The Science of Perseverance: How Your Mindset Strengthens (or Weakens) Your Motivation

Persevere: To persist steadfastly in pursuit of an undertaking, task, journey, or goal, even if hindered by distraction, difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement.

First, the bad news. When it comes to creating change in your life or achieving your goals, it probably won’t be easy. You may struggle. It’ll likely take longer than you expect. It’s almost certain that you’ll have setbacks and short-term failures along the way. Especially when it involves creating new habits, developing new skills or learning new concepts. This helps explain why most people fail to achieve their New Years’s resolutions.

5 Ways to Get Back On-Track Toward Achieving Your Goals

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge

So you got off-track with your goal. It happens. Behavior change takes time and persistence. Research on people who quit smoking, for example, shows that it takes several attempts before they finally quit for good. Beating yourself up over a short-term setback will only keep you stuck. Instead, forgive yourself, and use these five tips to start fresh today.

A Poetic Description of Behavior Change

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
By Portia Nelson, From There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Dale Carnegie on How to Stop Worrying

“George Bernard Shaw was right. He summed it all up when he said: ‘The secret of being miserable is to have the leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not.’ So don’t bother to think about it! Spit on your hands and get busy. Your blood will start circulating; your mind will start ticking — and pretty soon this whole positive upsurge of life in your body will drive worry from your mind. Get busy. Keep busy. It’s the cheapest kind of medicine there is on this earth — and one of the best.”

Dale Carnegie, From How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

How Behavior Patterns Can Change Your Life

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face … The danger lies in refusing to face the fear … You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living

As a musician and actor, Will Smith has accumulated an impressive array of accomplishments in his career. In 2007, Newsweek called him “the most powerful actor in Hollywood.”

No doubt he earned that distinction – in part – because of his multiple Grammy Awards, Golden Globe nominations and Academy Award nominations. Not to mention the fact that his movies have grossed nearly $6 billion worldwide. It’s safe to say he’s come a long way from the hard streets of West Philadelphia where he was born and raised.

28 Inspiring Quotes About Perseverance and Persistence

To succeed, you must have tremendous perseverance, tremendous will. ‘I will drink the ocean,’ says the persevering soul; ‘at my will mountains will crumble up.’ Have that sort of energy, that sort of will; work hard, and you will reach the goal.

Swami Vivekananda

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Albert Einstein

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Calvin Coolidge

Pema Chodron on Developing Self-Control

“Many of our escapes are involuntary: addiction and dissociating from painful feelings are two examples. Anyone who has worked with a strong addiction – compulsive eating, compulsive sex, abuse of substances, explosive anger, or any other behavior that’s out of control – knows that when the urge comes on it’s irresistible. The seduction is too strong. So we train again and again in less highly charged situations in which the urge is present but not so overwhelming. By training with everyday irritations, we develop the knack of refraining when the going gets rough. It takes patience and an understanding of how we’re hurting ourselves not to continue taking the same old escape route of speaking or acting out.”

From Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change, by Pema Chodron

WP-Prosperity 2.5 – One-Click Theme Updates + New Author Widget

I recently published an update to my premium WordPress theme, WP-Prosperity. Included in this update are a few minor bug fixes, as well as a some added functionality. Here’s a list of key changes in this release:

1. One-Click Theme Updates – this will be the last time you’ll have to manually update WP-Prosperity. From now on, you’ll be able to update the theme to the latest version via your WordPress dashboard, just like you can with most plugins and other themes.

2. WP-Prosperity Author Widget – this is the same widget that you see at the top of the sidebar of this site. Also, see it in action on the WP-Prosperity demo site here.

7 Inspiring Quotes for a Happier, Healthier, More Prosperous Life

If you want to live a happier, healthier, more prosperous life in the coming year, these inspiring nuggets of wisdom are sure to help.

mneill“Financial security doesn’t come from the amount of money you currently have; it comes from your ability to get more of it whenever you want … Master the art of serving others and you will secure your financial future.”

Michael Neill

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson

What’s the Most Important Skill for Living a Happier, Healthier, More Prosperous Life?

“Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he indeed is the noblest victor who conquers himself.”
– Buddha –

What’s the most important skill for living a happier, healthier, more prosperous life?

Self-Mastery. Psychologists call it self-regulation or self-control, and it’s the ability to get yourself to consistently behave in ways that move you toward your goals rather than away from them.

  • It’s the ability to set a course of action and keep moving forward no matter how hard it gets or how unmotivated you feel.
  • It’s the ability to recognize and overcome your negative habits, so you can intentionally create the amazing life you’ve imagined.
  • It’s the ability to say no in the face of increasing temptation from slick marketers and global companies who care more about their bottom line than your long-term health and financial security.
  • It’s the ability take sustained action toward your goals in the face of self-doubt and the endless array of distractions imposed by more and more technology.

I may be overstating this, but I believe it to be true. More than any other time in history, self-mastery is the essential skill that can rescue humanity from its path of over-indulgence, under-regulation and potential self-destruction.