Tenacity and determination are wonderful things and, without them, we’d never get anything done. It can be a real shame when we’re just about to succeed that we stop and give up because it’s taking so long to get to be where we want to be. Patience is most certainly a virtue when it comes to tenacity and determination – without patience many things we start will never be completed.
Having said all that, where do we draw the line between determination to get something done and flogging a dead horse?
There’s a wonderful phrase that you may have heard which goes something like “they’re like a dog with a bone” – meaning the dog won’t let go of the bone even after it’s gone all smelly and horrible. Another way of putting it is they’re hanging onto something even though there’s no chance at all that it will work.
I think it was Einstein who said something like “The definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”. This can be very apt for us when we’re determined to make something work, when it isn’t, and yet we keep trying the same thing over and over again but expecting it to. Of course, sometimes this can be what we need to do – like riding a bike. We keep getting back on until we learn to balance ourselves and ride without falling off. Although do we just do the same thing over and over again? I don’t think so. We perhaps keep our arms in a bit more, and keep our vision focused upon where we’re going rather than the wheels, we sit more centrally on the seat, we pedal a bit faster to keep the momentum going, and so on. You see, we can do slightly different things to get what we want.
There is within all things, Universal Intention, and, when we tap into it, things that we wish to achieve become so much easier. Have you ever noticed that when you’re feeling good about achieving something, no matter how hard it may seem at the time, you have the strength and determination to keep going. You feel good about what you have achieved so far even though you haven’t quite to go the end yet. However, there are other times when, no matter how hard you try, you just don’t get to be where you want and you resent it. This is when you need to be careful. This is where resistance to change can set in.
What I mean by this is, rather than tapping into that Universal Intention within, and feeling good about moving forward because we want to, we start to move into something like a vendetta. We do it to prove a point, or because we “won’t let something beat us” or (and this is a biggy) we don’t want to seem to be a failure.
Ah now there’s a word we resist and shy away from! Failure. No one likes to fail do they? It’s really all about the connotations we place upon the word. I don’t really like the word “failure”. For me, there is no failure, just different outcomes. If we stop working towards something just because the way we’re doing it isn’t achieving the results we want, that’s resistance to change and giving up. If we try a different approach to achieving what we want – that’s persistence.
We can achieve what it is we want if we’re open to trying different ways of achieving it. When we’re feeling good about what it is we’re wanting to achieve, solutions and ideas will flow to us about the easiest and most effective ways of getting there. If we’re feeling angry and resentful (or sheer bl**dy-minded!) about what it is we want, we may never get there.
Do you see the difference in approach? Feeling good about where you are right now and what you want to achieve will show you the best way of getting there. When you’re feeling good, it doesn’t matter if something doesn’t work because you know you’ll find another way of doing it, or you’ll find something even better to aim for! Feeling bad about where you are right now, and the fact that what you’re doing isn’t working, just keeps you in the same place. Not moving forward. Feeling a “failure” but also rabid about keeping doing what you’re doing again, and again, and again because “you won’t let it beat you”.
Make peace with where you are. Feel good about where you are. Feel good about what it is you actually want. Then trust the intuitions and guidance you receive about what to do to get there. If it means doing something different, so be it. If it means aiming for something even better – go for it! Remember, there is no failure – just different outcomes. Persist – don’t resist.