In the year 1905, a patent office clerk named Albert Einstein published five scientific papers in Annalen der Physik— the most esteemed scientific journal of the era. Despite this brilliant achievement and contrary to his expectations, a youthful Einstein struggled for several years to receive even a modest employment opportunity as a science teacher. However, he continued publishing more scientific papers before being finally accepted as an associate professor of theoretical physics at the university of Zurich in 1909.
Albert Einstein was not the only one who expected immediate results. Most of us have gone through such times. We start a new venture which seems promising; however, we believe our efforts should pay back immediately. This seldom happens though, and we start thinking: what is the missing link? Well, the answer is straightforward: perseverance is the missing link.
While many of us have splendid business ideas and some start off well, we fail to recognize that overnight success is more often a fairy tale—and if one exists perchance— it mostly is akin to a bubble that would burst soon. Lifelong success comes by being perseverant and persistent with your efforts. The following five lessons will teach you how to remain perseverant with your goals.
Lesson One: Keep Your Goals SMART
All of us have some goals. It is easy to set goals. But many a times, our goals are unclear and unrealistic. Uncertainty is the enemy of perseverance; thus it is imperative to set your goals as clearly as possible. Instead of vague ideas, keep your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Take an example: you want to write a book. A few parameters to be defined would be what categories and topics (specific), how many words are you aiming and what is your writing speed (measurable), how much can you actually write while maintaining quality (attainable), would anyone read this topic(realistic), and what time of the year would be most relevant for its publication(timely).
Lesson Two: Take Tiny Steps Everyday
We humans have a tendency: we underestimate our goals. Consequently, we set big goals for ourselves while allotting little time and energy to them. We neglect the principle that a bigger goal would consume more time and energy. If you want to remain persistent with your goals, break them into little tasks, as tiny as achievable within a day. Imagine you want to write a book with 40,000 word count; instead of aiming— and most likely failing and losing perseverance— for 4,000 words over a weekend, write 500 words every day.
Lesson Three: Involve Others in Your Commitments
Suppose you want to lose weight, say 20 pounds in three months. You have a diet and exercise plan in place; it’s a matter of execution merely. Merely? Well, execution is the most challenging part. An effective way to ensure persistent execution is to involve someone in the challenge. You can invite your friend to compete with you. In this way, your friend will become your motivation; you would like to lose some weight, but you won’t like to lose to your friend, right?
Lesson Four: Change Your Perspective on Failures
All of us lament failures. In physical terms, failures represent wastage of time and energy; on an emotional level, they bruise our ego. But they do some good as well: they take us closer to success. No matter what those fake success stories depict, success is essentially composed of tiny failures. With each failed attempt, we draw closer to success. To remain perseverant with your goals, change your view of failures; accept them as learnings, diversions to the right path.
Lesson Five: Read Some Real Success Stories
Most of the successful men and women in history were not just exceptional in their talents, they were persistent with their efforts. Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Wright Brothers, Henry Ford, you name them; almost all success stories have a common ingredient: perseverance. Read these real success stories if you don’t believe me.