How to Avoid Becoming Stuck and Accelerate Your Achievement
Combining persistence with experimentation
“We must have persistence. But persistence is only one of the ingredients of victory. We can try and try, and try and try and try again, and still fail, unless we combine persistence with experimentation.” -David Schwartz
I recently published an article titled, “A Professional is an Amateur Who Never Quit”
A Professional is an Amateur Who Never Quit
How you can achieve anything with persistence
I said, “You can achieve anything with persistence,” which is very true, but it’s only one of the ingredients of victory.
People can persist at something for months — years — decades even and have nothing to show for it because they continued to follow the same failing approach.
If you want to avoid becoming stuck and accelerate your achievement, you’ve got to be willing to experiment, you’ve got to be willing to change your approach, and you’ve got to be willing to go down a different path.
Because if you’re going in the wrong direction, every step just takes you to the wrong place faster.
Wrote bestselling author, Stephen R. Covey,
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
Here’s how you can use persistence and experimentation to get what you want and win success.
Be Committed to Your decisions, But Flexible in Your Approach
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” -Tony Robbins
Consider your journey to a goal in the same way as a travel trip. You can plan it to the finest detail, you can mark everything out on a map, but we all know there will be times when the trip won’t go as planned.
You might miss a flight, a road might be closed, or anything else might put a barrier between you and where you want to go.
This doesn’t mean the trip is over, if you’re committed to getting to your destination, it’ll simply mean you have to find another way to get there.
The journey to a goal is very much the same thing. You might set out thinking you can get to your desired destination by following one path. However, find that it’s no good and taking you nowhere.
This doesn’t mean you have to give up or change your goal. It’ll simply mean that rather than slamming your head against a wall because you aren’t getting any results, you’ll have to try a new approach.
What breaks this down is when people are too quick to stop acting because they aren’t seeing the results and run away from their dreams before anyone has a chance to open the door.
Said motivational speaker, Les Brown
“Most people knock on the door of their dreams once, then run away before anyone has a chance to open the door. But if you keep knocking, persistently and endlessly, eventually the door will open.”
If you really want it and the front door will not open, observe what does and does not work, use your intelligence and courage to try a new approach. Go around the back, try a couple of windows and eventually you will get let in.
The Extent of the Struggle Determines the Extent of the Growth
“The struggle against an obstacle inevitably propels the fighter to a new level of functioning. The extent of the struggle determines the extent of the growth. The obstacle is an advantage, not adversity. The enemy is any perception that prevents us from seeing this.” -Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way
Read the stories of those who have accumulated great wealth, amassed millions of fans, or any other person you consider to be a real success. And you’ll find that often the greatest lives have had the greatest struggles.
Prolific author and entrepreneur, Tony Robbins grew up with an abusive mother. She would bang his head against the wall until he bled, pour liquid soap down his throat until he threw up, and chased him out of the house with a knife.
On his upbringing he said,
“If my mom had been the mother I thought I wanted, I wouldn’t be as driven; I wouldn’t be as hungry, I wouldn’t have suffered, so I probably wouldn’t have cared about other people’s suffering as much as I do. And it made me obsessed with wanting to understand people and help create change.”
Most people don’t see their struggles like this.
Most people aren’t willing to fight through the greatest challenges in their life that would see them come out a better and stronger version of themselves on the other side.
This is why so many marriages fail.
This is why so many people never lose the weight they hate.
This is why so many people remain perpetually broke.
As Arnold Schwarzenegger once said,
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
This is completely true. Never see a struggle in life as all that it is. See it as an insight, see it as an opportunity for growth, and a chance to become an even better version of yourself.
“You will come across obstacles in life — fair and unfair. And you will discover, time and time again, that what matters most is not what these obstacles are but how we see them, how we react to them, and whether we keep our composure.”
There will never be an ideal time and environment to take you straight to any goal. You must combine persistence with experimentation.
If you are not seeing the results you wish to be seeing, it might be time to change your approach. Experiment to find what works and rid yourself of anything that is holding you back, so you can reach your true potential.
See the struggle not as an enemy, but an opportunity to grow your strength, and propel your growth and development.