Persistence is Mightifier’s Strength of the Month in April. What comes to your mind when you think about persistence? Falling down seven times and getting up eight? Finnish cross-country skier Iivo Niskanen? Listening to your grandfather tell the same story so many times that you lose count? Waiting Santa Claus the whole year, and doing it again next year? Persistence was the most popular character strength when we asked people to pick a strength for Finland. Probably most famous Finnish word “sisu”, contains a lot of persistence. It’s something that Finnish people feel describes us well. But where can you put your persistence in good use? Here are a few examples!
Persistence in school and at work
Are school and work places where we don’t need persistence because we are always energized, happy, collaborative and interested in every single thing that our teacher or boss tells us? Umm, that would be great, but I guess having persistence is quite vital especially when surprising obstacles pop up in group project (again), you didn’t sleep that well (or someone else didn’t) or you get assigned to something that is not your specialty (yet). And even if none of these things happen and you can do what you’re passionate about, you still need persistence. It helps you keep learning and working for having a successful career in any field!
Persistence in sports
Have you heard about the 10 000 hour rule? It means you need to practice that long to develop elite level skills. And when you reach that elite level, that’s when the hard work really starts. When everyone is going for the number one spot, usually the athlete who is the most persistent with developing their skills gets the job.
Basketball legend Michael Jordan is a good example of persistence. His famous quote describes it accurately:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”
That’s a lot of shortcomings. However, they didn’t stop him winning six NBA championships and being considered the greatest basketball player of all time. Persistent athlete knows that failure is a natural step on the way to success (and it never disappears). And a smart athlete knows that if they can learn from the failure it’s not failure anymore – it’s learning!
You could say that persistence is tested best when things don’t look good and you feel tired and uncomfortable. With persistence you will beat those obstacles and finish the day as a winner! Help your friend improve persistence by giving positive feedback on it! And let them do the same for you!
The writer of this blog is Robert, who is doing an internship with Mightifier as a part of his studies in physical education at University of Jyväskylä (Finland). Meanwhile doing internship, he teaches social and emotional skills in the university. In addition his dearest hobbies are sports – especially basketball – and reading!