisfied – it sometimes is a sad state of being, but it is necessary. It’s an innate understanding that what seemed like a challenge, a stretch, a couple of months ago is now not even worth celebrating in the grand scheme of things and in light of your next target. Self-gratification will rarely move you forward.

Persevere through execution – Doing the Right Things

Having the right mindset will lead you to do the right things. People that persevere have certain habits. They don’t buy into the idea of luck, faith or chance. “Getting lucky” is a result of knocking down every single door, trying everything, being at every event – that’s how you force “serendipity”. Never quit from your own accord.

Be a little reckless with what you do – we all start with having achieved nothing so you have nothing to lose. No matter what you think you have accumulated. In the end, it’s not about the accumulated, it’s about the process of accumulating. You want to push yourself beyond the limit, you want to constantly expand your comfort zone and have that feeling of being uncomfortable, because it’s only there that you get better.

Surround yourself with better more ambitious people. You’re the average of the people you spend most time with. If you’re a lion don’t hang out with cats.

Last but not least, it helps being boring by routinizing these mindsets and behaviors, as this will help you not waste energy on making them happen over and over again. Don’t even question whether you should do something outside of your comfort zone or if you should keep going. Jumping first and looking later typically worked for me.

Enjoy

Foster positivity every day. In the end that’s what really helps. I try to actively enjoy every single moment. Even the tough ones. Joy doesn’t equal happiness. Happiness is a high; joy is your baseline happiness even when things aren’t going well. And you can remind yourself of that, happiness anywhere.

live.life.love

-jmm

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keep-calm-and-work-smart-not-hard-2

Work Smart, Not Hard

What does that mean, to work smart, not hard? Does it mean to find the best way to do something? It will most likely make your life simpler? For me, it always meant, find the path of least resistance. Find the easiest way. At face value, it doesn’t seem so bad. As a matter of fact, it seems pretty good, like sound advice that everyone should take. Sadly, it might not be as safe as you think. I took that advice and took it to heart and paid the price in years.

I’ve always been pretty quick mentally. Maybe it was to make up for my lack of athleticism but I never had to put too much effort into scholastic advancement. If I saw it enough times not only could I remember the information, but I could also apply it to differing circumstances that seemed to fit the same mold. I didn’t have a straight “A” brain with no studying but with minimal effort, I could stay in the “B+” to “A-” range.

Elementary, middle, and high school, while socially not the easiest, were no issue academically. Even undergrad was survivable while spending all my nights up and out. I probably could have done better in organic chemistry but I figured if I could get the B+ and catch up on some sleep, it wasn’t the worst thing ever.

It was graduate school that started teaching me lessons that I was a bit too slow to learn.  Academically, I could survive. I came in lacking information but once I got the hang of it, I was fine. Wasn’t at the top of the class or anything, but I wasn’t doing too badly. The problem was that I lacked a whole lot of work ethic that was a requirement for a PhD in organic chemistry. (Though I slept through most of it, I really did like the class. It was just crazy early for someone going to bed at 3 am.)

When it came to experimental research, I had the worst time. I would come up with a great idea, and watch it fail. Then I would try something else that seemed the obvious solution and it would fail again! It didn’t make sense! After a few months, I realized that colleagues of mine seemed to be getting good results but mine were always slow and pitiful. What was going wrong?

It finally occurred to me that all the people who seemed to be getting the most results didn’t seem “smarter” than me.  Something else was contributing to their success that I was missing. They did seem to always be working but I figured that was because they needed to throw the kitchen sink at their stuff to make it work. I figured it made much more sense to have a solid theory so you could decrease the amount of stuff you had to do. (Do I seem arrogant? Don’t’ worry. That won’t last long…) These colleagues finished, defended their theses and left. So did the class after them. How do I know? I watched them all go. Can’t think of anything more humbling for a guy like me. My “smarts” were worth nothing. I couldn’t produce results because I didn’t have the consistent action necessary to make anything of my “bright ideas”. I wasn’t practicing my craft like there was no tomorrow so I could be the expert I needed to be to earn a PhD. I was doing as little as I could.

So I’ll give you some advice that you should definitely take. “Work smart AND hard.” People tend to think that the memorable people in our world are people born into talent. We look at their talent as if it were something we could never attain, as if it were something in their genes. In reality, the people who are most consistently successful are the ones who have become obsessive about their craft and have practiced it at a cost.

Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers, has done the science to back up my claims. He refers to people who don’t fit into our normal understanding of success as outliers. One of the common themes in the book is the “10,000 hour rule”. The idea is that greatness requires a lot of time – approximately 10,000 hours. He uses examples such as Bill Gates and the Beatles. Bill Gates put in programming time on a computer he had access to when he was in high school. The Beatles put in time in Hamburg, Germany performing over 1,200 times. He doesn’t suggest that talent has no bearing at all; merely that talent or genius alone is not enough. The time you put in will show. Obviously, if you like doing something and have a knack for it, you’ll be more likely to put the time in.

What’s the point of all this? Talent is great. Real work is greater. It will always be. Talent is great but it won’t make you famous and it definitely won’t make you successful. You gotta put in the work. So forget working smart as opposed to working hard. DO BOTH. It’s what the greats would have done.

