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Perseverance is the Key to Success

Have you ever wondered why only less than 1% of people in the world lead a highly successful life? Is it because they are talented? Or is it that they just came across the right opportunities in their life? Or was it their destiny? What is it that makes these few people so successful?

It is true that they are talented, and they probably did come across the right opportunities. But one major contributor to their success can arguably be circled down to perseverance. We, humans, have tremendous potential within us but only a few of us tap into its full capacity. Often times when we start something we either end up quitting it or settling in our comfort zone.

In order to understand our behavior of quitting let us have a look at The Emotional Journey of Starting Anything Great by John Saddington.

All our journeys begin with a great idea and high energy. But as we spend some time with it, we realize the difficulty involved but we still have some energy with us so we keep on going. As we spend more time with it, the difficulty increases while the energy and enthusiasm decreases. And in no time we end up in the dark swamp of despair. The dark swamp of despair is the lowest you hit in a project, the point where you think that there is no way out except quitting. And this where we make the mistake of quitting and starting again. It is a mistake because we always think the new journey won’t be like the previous one but it ends up being the exact same journey and we find ourselves working at yet another idea in no time. Thus begins our endless journey to finding that perfect idea where we don’t hit the dark swamp of despair.

It is important to understand that it is OKAY to hit the dark swamp of despair. Consider it as the stop that you must make to reach greatness. If you hit the swamp you are doing it right. Having said that let us talk about how to get out of it.

To get out of the swamp we need to change our behavior. I have come across many suggestions on ‘how to change behavior’ but the most effective and understandable one without question is the BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model.

This model tells us that our behavior is determined by three factors - motivation, ability, and trigger. Now motivation and ability are the factors that we do not have much control over. But what we do have complete control over are the triggers. These triggers are nothing but our habits. In order to change our long term behavior, we need to change our environment and create multiple tiny habits. The most crucial part of this exercise is to figure out when should one perform these newly formed tiny habits. It is suggested by BJ Fogg that we should perform these tiny habits right after an existing habit to make sure that we do them. Fogg’s Behavior model is important to study as it is the key to UNDERSTAND and CHANGE our behavior.

To sum it up in a sentence, build a habit of perseverance so that it helps you get out of the dark swamp of despair and you can continue your journey to greatness and success.

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