by Kathie England

How Persistent Are You?

Even if you answered, “Not very” to that question, the good news is that you have the power to improve your persistence.

We have the power to “gradually strengthen our persistence ‘muscle’ ” according to the research described in the article titled “The Power of Persistence” by Jeremy Mercer in the November/December 2012 issue of The Intelligence Optimist.

Several interesting findings about research on persistence include:

  • Pre-schoolers who are able to pay attendtion and persist in their tasks are 50 percent more likely to graduate from college.
  • Persistence is a better indicator of future academic success than early reading and math skills.
  • Being more specific about a task you want to complete increases the likelihood you will accomplish what you want to achieve. (If you say you will do 50 push-ups when the 6 p.m. news starts, you are much more likely to do those push-ups than if you just say you will exercise or even do some push-ups. This strategy is called “implementation intention.”)

How could you apply that strategy of “implementation intention” to a task you want to complete or a goal you want to achieve?

Our level of specificity seems to increase the involvement of the neural circuits involved in persistence.

Are you ready to strengthen your persistence muscle?