Roy Huff, author of bestselling young adult epic fantasy novel Everville: The First Pillar, has agreed to a guest blog exchange on the subject of Perseverance.
Roy holds five degrees in four separate fields including liberal arts, history, secondary science education, and geoscience. Most recently, he was doing scientific research on the volcanos of Hawaii. The second book in the Everville series, City of Worms will be released in August.
For those who have given into cynicism, the topic of perseverance may seem irrelevant. The idea that working hard at something will eventually pay off in the end may seem naïve. We work because we have to, not because we have some long-term dream that we hope someday to achieve. The economic downturn, has at least anecdotally, strengthened that notion. I was reminded of this fact after watching the movie The Internship, which, by the way, I highly recommend. It certainly seems that some people, especially as of late, have relegated the belief that anyone can reach beyond their means or class to the realm of fantasy and fiction.
I wrote an earlier post on how it’s not a good idea to make New Year’s resolutions. This was not because I don’t believe in setting lofty goals or having seemingly impossible dreams; it’s because accomplishing a goal requires hard work, determination, a plan of action, perseverance, and a sense of optimism and follow through which are unlikely to be achieved by simply participating in an annual ritual.
To the cynic, perseverance is pointless, akin to watching a hamster spin its wheel while making no real progress in forward motion. To the dreamer, it is the lack of understanding of what is required and a lack of follow through that can often lead to defeat. Perseverance, however, requires something that both the cynic and the dreamer often both lack, namely, patience.
While it’s true that even the hardest workers and planners can still fail at achieving their goals or dreams, the reason that most dreams go unrealized is not because those dreams aren’t unachievable or are unrealistic. The reason they go unrealized is usually because of three things. Lack of belief is the reason that is perhaps most self-evident. Lack of planning is the second reason and the easiest to correct. Finally, there is patience. Patience is a character trait that simply has to be developed over time. Patience is the killer. Patience is what is required in order set forth a proper plan of action that includes sufficient forethought, research, and a list of steps that need to be followed over time in order to achieve one’s goal.
Patience and a sense of optimism are both necessary before one can accomplish a goal, but ironically, taking the pragmatic steps of doing a little research and planning can help start one on the path of developing both optimism and patience. For at least some, a lack of belief can be corrected by doing a little research. If the research shows strong evidence that a goal is achievable, then the cynic can often be won over. If the dreamer, who often already has an over abundance of faith, does a little research, then the dreamer will be more likely to have the patience necessary to keep striving for the dream because the required steps have already been created to allow for an effective and pragmatic approach, which should provide real gains over time.
Unfortunately, the sad fact is that the cynic is often so set in their ways that it is nearly impossible to get them to take the first step of doing a little research, and with the dreamer, they are often so starry eyed that they rush in head first without taking the necessary steps of research and planning. This is the reason that most people don’t persevere; they lack belief or patience, which can often be overcome with sufficient research and planning.
For a few, the prudent, they will take their cue from those who’ve already achieved success, from those who’ve already figured out the secret to accomplishing one’s goals, and from those who’ve already realized their dreams. The prudent, will spend a sufficient amount of research and planning, which will allow them to create an effective strategy to make slow and steady forward motion in the direction of achieving their goal. This will reinforce their belief in success, and it will help them create the additional resolve needed to problem shoot through the obstacles that are certain to come their way on their journey to the finish line.
You can read my blog on perseverance on Roy’s website. Thank you, Roy, for being my guest. You can learn more about Roy and the bestselling Everville Series here: