If you’re going to weather this pandemic, you’ll need persistence. This crisis and the resulting economic downturn have lasted longer than anyone imagined it would, and we’re still not sure when things will return to normal. It’s easy to become discouraged, especially if you’re one of the millions whose job evaporated with no notice. In Think and Grow Rich, published in 1937, Napoleon Hill speaks of persistence as an essential quality. He writes, “Without persistence, you will be defeated before you start. With persistence, you will win.”
Hill outlines the steps in developing a persistence state of mind. Here is my amended version of his list.
- Know what you want. A definite and defined goal is essential for success.
- Know what you plan to do. You can be very specific here, or simply state a big plan that you won’t give up on. It’s the difference between saying, “I’m going to get three quality interviews this month” and “I won’t stop until I’ve gotten an interview at my company of choice.”
- Make sure you’re armed with knowledge. Hill states the importance of “knowing” versus “guessing.” Base your plan on real world information for better results. Use every resource you can to increase your knowledge and probability of success.
- Develop persistence through habits. Hill writes, “Fear, the worst of all enemies, can be effectively cured by forced repetition of acts of courage.”
Here are some of the ideas that Hill identifies as the opposite of persistence:
- Willing to compromise with poverty instead of aiming for high achievement
- Searching for shortcuts to success – not being willing to give full value for what you receive
- The fear of criticism – worrying about what people will think, do or say.
In uncertain times like these, it’s easy to fall into a Scarcity Mindset. It’s natural to be afraid that there won’t be enough. Enough money, enough work, enough toilet paper…
Here’s what J.D. Roth writes at Get Rich Slowly: “Fear is always at the heart of scarcity: fear of failure, fear of the future, fear of missing out. Those with a scarcity mindset cling to the notion that there’s a limited amount of everything, and they’re afraid they won’t get their share. For now, you should recognize that in order to achieve financial freedom, you must adopt an abundance mentality. If you’re worried about lack, you aren’t free.”
If you’re struggling with fear and a Scarcity Mindset, here’s the paradoxical advice from Roth: give what you want to receive.
“If you feel a lack of respect from others, give respect to others. If you feel a lack of compassion from others, be compassionate to others. If you feel like people don’t love you, love other people. If you feel broke, donate time and money to the poor. If you feel like you’ll never have enough wealth, systematically give away some of what you have.”
What could you give away today to someone else?