|Welcome to "SIMPLY SUSTAINABLE SUCCESS" - April 14, 2009:|
Helping You Create What Matters MOST in Life and Work --
With Whatever Life Throws At You!
"It's a real disconnect to assume that the way to a better life
is something that happens only in good times."
— Po Bronson
We've just experienced two gorgeous spring days in a row and are working on a third. As well as flowers bursting into bloom, and birds bursting into song, people have been streaming by my window on the way to the beach. Cyclist and runners abound. It's as if the whole town is bursting into action after the long, chilly, and grey winter.
Although we all complain about these winters, and will complain about the long spring, which is usual — both the long, damp spring and the complaining — we can better tolerate weather and other unpredictable, uncontrollable events and changes if we are resilient.
One of the key components of resilience is tenacity.
"Tenacity" is the quality of being tenacious. It means the ability "to be persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired." It is the tendency to stick firmly to your decisions and plans, without changing them.
When you do something tenaciously, circumstances and adversity do not loosen your grip on what matters. You are not easily shaken off your commitment. You don't give up your goal — in spite of what befalls you. Another word for tenacity is "stick-to-it-ness."
Tenacity is a great quality to embrace in difficult times. It helps you keep your eyes on the prize, and persist in acting in ways that move you toward your goal. And if you don't have a prize you're eyeing, now is as good as time as any to get thinking about it.
There are several things you can do to increase your tenacity:
1. Clarify and articulate your goals. Make them clear and specific. Vague, wishy-washy goals lack power. They lack energy. They are hard to focus on. But clear, compelling goals attract your attention — and your action.
2. Be mindful of where you are and what you have. Mindfulness opens you to your reality, to what you already have in place, and to the forces that working on your behalf. When you're mindful, you are less likely to become too tenacious.
When I was working on my book Simplicity and Success, and determined to get a contract with a New York publisher, an old girlfriend accused me of being too tenacious. She told me I was "like a dog with a bone. Once you get your teeth into it, you won't let go for any reason."
Although I believe she was talking more about my tenacious grip on a relationship that she had already let go of, I took her advice seriously. I let go of my goal of New York publication, and shifted to publishing the book on my own. Then, I tenaciously pursued that goal to success. [Thanks, S!]
3. Embrace your fear. Describe it; don't judge it. Fear of fear is one of the most distracting things. It stops more people from getting started and keeping going when the going gets tough than anything else.
But if you can objectify fear (make it into an object) by describing it accurately, and in emotionally neutral ways, it loosens it grip on you. One way to objectify fear is, instead of saying, "I am afraid to fail," say, "I have this fear of failing." Then you can examine the fear as you might examine a pen in your hand. You can turn it around, look at from various angles, and ask yourself, "Is this fear justified." Often the answer is "no."
4. "Give yourself short assignments, and do shitty first drafts." I borrowed this one from Ann Lamont. It's from her excellent book Bird By Bird: Some Advice On Writing And Life. Breaking large goals down into their sub-goals, and sub-sub goals, and accepting that the first couple of tries could be crappy will make it much easier to take action, and learn from your own experience.
5. Follow through to completion. Completing a result will build momentum, even if it is only a sub-sub-result, and a small part of a bigger result. Momentum is a powerful source of energy, one that can get you through times of low motivation better than motivation can get you through times of no momentum.
So, to be tenacious, clarify and commit to goals that matter to you. Pay attention to your current reality. Be honest about it; don't make it out to be better or worse than it is. See it just as it is. Make your fear into an object, and examine it. I promise it will let go of its grip on you. Take small steps, and learn as you go. Build momentum and follow through to completion. The energy of completion will help you start on your next creation. Good luck!
[Adapted from Bruce Elkin's forthcoming Ebook Staying Up In Down Times: Creating Resilience, Results, and Rewards — With Whatever Life Throws At You!
>This Weeks Quotes: "Tenacity"
"Tenacity is a pretty fair substitute for bravery, and the best form of tenacity I know is expressed in a Danish fur trapper’s principle: “The next mile is the only one a person really has to make.”"
~ Eric Sevareid
"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."
-- Maureen Dowd
"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.
~ Louis Pasteur
"Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture."
-- Norman Vincent Peale
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward."
~ Amelia Earhart
How tenacious are you? Are you steadfastly pursuing what matters to you? Sticking to it, through thick and thin? If so, great! If not, why not?
Have a wonderful week! Let that tenacity work for you!
PS Just a reminder that there are 30+ articles at:
and more at http://www.bruceelkin.com/writer.html
BOOK LAUNCH ANNOUNCEMENT:
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Get exclusive bonus gifts and recordings from authors and experts like Jack Canfield, Marci Shimoff, Michael Beckwith, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks, Mark Victor Hansen, me, and many others when you order copies of Mike’s new book today — April 14!
More information and to order at http://www.BeYourselfBook.com www.beyourselfbook.com/>