Perseverance vs. stubbornness

Some people cannot handle fallbacks. For some people there isn’t big enough obstacle to get pass by. Perseverance is an example that when someone wants something, he will do everything in his power to get it. Perseverance and stubbornness are very close to each other, but the essential difference is that stubborn person is not realistic as far as opportunities are concerned. Persistent person continues trying as long as there are realistic opportunities.

Person can have persistence naturally but at least half of the persistence is results of education and experiences. Person become persistent if he gets enough experiences of success by trying hard enough. Some times there is need to change the tactics and perspective if the current approach is not working. The lesson is ”don’t stop at first fallback, try again and again”. Children growth environment should encourage to try again. If the environment just shushed fail backs like “oh no, you just cannot do it. Here, take an ice cream” the person will not be persistent in the adult life.

I know I’m persistent. Some IT problem solving could take two hours or two weeks.I have to try different scenarios. In need to Google, ask colleagues and change approach many times. Believing in yourself and your own skills can lick off after one day. After another day there will be lack of motivation, but you need to go on. I have experiences in the beginning of my career, that eventually I will solve the problem and get the answer. So far there has not been any problem that I haven’t solved. Based on these experiences, I have strength to solve and believe myself – and be persistent. With developed skills the solution comes usually much faster nowadays.

Stubbornness is not perseverance, it is that one wants to stick to its decision with any cost. Stubborn person cannot see that the will and goal is not relevant, efficient or even possible.
When I was thirty, I was abroad with twenty-year-old friends. I understood a lot more about stubbornness. Boys were arguing from morning till noon, should we go to beach, shopping or have a boat trip. Half of the vacation I was with my own age. Agreeing the days schedule was easy when we split everybody’s wishes to different days.

Stubbornness is mental immaturity and childishness. Stubbornness is a feature which you can get rid of. Taking other into consideration and thinking new possibilities to achieve the goal will help transforming stubbornness into perseverance.

Originally written in Finnish 10.4.2018