Perseverance is more than just hard work
I HAVE always associated perseverance with maths. To me, maths is repeatedly doing equations, until it becomes second nature. It's hard work.
Maths enthusiasts tell me differently. To them, it is about the beauty of the equations, that process of coming to the answer and moment of hard-won wonder.
I mostly feel relief that one problem was solved. So, I grew up disliking perseverance for what I assumed was its nature: non-stop work.
I found out in university that I was wrong. Perseverance, like maths, is not just "hard work". It adds up like this:
DESIRE (20 PER CENT)
You must want something desperately and passionately.
Desiring something that much moves you to calculate the possibilities of achieving your goals, and you begin to think of the costs.
DECISION (10 PER CENT)
In evaluating your desires, you enter the process of prioritisation.
If it ranks high, you are then forced to decide whether to pursue it, upon which you would then decide how much you would be willing to give. How much will you pay to get what you want?
DETERMINATION (20 PER CENT)
In making your decision, you are determined to go through with it.
Determination is the "decision", stemming from passion, in the direction of an end goal. Are you determined enough to carry it to the end?
HARD WORK (50 PER CENT)
At the end of the day, perseverance also requires grit: remembering your desire, paying homage to that moment of decision, being determined to carry on and working towards it.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Many times, it is easy to forget the other 50 per cent that makes up perseverance. Perseverance then becomes reduced to half its meaning.
When the original reason for the endeavour is forgotten, perseverance seems like the hardest thing in the world. It becomes easier to just give up.
In the end, just like maths, true perseverance is more than just hard work.
It is passion and determination culminated in decisions that are made with sweat, blood and tears, again and again.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK