Sunday, April 6, 2014
Persistence, patience and the elusive squirrel.
Patience and persistence are two widely admired characteristics. Rightfully so, as they contribute to a broad array of accomplishments. There is just one problem, on their own, they are pretty useless.
To illustrate my point, my old dog "Patches" loved to chase squirrels. He held on to this passion into the final years of his life. Moreover, he wasn't just passionate about the chase, he truly wanted to catch them. It consumed him to even see a squirrel in our yard. He demanded to be released to pursue his quarry.
In fourteen years of diligent pursuit of squirrels, never giving less than his absolute all, he caught exactly zero squirrels. So much for persistence and patience. On their own, those two attributes have great potential; for comedy. To be effective they must be tied to intelligence. In that regard, Patches was sadly lacking. A lovely dog, but dumber than a bag of hammers.
If you want your persistence and patience to pay off, you need to add a nice healthy dose of thinking to interpret the feedback you get from your efforts. By using that feedback you can adjust your efforts and continually get closer to your goal.
Sometimes, we just need to switch races. By all means, put in an effort. Just be prepared to use the feedback you get honestly. Be willing to accept that you're doing a "Patches" and putting a lot of effort into a losing idea.
Maybe you're just not meant to catch squirrels.