The virtue of persistence (Part 2)

By Engr. Carlos Cornejo

So as not to give up easily on our life goals or dreams, let’s list down some solid reasons we should not quit.  These five pointers come from Patrick Pet-David, a successful entrepreneur in the U.S. and the author of video series on entrepreneurship entitled “Valuetainment.”

First, we should not quit because quitting can become a habit.  If you are the guy who easily quits on anything that requires effort, it will infect all your other endeavors in life and before you know it you’ve become old and would say to yourself: “I have not accomplished anything in my life.   I’ve wasted it.”  It’s called an “unhappy ending”.  Don’t get into it.

Second, the pain of quitting is always greater than the pain of persisting.  You might be working overtime in your office and say to yourself, “I should not be here.  My officemates are having a night of fun.”  Then, you stop working and join them.  The following day the amount of work has piled up and you are not in a good mood to work for lack of sleep. Not only that you are now further off from your goal of getting promoted because of lack of discipline, all in exchange for a night of fleeting fun. In the end, the pain of regret is more agonizing.

Third, anything worthwhile will always require time and effort.  If you want to lose weight it will take a while.  If you want to succeed in business, it will take a while.  If you want your grades to improve it will take some time.  Nothing worthwhile gets done overnight.  The habit of quitting ends your pain of studying and working, but it also the end of your dreams.  We should try to focus on our goals one day at a time rather than thinking we still have a long way to go.

Fourth, the process shapes us before it rewards us.  Money can come and go.   Things that money can buy can come and go.  But the skills, attitude and character you’ve acquired in the process of earning that money will stay with you forever.  The person you become in the process of attaining your goals is by far more valuable than all the valuables you are going to acquire.  It’s much like finishing a degree.  The diploma is secondary.  What matters is the knowledge you’ve gained and character you’ve developed along the way.

Fifth, life is more fun when you are in pursuit of something bigger. Life is boring when there is no sense of purpose.  When you are in pursuit of something bigger than you, the energy you acquire is greater than drinking 10 Red Bull energy drinks.  It makes you wake up in the morning excited.

There is a sad statistic in Philippine society.  We have more quitters than finishers.  Out of 100 students who enter elementary education only 14 would graduate in college.  No wonder only few are successful in life.  “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” (Albert Einstein)