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December 7th, 2009 · 4 Comments · Habits, Productivity


This post is the next part of How to Develop Persistence (Part I), with another 6 effective tips to become a persistent person.

But, first of all, I recommend you to read or refresh the original post.

And here is the continuation of the list of How to Develop Persistence:

1. Divide and rule

Maybe the goal is too complex and can make you feel overwhelmed and discouraged; you don’t feel capable to conquer this challenge and you quit.
My advice: break your goal into smaller goals or steps and then focus on each one at a time. One little step at a time is not so hard. Besides, when you finish a task, although it’s a little one, you feel good and your confidence increases. Every time you finish a task you feel good and it’s this feeling that motivates you to do more. Finished the first mini-goal or step you can go back and pick the next task on your list. Then, after taking a rest, you can try to do the next task.

2. You need action

This is probably the most important piece of advice to become a persistent person: Intention without action is useless. Once you have a plan you have to start doing what you have to do. Work until you’ve finished your task (or your small piece of it). Don’t wait! Stop making excuses and start doing your task now!

3. Develop the action habit

This is a crucial step. Form the action habit working every single day on your task (taking daily breaks or rest periods between days of work). My advice: avoid distractions and start doing real work, until you’ve not finished your high value work you can’t get rewarded. Follow this piece of advice every single day of your life (again, taking proper rests). Once you’ve done real work you can get distracted with low value tasks (checking email or rss, reading blogs, books, magazines, calling friends, using twitter, facebook, watching videos on youtube and so on).

4. Reward yourself for accomplishments

After you finish each task, reward yourself. The reward has to be in accordance with the importance or the difficulty of the goal achieved. If the goal is a little one you can have a snack or take a break, watch a movie, call a friend, go outside, eat an ice cream, and whatever fits best at that moment. If you’ve achieved an important goal the reward can be a big one too: buy a car, take exciting vacations around the globe, rent a sailboat and sail the seas for a month, and so on. You should find a balance between productive work and rewards.

5. You have to overcome obstacles and setbacks

If you want to develop persistence you have to hold on even if you feel like quitting. Even when you are not in the right mood you have to work; if you feel sick you have to work; if you fall in love you have to work; if you are depressed you have to work. In other words, you have to work despite all your problems. You need to develop the ability to disregard your emotions and feelings. You have to work with your mind free of distractions. So, don’t wait for the right mood to start working on your tasks because you can waste too much time waiting for it to come. Don’t think about tomorrow. Don’t postpone your dreams. Be present – Today is the right time to start doing your task.

6. Close your mind against negative influences

Don’t listen to those who say you never will succeed. Don’t get discouraged by no-sayers. Be confident enough to do what you love and keep trying. It’s your life not theirs. Usually is your own family who discourages you with negative statements or attitudes. Don’t listen to your “friends” if they want you to
break up.

If you are a blogger check out this inspirational article: What to do when your idol tells you to quit.

Money, fame, honors, success, love, happiness, and everything that’s really worthwhile in life takes effort. So, don’t try to lie to yourself, don’t raise false hopes for instant and effortless success. No great achievement is possible without persistent work.

Persistence is a key success factor. You can be talented but if you don’t put a persistent effort into your daily tasks you never will fulfill your dreams or your potential as a human being.

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.– Thomas Carlyle.

Written by: David Cantone

My Twitter: @DavidCantone

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Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:

Use the comments section of this post as a forum to post your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.

Share your thoughts & ideas and enjoy what others share with you 🙂


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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Brett - DareToExpress.comNo Gravatar

    Hey David,

    I really like this post, since I literally have nothing to add to it. Every base is covered.

    Overall, the best way to develop persistence is to be persistent. That means don’t quit. Look at yourself as a hero and live this quote:

    “Heroes keep going even when they’re half dead because that’s what heroes do.”

    Just keep going, don’t give up, and you’re automatically persistent.
    .-= Brett –´s last blog ..Do You Have the Traits of the Inner Champion? =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Brett and welcome to 🙂

      What a great quote, I love it : “Heroes keep going even when they’re half dead because that’s what heroes do.”

      Yes I agree with you, the action habit is the only way to be persistent.

      But, in addition, motivation is essential to be persistent, because if you are not motivated enough about what you do you will eventually give up. So, one of the key factors to be persistent is to get and stay motivated.

      Thanks Brett for your contribution 🙂

      See you.

  • Jonny | thelifething.comNo Gravatar

    Hi mate,

    Great follow on post.

    Divide and Rule. – Good point. I like to think about like eating an elephant by breaking it down into manageable chunks.
    .-= Jonny |´s last blog ..Memories Of A Life Designers First Time =-.

    • David | ilcantone.comNo Gravatar

      Hi Jonny,

      hehehe yes, good metaphor: eating an elephant into manageable chunks. This is probably the best way to be productive and helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

      By the way, good luck in India, I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

      See you buddy 🙂

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