Firstly, I’d just like to hold my hands up if I’ve ever used this title before. You see, it’s quite hard to come up with a pithy title every time I have a thought. You try it. When you’re making a cup of tea and you suddenly remember to clean the shed out, try and come up with a title which will entice strangers. It’s hard, isn’t it?
‘Keep on keeping on’ is one of my favourite slogans. It’s often used in Northern Soul material, which may be quite English so apologies if you live elsewhere. Northern Soul is just like normal soul but perhaps a bit quicker. It had a big underground scene here in the UK in the seventies. Anyway… I digress…
‘Keep on keeping on’ is a great phrase because it kind of gets to the heart of the problem in four words, and really it’s only two words repeated, so it’s even easier. Perseverance is hard. It’s a long road which stretches off into the distance, littered with self-doubt, distraction and other roads which shoot off every ten metres.
Einstein said, ‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ This flies in the face of perseverance. We all listen to Einstein because he came up with some stuff which none of us understand but is meant to be really clever, so we assume he’s spot on with everything. But perseverance is about carrying on regardless of immediate success, in the hope that eventually it will click.
I actually think the Austrian fella IS spot on with his remark but we need to be clear on the difference between the two things. Doing exactly the same thing over and over again whilst expecting different outcomes IS stupid, but learning from your last attempt and changing the approach, then persevering with the overall objective is how you succeed. Keeping your eye on the overall goal is perseverance. Continuing to improve, learn, adapt, change, mature, develop, these are all solid attributes which come from persevering.
The reason I’m getting worked up about perseverance today isn’t because I’m having a crisis of confidence, or a moment of self-doubt which, to be honest, usually is the reason. It’s because of an interview I’ve just heard with the author Jo Jo Moyes. For those of you who don’t know her, she writes romcoms or funny love stories, and her books look great. I’ve heard of her for a couple of years and I’ve read a couple of her books, which I like.
Now, Jo Jo Moyes wrote eight books before her big success, ‘Me Before You’, which is now being adapted to a film. It’s sold over three million copies world-wide and using anyones idea of success, she’s nailed it. But it was her ninth novel… and this is my point.
How many books do you write a year? One? Two? If so, then you’re talking a minimum of five years but, perhaps as far out as ten, before you may get the recognition you crave. It might be even longer. Are you ready for this?
Of course, it could take less time and that’s the hope which propels us along the road. Just remember that success is fed by perseverance, it’s about turning up every day and putting the hours in. Keep On Keeping On!
Until next time…