Being tenacious is being determined. It is about persevering despite obstacles — a key component of what is popularly known today as “grit.”
Many (many!) years ago, I ran a marathon. It taught me a lesson that has served me well beyond the pavement — take it one step at a time. If I had focused on running 26.2 miles at the very start, I would have felt overwhelmed. Instead, I followed a training regimen that slowly increased the distance I ran. The longest run I had before the marathon was 20 miles; when I hit the 20-mile mark in the marathon, I realized every step I take is farther than I have ever run before! It helped me surge to the finish line. It’s similar to the adage, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” At work, I apply this approach by focusing on the one most important thing that needs to be done next. It can be overwhelming to think of all of the things that need to be done — so what is the next thing? And once that is achieved, what is the nextthing? Follow this approach and before long, you’ve achieved your goal. This approach also allows for any necessary adjustments along the way.
This week’s Challenge: This week, I will focus on the next most important step needed to achieve my goal (and then, the next)!
Avoiding being Stubborn (overuse): When does tenacity become stubbornness? When you stick with a course of action despite a change in circumstances great enough to consider re-evaluation. Think of it like you’re sailing. If the wind changes, for you to reach your destination, you must adjust your course. Sometimes, though, we forget that the destination is our goal — we think the original course is our goal — and we stubbornly stick to that course. Perhaps you have an “unwritten rule” to stick with your original plan for integrity’s sake. Or, you simply may have just shut out external data. If you feel that you are not making headway, take a step back, remind yourself of what your ultimate goal is, seek and be open to external input — and determine if you should adjust your approach. Sometimes, even that overarching goal may change!
Commendable Trait: Tenacious
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