Persistence – Draft 2.0

This still needs work. Missing – And an inspirational edit. and a time through line edit. Then a check for timing and memorize.

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Normally folks give inspirational speeches that play to their strengths. I thought that today i’d spend some time on one of my flaws. I wish I was more persistent. And I wonder that after 39 years if I haven’t put in the effort to become persistent by now, it might be too late

Still I’m actually pretty fortunate. I have other… gifts? Talents? I’m a quick learner. I’m a decent communicator. And I’m stubborn. These have provided me with success so far.

Wait. Stubborn, but not persistent? Aren’t those the same thing? Nah. Stubborn means you don’t give up. Persistence means you continue to put in what is needed to become great. Here’s a difference…

Third year university. I stopped doing most of my assignments. Why? I lacked persistence. And I liked beer. I should have been booted. But I was stubborn. I crammed for my exams and “aced” [waggle hand to show ‘sort-of’] them. The result was that I didn’t fail any classes, but I didn’t get good marks either. The result was a year off while I re-found my motivation. The result was I didn’t graduate with honours. That sucked.

Anyway… that is a good piece of advice. Don’t screw up your third year of post-secondary. Be persistent.

16 years later… Now I supervise people and try to make computers misbehave less. And I still wish I had more persistence. Quick learning helps deal with changing tech, but I’m not as quick as I was. Stubborness helps force computers to my whims. Communication helps to guide people to the same.

But I need to be better. I need to follow up more often. See how things are going. But I’m not great at that. I like to setup the big picture. I like to solve the problems that arise. I’m pretty darn good at it. But I do not like to make the trains run on time. That takes persistence.

Now, my boss is. It is really annoying. Really. Twice or thrice a week he checks on things. He keeps careful track and he makes course corrections. He doesn’t solve as many problems as I do, but fewer issues arise due to his persistence. I watch him with narrow, angry, envious eyes. Being better at work is a goal, but is it really mine?

Dreams and goals? Do y’all have those? I love my job. I do. But I don’t just want to do well at where I am. Ultimately what would I really like to do? Write for a living. That would be the acme of cool. However, the big difference between people like me, who are good communicators and want to write, and writers is that writers write. They write everyday. They go back over their work and edit it. They write and improve. They have persistence. I think about it a lot.

I do write.

I have a blog with spotty posting and three partly finished books. Three starts and no finishes. I don’t have persistence. My blog was my way to start being persistent about writing. But first I stopped caring about the day-to-day quality of the writing. I rely on quirks and tricks. Lately i’ve been unable to post on my normal schedule. I made an effort. I did. It’s been going on over two years. That is a try at persistence.

Brass tacks. Some people never start. They dream and that is it. Some people start and fail. Better. Some people start and finish. They succeed. And some people…some people go back and do it again to get better. Those are the persistent ones and they excel. And then they do it again.

If it sounds like hard work. Well sorry son, but it is.

I like my blog. I look at it – especially the early entries and I think I see persistence there. I see that I can write. They trick now is to go back and do it again and do it better.

39 years of life. 39 more years is plenty of time to learn and change. At least it should be if I am persistent.

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