If you examine how people succeed with almost anything, there is always an important ingredient that is just as crucial for their outcome as flour is for bread.
No flour, no bread.
What is it?
The ability to keep going, even when it gets difficult.
As Bertrand Russell says:
“No great achievement is possible without persistent work.”
It’s not rocket science, but it’s important.
Are you persistent with your goals and wants?
Whether it’s investing and researching companies, going for a run every morning, or writing a book.
The truth is that few people possess the ability to be persistent when things get a little difficult or uncomfortable.
It’s not that hard to be persistent with watching Netflix every night or going to the Friday bar. It’s the stuff that requires focus, sweat, or anything uncomfortable that is tricky.
In the stock world, many people give up the moment the stock market falls.
They get nervous, sell the shares, and never return.
How do you develop the ability to be persistent?
Here are seven steps to building it:
1. Identify a Strong Desire
It has to be something that you really want to achieve.
If you’ve tried something before but have stalled, could it be you’re not really interested and don’t think it’s really that important?
I taught myself to knit during my first maternity leave, and I knitted baby vests while the baby slept for naps. But I didn’t really have a big desire to knit. It was just something that was fun to do during the little breaks that occur when caring for a baby.
Do I knit today?
Not at all. And I don’t care. There are other things that have far higher priority for me (like investments, the blog, and teaching).
2. Have a Specific Goal
Wanting something is not enough.
You need to be specific and write what you want to achieve and by when.
It should be something challenging. Even better if it’s something you have never done before.
Sometimes we stop doing something because it’s no longer challenging and gets boring. As human beings, we are meant to develop and grow.
What’s the next level for you?
3. Find Out Why You Want It
Is there a deeper reason behind your desire and goal?
Can you find a reason that is related to doing something good for others in the world?
Keep asking yourself, “and why?” until you have exhausted your motives.
Changes are if, your goal benefits others, you will be more motivated in the long run.
If, for example, your goal is to invest and build a fortune, think of the things that you can do in the future with or for the people you love. Or the causes you can donate to.
If your goal is to eat healthier or exercise, you think of how you’ll live longer and have better health – and how you can be there more for those you care about.
Who would you like to do something for?
What would you like to change in the world?
4. Seek Information
Before you lay out your plan, you need to acquire information and knowledge.
Look at how others have achieved your goal and see if you can repeat the process.
If your goal is to run, for example, it may be a good idea to take a look at other people’s running schedules before making one.
You also need to get hold of running books, running blogs, and maybe join a running club and get a running coach.
The same with investing: Read books, read blog posts, listen to podcasts, join a community (you are welcome here in my Facebook Group), and take courses.
The information will help you devise a strategy and make a plan – but also keep you motivated.
5. Make a Plan
Have a strategy and make a specific plan with sub-goals.
If you want to run a marathon and have never run before, you may first need to make a plan to run 5k in a timed competition, then 10k, then a half marathon.
You need to make a weekly running schedule so that you reach your sub-goals.
You need to look at how important the small sub-goals are for the main goal. The same with investing. Have a main goal and set up sub-goals. How much are you going to invest each month? How much will your portfolio growth within 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years?
6. Decide Wholeheartedly to Do It
Make up your mind. No emergency exit.
Decide wholeheartedly to do something every day to move forward.
Even on a rainy day.
It’s the consistent daily actions that are the building blocks of your success.
7. Visualize The Result and Feel the Joy
Sports stars visualize their victories.
They see how they enter the field and score goals.
They feel the emotion and hear the audience cheering. They are positive and feel the excitement.
Studies have shown that it affects their performance. Statistically speaking, they actually score more goals if they visualize it first.
You have to do the same.
Stay focused on the belief that it can be done and feel the joy already today.
The brain doesn’t know the difference between fiction and reality. It will believe that you can do it.
That keeps you motivated.
The Road to Living Your Dream Life
When we are persistent, we have the opportunity to achieve our goals and dreams.
The biggest danger is probably that you slip back into your old habits and patterns because you get caught up in the everyday machine.
Avoid the danger of getting caught up in the fear of what could go wrong by visualizing the goal.
Remember that procrastination creates more fear and action creates confidence.
In the end, it comes down to taking action, building knowledge, experience, and habits.
Learn about investing like Warren Buffett in my free e-book Free Yourself here.