Persistence is Hard Before you have Persisted

You’ve probably noticed that sometimes, it’s really hard to want to work. You may really struggle with wanting to work on Fridays and Mondays. But then once you start to work you find that work really is, in fact, as painful as you thought it was going to be so you go to the water cooler to drink more water (or just to stand around). Because, if you drink lots of water you’ll eventually have another excuse to postpone working! Whoo hoo!

Irrigation... I think

Why is it hard to start working? Actually, it’s hard to start just about anything.

For example, it’s really hard to start an automobile these days with a hand crank.

Stopping things, on the other hand, is often easier. But it depends on what you’re stopping. I’m told that it’s really easy to stop mowing the lawn to go watch some sports game. Stopping a bad habit though, is hard.

So why are some things hard, and others really easy?

Because continuing what we start is what makes it easy or hard. It’s really easy to stop mowing the lawn to go watch a game because watching the game is easy. If watching the game was hard, we’d keep mowing the lawn.

I wasn’t kidding at all when I said “once you start to work you find that work really is, in fact, as painful as you thought it was going to be.” It’s funny, yes, but it’s funny because it’s true.

It’s easier to change when you have a realistic view of what it actually means to do it; which is to understand that it’s going to be hard and that you’re in it for the long run.

The tasks themselves never become easier, it’s only our ability to perform the tasks that gets better. That sounds like a quote I’ve heard.

So let’s say, for fun, that you’re the Colorado River (see? you can tell this is going to be fun already!). The above picture isn’t of the Colorado River, but it is a river! Anyway, let’s pretend you’re the Colorado River before the Grand Canyon existed. You are looking ahead at your life, not wanting to try to carve out the Grand Canyon because, really, that would be really hard. But, you eventually start and your suspicions are confirmed. It is really hard, but you keep at it. You keep at it for about 6 million years. Is it still hard to carve out the Grand Canyon? Yes. Has your ability to complete the task improved? Yep, you really have no other choice at this point.

So understand that, no matter who you are or where you live, life is going to be hard. Don’t let that hold you back. Who knows, maybe 6 million years from now you’ll be famous too!

Oh one other thing, rivers tend to take the path of least resistance, which means they go off cliffs. And for some reason they are okay with that. But cliffs are not okay for people. Unless of, course, you’re attached to something like this.

Persistence, Habit Forming


  1. Beth When I explained to my husband on friday about how I would drink a lot of water just so I could have an excuse to go refill my water bottle or go to the bathroom, I had no idea you were typing about the same thing on the same day. Sometimes we are just sad, huh?
  2. Ryan haha! Sad and true. I knew I wasn’t alone.