Notes From The Unknown: Day 115

Persistence in spite of obstacles can be folly or wisdom; you choose.

Please discuss. How does this play out in life?

I’ll start us out. Stick-to-itiveness is generally considered to be a virtue. Conventional wisdom tells us there are no failures, only quitters. We’re taught to pursue our dreams relentlessly. Yet sometimes things…just…don’t…work…out. It’s frustrating. We try and try and still fail to attain our desired result. What’s that all about? If consistent effort will help us achieve our goals, why isn’t it working? What are we doing wrong?

In these circumstances, the best course of action may be to pause. Exploring our frustration thoroughly can provide clues about how to move forward again. It may be that we’re repeatedly trying the exact same unsuccessful thing over and over expecting different results. In this instance, we may want to investigate our emotional attachment to that particular approach.

It may also be that we simply haven’t tried the most effective path to our desired end—yet. It took numerous tries to come up with the right components and configuration to reach a stable, working incandescent light bulb. Taking a break to dream and connect with our intuitive side may provide a fresh approach.

Or it may be that we instinctively know that our goal isn’t a healthy one for us, at least at this point in time. Allowing ourselves a break to engage in a contemplative practice like prayer, meditation, or inner work can help clarify this point. Questions to pose: Is this goal good for me right now? If not, are there simple tweaks I can make, for it to be appropriate? If not, what is the best course of action for me in this moment?

Today’s message reminds me that persistence paired with emotional intelligence is a winning combination. It’s not enough to simply know myself or to just keep trying. Being smart about and emotionally aligned with my goals will help me be more effective and successful. I’ll want to keep trying, while avoiding repeating the same non-working pattern. If it isn’t being fun, I will want to revise my approach.

How about you? How do you decide when to forge on and when to try a different tactic?