Undoubtedly, one of the keys to success in any endeavour is perseverance - that ability to keep going and doing your thing, when the easiest thing to do is give up. But how do you develop that perseverance?
Two years ago today, 11th January 2018, I started sharing interesting quotes on social media as a way to promote William Hannah notebooks. Today marked the 730th consecutive post - in two years I have never failed to post a new daily page, and I have written over 75,000 words in the process.
Perseverance in not in my nature - I have lost track of the number of great ideas I have started and abandoned after a few attempts, but I think this one succeeded because a few things came together. In this post, I share the 7 reasons why I have been able to persevere with my daily posts for so long….
1. It’s enjoyable
The vast majority of the time I enjoy writing my posts - I like challenging myself to come up with ideas, I love looking at a page of neat handwriting and thinking ‘I did that’, and I love the mindful experience of clearing my mind so that I can write the page without mistakes. Sure there are off-days or busy days when I’d like nothing more than to give it a miss, but they are few and far between.
2. I’m on a roll
I love keeping a streak going. Telling people that I had written for 7 consecutive days meant nothing, telling them I had managed a month was a little more interesting, but once I passed a hundred days, it started getting impressive. Now I am invested into continuing the streak - but importantly I have retained enough perspective to know that if it stopped being fun, or stopped adding value I would stop (but I’d still always have the fact that I wrote for over 730 days straight).
3. It adds value
I get a great deal of personal value from writing the posts - I have to really dig deep sometimes to get to the heart of what I’m really thinking or feeling about something, and that is a very therapeutic experience. But more importantly, I see that others get value from my words - sometimes it’s just realising that they are not alone in having these thoughts, other times they are forced to think differently and that, in turn, sparks new thoughts.
4. I get better at things
I have always been terrible at drawing, but I know I have got better since I started adding a drawing to each page about a year ago. Most of my drawings are simple (stick-people or scrabble tiles are favourites), but I have also drawn things that I still look at now and can’t believe that I created. And my handwriting has improved too - when people see my pages they often remark that they wish they could write so neatly, and I always tell them that they can - they just have to put in the time and effort to make it better.
5. I learn something
Searching for great quotes has opened my eyes to all sorts of new knowledge and experiences - I have found new authors to read, I have learned about great people (some famous and some unsung), and I have certainly broadened my mind.
6. It’s simple (but not easy)
Sure, getting into the habit of writing every day means that I find it easier to write my posts now than I did just under two years ago, but it has never become easy. The process is pretty simple, though - I have an idea I want to write about OR I have no idea and I search for inspiration, and then I write up somewhere around 100 words on my computer. I then layout may page, write out the words neatly, changing them as needed as I go, and then I colour in the page, photograph and publish. Simple, not easy.
7. It’s important
What started out as a good idea for promoting our notebooks has developed into the primary way we help and inspire our existing and potential customers. It’s important that the post is thoughtful, understanding and useful, and when we realise that something is important it becomes a whole lot easier to persevere, day in day out.
So, if you are struggling with perseverance, or want to start building something that’s going to take a long-time and a lot of effort, it might be a good idea to see if it meets some (or even better all) of the criteria above. The best things take time to build, but the good news is that they are built one brick, day, or post at a time….