Perseverance’s Connection to Optimism

I am finding that perseverance is one of those topics that is discussed quite often in blogs and online posts. And as we near the end of this month’s disposition here at Onward, I want to offer you this take on perseverance.

If you are reading Onward chapter by chapter, by this point you are seeing the interconnectedness of the habits and dispositions. You are able to to see how they build on each other. And when we look at perseverance, it’s no different. In The Unbeatable Combination of Perseverance and Resilience, Marquita Herald shares a straightforward approach to perseverance:

  1. Determine the next step.
  2. Identify what (if anything) may prevent you from taking that next step.
  3. Remove said obstacle(s) – or adjust the plan.
  4. Take the step.
  5. Repeat from step 1 as many times as necessary.

This, however, only works when you have all the control. And as we know, this is rarely the case. So in order to cultivate perseverance, you need to also explore optimism, the disposition shared in Chapter 3 of Onward. And more specifically, realistic optimism. Herald goes on to discuss how realistic optimism plays a part in our perseverance: “Our tendency to take on more than we can reasonably accomplish at any one time is human nature. Call it optimism, hope, or just wishful thinking, we often fail to realize that it is far easier to think about doing something than it is to actually DO it – especially if we’re trying to achieve something radically different than what we’re currently used to. Having realistic expectations isn’t about dreaming smaller it’s about planning better.”

Where do you see yourself on the optimism continuum? How does this fit in with cultivating your resilience through perseverance?