Persistence on steroids
The key to persistent persistence
I am one of the most persistent people you will ever meet, but I don't have persistence. "Having persistence" is doing persistence the hard way. Having persistence means finding ways to get your Now to tolerate the process that may lead towards what your Next wants. It is the perpetuation of the war between Now and Next, with your Next somehow getting the consistent upper hand in being able to dominate your Now.
Do you have persistence to eat?
Francis Bacon, one of the seminal thinkers of the scientific and industrial revolution, said,
"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."
Example: if you're "persistent" in eating whenever you're hungry, we don't call that "having persistent to eat regularly." We call it doing what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it. The common idea of having persistence is that you somehow get yourself to stay in action even when you don't feel like it, not when you're enjoying it.
Nature didn't rely on "will power" or "commitment" or "being proud of ourselves" to ensure that we humans would do what it took to eat regularly. She designed us so that our Now eagerly looked forward to eating and also loved the process of eating.
If your Next thinks something is important for your future, then get your Now excited about it
This is obeying nature. This is doing what nature does and how nature works. When you pay attention to Now-Next Integrity, then you're aligning yourself with the laws of nature, instead of trying to fight against them.
Byron Katie said it a different way,
"When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time."
Why I am super persistent reason #1: giving up when it makes sense to give up
First, almost paradoxically, one reason I am so persistent is that I have no trouble giving up when I should give up. In fact, I feel proud of myself for choosing courage to give up, if that is what it takes. I'm a bit partial to the W.C. Fields quote, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it." Just because you start something doesn't necessarily mean you should finish it, especially when unanticipated circumstances arise, or you gain new knowledge that obsoletes your original reason for the commitment. You've doubtless heard the aphorism, "The eraser is mankind's greatest invention." Go to Giving Up to get the full scoop on this essential tool for having a great life.
Why I am super persistent reason #2: prioritizing Now-Next Integrity
Secondly, and even more importantly, if my Next has an idea or interest in going for some result, my first task, before any commitment or plan is made, is to find a way for Dwight-Now to enjoy the process or processes that will be needed for Dwight-Next to get what he wants. I ensure that Dwight-Now and Dwight-Next have integrity regarding the intention under consideration. More specifically, I use one or more of the tools in the NNI toolkit to create that integrity.
Restoring integrity if it starts to drop out
Moreover, if I am in the middle of a practice or project and I notice Dwight-Now starting to resist or lose enthusiasm, I immediately return to putting integrity back in place between Now and Next. See The Primo Habit. To read a reverting, at least to me!, story about how this approach saved my book, go to How I finished by 700-page book.
When you create and maintain Now-Next Integrity, then persistence becomes a piece of cake.