What is Persistence?

1. the quality of persisting; tenacity
2. the act of persisting; continued effort or existence
3. the continuance of an effect after the cause of it has stopped: persistence of vision

When it comes to persistence, I almost always think right away of Wolverine. His example, of persistence and tenacity are legend in the Marvel Comic Universe. When he goes after someone or some task, he never gives up. Ever! We could look back through history and find several examples of people that have been persistent. The first person that comes to mind is Thomas Edison, he racked up thousands of failures on his quest of discoveries. He is credited with thousands of inventions too, these inventions have changed the world. Then there are many others that fall into this category Steve Jobs, Amelia Earhart, Mark Zuckerberg; man and women of vision! Those who are out to “ding the universe”!

The reason that this word is essential, is because it is what every entrepreneur must have or develop. This characteristic serves us well because it provides power in the dark and frustrating days or nights. When we feel like there is no end to the misery or failure we face. In my own pursuits, I have learned to develop persistence. The funny thing about it, is that one must also develop patience and the ability to pivot as obstacles arise. The key is to capture and envision your goals, play then in your mind like a movie. Once you have that goal created and visualized, you can recall it, look at it, and play it back in your mind. It’s like looking at a 3D Model of the goal. There is something that happens within us when we capture our goals in this way.

The Jewish model of prophecy is very interesting because it is all expressed in past tense. Yes, Past Tense! As if it has already happened. It is amazing to me that they are framed this way. All through the Old Testament, this model can be seen. This is what we are after to help us develop persistence. I know that each of us can develop this ability and characteristic; we can empower ourselves by creating our goals in our minds and focusing on them.

iron wil

You, Do You

I recently watched a superhero cartoon in which 2 characters with different approaches or styles teamed up. After probably 1/3 of the film with one of the characters trying to get the 2nd to do things in her way. Finally, he told her, “You do you and I’ll do me”. It worked much better when they both were themselves and did things their way.

It reminded me that each person has particular skills and abilities that they have come by naturally and developed or they developed with purpose. My brother Rob learned to juggle and became a decent juggler. Oh, he could have spent much more time on it and become extremely proficient, If I remember correctly, he wanted to just learn how to juggle 3 different objects. I was not interested in juggling, I was interested in earning money. I became good at doing the job outlined and performing to a high standard.

I love to work and am willing to put in as much time as the job requires. I have my limitations and skills that need improving. I know what I need to do … in some cases, I just need to “do” … to practice and then actually put the skills into practice. No matter what, I am always myself. I don’t pretend to be something I’m not. I sometimes get into trouble with my family or friends because of strong differing opinions.

Being an Army Brat, my community really consisted primarily of my family. The bases and neighbors changed all the time; the community grew stronger or weaker depending on the individuals and the relationships between them. Since my last move in 2009, I have been learning about community and the benefits and blessings that come from building relationships over time. My only reference has been family and a few best friends I have gained over the years since my father retired. I am learning to get involved and really be part of a community. I am learning to bring good to my community and help to build it up and make it better.

The beautiful thing about our world and the humans in it, is that when we become our best selves we bring the world up a level. We improve the world in our own small way. Look at the power that single individuals who have the vision and belief to work with an iron will to accomplish those goals. We could talk about Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and so many others that have brought good into our world.

How have you made a positive impact in your family, neighborhood, and community? How have you lived your life? Who have you helped?

Remember the story of the Starfish Thrower?


iron wil

How I got turned onto Great Quotes

It was 1988 and I was struggling with the turmoil in my family and life. My mom, when she noticed that something was wrong, would pull us aside and make us talk to her. You may laugh, you don’t know my mom. That morning she chased me around the house locking doors to corner me in the laundry room adjacent to the kitchen in our home on Ft. Meade. I remember trying to wrestle with her so that I could get past her and go to school. I loved going to school because I love learning! I think that was the I could read whatever scientific magazine Ms. Ware had in the classroom. I was just starting the battle with depression that would be part of early teen years. It was mom cornering me and getting me to look in on myself that was the beginning of my long-term growth.

I couldn’t tell you everything that was said. What I remember is this: Your father and I aren’t perfect and we have our flaws; but that doesn’t mean that you have to learn those and be the same kind of person that we are. You should look for others with the character, talent, and skills that you want and then learn from them. Model their behavior and adopt those items you want and then move on to the next person and character you want to develop.

It still took me several years to actually understand and put into practice what she was trying to tell me. Once I figured that out, it changed my life. I started collecting quotes that embodied the characteristic, skill, or ability that I wanted.

Years later, I would receive the harshest criticism and highest praise from her and it was all in one sentence. She said, “Not even Superman can keep your standards!” Initially, I was proud and arrogant about it. Then I realized that, within a few moments, that it was meant as a criticism over my choices and standards. She said it in complete frustration over something I was not willing to budge on. I can’t say anymore, how I felt about that, today I keep it as a reminder that I am different from others and I have to be more understanding. I don’t have to lower my own standards or expectations; I need to remember that I am harder on myself and expect more of myself than anyone else in my circles. My wife has helped me to realize that I needed to work on some additional areas of my life. She also has to continually remind me that I am not like others and should not expect them to be or think like me.

The starting point for my personal development came in that little laundry room trapped between a locked door and a mother that loves me enough to fight with me to get what she wanted. Mom’s love gave me the guidance to launched my life with confidence and abilities that I would never have gained if not for her advice.

I started with a quote by John Dillinger, “Never let them make you crawl.” I would add up about 100 quotes that would shape and mold my heart, mind, and will! I posted these quotes on my wall through my teen years and then by the time I was in college they took up a significant portion of my bedroom wall. I wrote them all out by hand on 3×5 cards. I got to the point that I could just touch a card and know what was on it. On certain days, some of them would stand out and I would read them and think about those throughout the day. I didn’t become a new person overnight; I spent years memorizing quotes and thinking about them so I could internalize them. I know that this process is slower for some and faster for others. It depends on your own dedication and focus. Taking the time to reflect or meditate allow us to apply these quotes to ourselves and make the character improvements needed to grow and become the best version or ourselves. We are rewriting our own software when we internalize inspiring and uplifting material; yeah, I don’t just mean these quotes!

iron wil