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“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”―Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

If you’ve never read this book, I highly recommend it. I read through it in a few days and it is a wonderful story. Today’s Wisdom Wednesday is about persistence. As I work through developing the character trait of forgiveness, there is one thing that is important about adding this character trait to my toolbox–persistence.

Each change that is introduced into your life will be accepted or fought against. Those changes that come about voluntarily, like my pursuit of 12 new character traits over the next year, are easier to deal with because you volunteer. You are the one instituting change. If you institute a change in your life it is much easier to deal with because you can always abandon the change, whenever you wish.

The changes that arise in our life like a job loss, the loss of a loved one, or the loss of health, are all much more difficult to deal with because they arrived uninvited. They are also not going to go away because they are changes to the outside of you. You cannot control your employer. If they economy goes into the gutter your employer will be required to tighten their belt. This tightening sometimes requires the elimination of people who are typically the highest cost a business has. This change requires us to find a new employer.

Losing a loved one to disease, old-age, or in the case of romance, are also involuntary changes to your life. They hurt because people who leave us, particularly those that we love, leaves a hole in our lives. Having someone in your life 24-hours a day to not having them in your life causes upheaval. In some case, this upheaval is too great for a person to handle and they do all sorts of harmful things to compensate. Others will take stock of their situations, alter their lives to compensate for this person being out of their life, and get on with it.

Losing your health to an injury, old age, or a disease that is incurable are other types of changes that we must deal with. If we’ve been injured, we heal. We compensate for the injury or ailment and get on with our lives the best way we can. Involuntary changes are hard to work through because we have no choice. We have to adapt to the things that happen to us.

Change is inevitable. Throughout our lives we learn which things we habitually do that are beneficial and which ones are not. When we take charge of our lives and decide to get rid of certain habits or activities that are not in our benefit to continue, we voluntarily opt to make a change.

If you’ve thought about all of the necessary things that warrant a change, stick with them. You put a lot of work learning about the detrimental effects a habit has on you. Persist as you begin the process of learning a new habit, a new way of doing things. If you miss a day or two, don’t beat yourself up. Just pick up where you left off and continue to move forward. At some point you’ll feel a shift and you’ll know you’ve adopted this new thing. You’ll know because it will feel uncomfortable to not do that thing you’ve established as a habit. This is when you know you’ve internalized a new habit in your life. Persistence is the only thing that will get you to this point.

I hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

Until next time…

Dave

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