What I think

After reading this post of motivation today – real hard|smart work is the best that you can do with every situation = life fulfillment. Does anyone not want to leave a legacy? Does anyone not want to have regrets? Do these things written here by this gentleman and I in the process but not far off. For life is roller coaster of emotions and struggles but as I have read in outliers and other books that the most growth that you will experience is when you are pushed to your highest of high stresses or situations and your lowest of lows when dreams and plans do not work out as you had thought.

Lets do a combo of both each and everyday!

live.love.life

-jmm

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What are your most common dreams and what do they mean?

I used to have really intense dreams that masked as common dreams about various really great things about my life and also the bad. Dreams are letters from the unconscious mind. If only they were written in the same language we use in waking reality. Fortunately, we do have the ability to study our dreams and interpret the common dream symbols they contain. Although there is no hard-and-fast rulebook of universal definitions, the following dream meanings offer a sound starting point for most people to create their own personal dream meanings.

Common Dream symbolisms

Animals often represent the part of your psyche that feels connected to nature and survival. Being chased by a predator suggests you’re holding back repressed emotions like fear or aggression.

Babies can symbolize a literal desire to produce offspring, or your own vulnerability or need to feel loved. They can also signify a new start.

Being chased is one of the most common dream symbols in all cultures. It means you’re feeling threatened, so reflect on who’s chasing you (they may be symbolic) and why they’re a possible threat in real life.

Clothes make a statement about how we want people to perceive us. If your dream symbol is shabby clothing, you may feel unattractive or worn out. Changing what you wear may reflect a lifestyle change.

Crosses are interpreted subjectively depending on your religious beliefs. Some see it as symbolizing balance, death, or an end to a particular phase of life. The specific circumstances will help define them.

Exams can signify self-evaluation, with the content of the exam reflecting the part of your personality or life under inspection.

Death of a friend or loved one represents change (endings and new beginnings) and is not a psychic prediction of any kind. If you are recently bereaved, it may be an attempt to come to terms with the event.

Falling is a common dream symbol that relates to our anxieties about letting go, losing control, or somehow failing after a success.

Faulty machinery in dreams is caused by the language center being shut down while asleep, making it difficult to dial a phone, read the time, or search the internet. It can also represent performance anxiety.

Food is said to symbolize knowledge, because it nourishes the body just as information nourishes the brain. However, it could just be food.

Demons are sneaky evil entities which signify repressed emotions. You may secretly feel the need to change your behaviors for the better.

Hair has significant ties with sexuality, according to Freud. Abundant hair may symbolize virility, while cutting hair off in a dream shows a loss of libido. Hair loss may also express a literal fear of going bald.

Hands are always present in dreams but when they are tied up it may represent feelings of futility. Washing your hands may express guilt.

Houses can host many common dream symbols, but the building as a whole represents your inner psyche. Each room or floor can symbolize different emotions, memories and interpretations of meaningful events.

Killing in your dreams does not make you a closet murderer; it represents your desire to “kill” part of your own personality. It can also symbolize hostility towards a particular person.

Marriage may be a literal desire to wed or a merging of the feminine and masculine parts of your psyche.

Missing a flight or any other kind of transport is another common dream, revealing frustration over missing important opportunities in life. It’s most common when you’re struggling to make a big decision.

Money can symbolize self worth. If you dream of exchanging money, it may show that you’re anticipating some changes in your life.

Mountains are obstacles, so to dream of successfully climbing a mountain can reveal a true feeling of achievement. Viewing a landscape from atop a mountain can symbolize a life under review without conscious prejudice.

Nudity is one of the most common dream symbols, revealing your true self to others. You may feel vulnerable and exposed to others. Showing off your nudity may suggest sexual urges or a desire for recognition.

People (other dream characters) are reflections of your own psyche, and may demonstrate specific aspects of your own personality.

Radios and TVs can symbolize communication channels between the conscious and unconscious minds.

Roads, aside from being literal manifestations, convey your direction in life. This may be time to question your current “life path”.

Schools are common dream symbols in children and teenagers but what about dreaming of school in adulthood? It may display a need to know and understand yourself, fueled by life’s own lessons.

Sex dreams can symbolize intimacy and a literal desire for sex. Or they may demonstrate the unification of unconscious emotions with conscious recognition, showing a new awareness and personal growth.

Teachers, aside from being literal manifestations of people, can represent authority figures with the power to enlighten you.

Teeth are common dream symbols. Dreaming of losing your teeth may mark a fear of getting old and being unattractive to others.

Being trapped (physically) is a common nightmare theme, reflecting your real life inability to escape or make the right choice.

Vehicles may reflect how much control you feel you have over your life – for instance is the car out of control, or is someone else driving you?

Water comes in many forms, symbolizing the unconscious mind. Calm pools of water reflect inner peace while a choppy ocean can suggest unease.

Change your day to be more more powerful and if you start having negative dreams fight the struggle in your sleep. The unconscious mind is you and only you can control how you wake up, why you wake up, when you wake up and how the rest of the day is. With that being known knowledge try to make everyday your best day.

ONLY YOU CAN DO IT

Smokey3

love.live.life

-jmm

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