Knowing your Why is the Key to Persistence

Without persistence, your ability to grow and develop as a person will really be restricted, and this affects any success, wealth, and happiness you might have.
Knowing your Why is the Key to Persistence

Last update: 08 May, 2019

Whoever you are, there are times when things don’t go as expected, where everything’s against you, and you will fail. In those moments, when you feel like giving up, knowing your why and being persistence will get you through everything.

Persistence is a very important trait because it’s linked to your own personal development. You can get better after each failure if you’re willing to learn from that and move forward. It’s about having the determination to keep going and not giving up.

Without persistence, your ability to grow and develop as a person will really be restricted, and this affects any success, wealth, and happiness you might get.

Many people think that success only comes to those that are naturally talented or just because they studied. Without persistence, your talent or studies won’t get you far. It’s not about your abilities, it’s how you put those abilities to work. Results are the only thing that matters.

“Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction.”
-Germany Kent-

two arrows pointing to different directions: failure or success to represent knowing your why

Importance of persistence to reach success

Former Navy Seal Alden Mills, in his book, Be Unstoppable: The Eight Essential Actions to Succeed at Anything relates how he overcame asthma to become an elite soldier.

The book relates the story of a young and inexperienced boat Captain that meets an older and more experienced Captain that trains him.

In his book, Mills presents eight essential actions to overcome bad habits, reach your goals, and be successful.

1. Understanding why

Mills’ goals were to overcome asthma, become a Navy Seal, and found a company.

“Even though those were different goals in itself, the essential actions to get there were exactly the same. I needed to understand what I really wanted and why.”

-Alden Mills-

Knowing your why will keep you on track, even when people tell you to quit.

“Your why will give the power to dissolve any doubts. Understanding your why is the key of perseverance: it’ll keep on the right path, even when you start thinking you might fail. It really is important. Find your why before you start!”

-Alden Mills-

2. 3D Planning

Not having a plan is planning a failure, says Mills. Planning is about getting ready, and the more ready you are, the more successful you can become. To Mills, every plan needs to be in 3D.

It’s not about creating the perfect plan, it’s about designing a plan that’ll get you to success. No matter how many obstacles are in your path. These three dimensions are:

  • Define your plan- Understand your target and what and why you expect to get it.
  • Divide your plan- Create an acting plan divided into little steps that can get you closer to your goal every day.
  • Develop your plan every day- Every morning, ask yourself what you can do today to be closer to your goal.

3. Exercising

To Mills, training is the best way to reach success and fulfill your goals. Exercising thirty minutes a day can be your secret weapon, according to Mills. Although, it’s not only about working out, it’s an important thing. Mills says his success started with exercising, hence the importance he gives to it.

“Exercising has been my longtime partner. It’s given me confidence and courage to face my fears, the resistance and strength to fight for my dreams and, yes, it even helped get the woman of my dreams.”

-Alden Mills-

a group of people catching a person that is jumping in the air

4. Identify your reasons to believe

There are moments where you need to give it all you’ve got, no matter the pain or suffering, knowing your why will come useful. Everything you’ve ever done got you here and, when you finally get what you always wanted, your life changes forever because you learned to believe in yourself.

“Your reasons to believe don’t matter, what matters is knowing your reasons to reach success. Your reason to believe in yourself is your secret weapon to be successful, no matter how big an obstacle you face.”

-Alden Mills-

Knowing your why is an essential part of reaching your goals, says Mills, and that in order to be successful, knowing your why will help you. Identifying a reason to believe will give you strength during tough times, and it will inspire others to walk along with you.

5. Review your habits

Everybody can control their habits, says Mills. Changing bad habits is as simple as to identify which you want to change, and working towards it. In the end, according to Mills, the process of creating good habits is no different from the process of creating bad ones.

To develop habits that help you reach your goals, Mills proposes the 3 Cs Method:

  • Consciousness- Be consciously aware of the habit that’s holding you back.
  • Concentration- Concentrate on the actions that need to change.
  • Control- Once you’ve assessed the action you need to change, take control of the situation.

6. Improvise

Sometimes your plan won’t be enough and you’ll need to improvise. However, improvisation is not as easy as it looks. As a matter of fact, Mills argues you need to practice to learn to improvise. In fact, he says the ability to improvise is not something you’re born with, it’s an attitude you can develop for yourself.

Improvisation is not a natural answer, because when you’re facing an obstacle your instincts tell you to stop and accept your limitations, thus stopping the process. To Mills, improvising means accepting failures and doing things differently.

“Improvisation isn’t normal, as succcess isn’t normal either. Few people become successful chasing their dreams, those that do are the ones willing to find different paths to get to them. You won’t be successful if you do what everybody’s doing.”

-Alden Mills-

7. Get technical advice

When Mills proposes to get technical advice, it is about benefiting from the experience and knowledge of those who’ve gone through a similar process or are specialists in areas that can help you reach success faster.

Sometimes a little advice will be enough. Others, you’ll have to pay for the service or read a specialized book. There’s nothing wrong in asking for help, so don’t be ashamed.

“You’re going to need help, so better start learning how to ask for it. Doing it, or not doing it, might be your best resource or your biggest setback. The quality of your experts will determine your chances of success. The sooner you start asking for expert advice, the sooner you’ll reach your goal. Don’t be so proud and look for experienced advice!”

-Alden Mills-

8. Get a team

This is all about humility. Mills proposes forming a team where people are good in areas you’re not.

A teammate is not just a complement to your work, it’s someone that can help you out of the mud. Even if you are both stuck, two heads are better than one.

“You can’t do everything by yourself. Teaming up is an essential step to take to accomplish your dreams. It can be the difference between biting the dust, or be the most succesful person ever.”

-Alden Mills-

knowing your why

Finally, the road to success starts by knowing your why. This knowledge will keep you going. When in doubt, remember your why. As Lao Tzu said, perseverance is the basis of all actions. Don’t forget why you’re trying to get something and you’ll always have the perseverance to get it.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.