Posted by: 1of10boyz | June 16, 2014

The Important Things In Life – Part 4: Persistent

This is the third factor that I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. It was supposed to be the final segment to my discussion of the important things in life. These are the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. What I realized as I got to the end I wanted or needed to summarize, that will be the final part: Part 5, My Conclusions.

Persistent, what I mean is to continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop; or continuing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time: not stopping or going away. This is the third and final category for my Important Things In Life related to my 10 years of living with the monkey, George, on my back. I really thought about calling this category Resolve instead of Persistent. Resolve means to find an answer or solution to something: to settle or solve something; to make a definite and serious decision to do something. I determined that Persistent is better than resolve because Resolve really is a combination of Decisive and Persistent and requires both of those categories and thus is an end result of doing or having both.

There are too many people that give up and stop when a task becomes difficult. I have wondered why that is and often I think that it is because they don’t know how to proceed. In most cases it isn’t that they don’t want to finish, they do. Most of the time it isn’t that they think it is too hard to do, it isn’t. It comes down to they don’t know how to finish. I think that it often is because they don’t have the necessary skills to do it on their own and don’t know where to turn for help (see Serve Others in Part 2). It is also quite possible that they have never actually finished a difficult task before.

I will tell you my secret for why it is easy for me to be persistent at work and nearly everything I do. The reason for that is I have learned to be persistent from something that is actually harder to do than work. I guess that is not really fair to say it is harder to do than work it is just different and in many ways there is never really slack time. Have you guessed what my secret is yet?

It is church. I find it to be harder to be persistent at church and the things that I have to do there. It is hard to be persistent at church than at work because of some basic assumptions I have: 1) at work everyone should be as committed to success as I am or at least mostly committed; 2) people are getting paid to be committed when they are at work; and, 3) work has some draconian methods that can be used to correct behaviors that fall short of desired performance. At church nearly every one of those assumptions is not valid, church commitments and processes don’t really work like that in my experience. It takes a certain amount and type of persistence at church that makes the requirements at work seem mild. I guess that is just one of the many benefits of being involved at church that spills over into a real world, work world, application where I do better at work because of what I learn how to do in church.

To be successful in life tasks you have to be persistent at the tasks assigned. Most of the tasks you will get in your life are not going to be easy; if they are you need to find work or tasks that are more challenging to you. Difficulty indicates that you are learning something, even if the only thing you are learning is how to make your back sore, you and your body are learning something. Learning, including muscle memory, is the key to your future and your success (see Part 2: Character). Since the best lessons I have learned related to Persistent have come from church I am going to tell you what you need to do in church to learn to be persistent. Learning to be persistent in these kinds of tasks will have real world value to everything else you because these tasks will use and develop the same skills you need in everything else that you do.

  • Make yourself available to serve; Serving in the Church is something that will always make you feel better about where you are in your life. It doesn’t matter what position you hold, but it matters how you fill that position. Don’t give of your time grudgingly and don’t be critical of those you serve with. Here is the perfect place for you to learn how to be successful in so many other things in life; why you might ask? The people that you are going to serve with come from all walks of life some of them may be presidents of companies or senior executives and they will treat you as an equal, they will teach you skills that you might spend decades getting in a business environment because you would rarely have the opportunity to even have them as a mentor, but at church you will work with them to solve complex problems, you will see how the learn about and then go about solving problems. Those skills will help you as you continue to serve in church but they will also make you a better employee. Most importantly, you will learn things about yourself as you struggle to fill the position and provide for those that are looking to you as a leader or teacher. You will have experiences where you can see the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action, where it will help you to learn how to live life to the fullest. Serving others is the best way to solve the problems that trouble you; I have found the best answers to my own problems while working and helping others. So, figure out how to put yourself in a position where you can serve; when you get the opportunities to serve you have to persist in doing the job. Spend the time and effort to do it to the best of your ability. When you can serve, the Lord will know it and you will be given opportunities to help build His Kingdom here on earth. The reward for service is one without measure, but be persistent at it.
  • Worship in the Temple; some of the grandest, greatest experiences in life for me have come from being in the temple. I have felt the Spirit so many times while I have worshipped in the Temple. Life is complex and often confusing. Knowing that you can go and spend time in a place where you can focus on worshipping Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father is such a great comfort. There have been many times now where we have lived far from the temple but I have always held a temple recommend. It was something that always seemed important to me. It was an outward indication of my internal commitment to follow the Savior. It was a proof that I was doing the best that I could and that has thankfully always been enough. I would challenge you to make the commitment to live your life so that you are capable and worthy to hold a temple recommend and then be persistent in keeping it. There has never been a time where I have regretted having a temple recommend. I will promise that you will feel the same way.
  • Follow the Savior’s Example; in some ways this might seem like a duplicate of Worship in the Temple, because if you Follow the Savior’s Example you will be able to worship in the temple. The challenge to follow Him is not simple but it is worthwhile, of all the things that require persistence this would be the most difficult. It is difficult not because what is being asked is so hard, but because humankind are easily distracted, tempted, and so willing to focus on the moment rather than eternity. Persist in doing what is right.
  • Pay Tithing; This one is something I felt I had to throw into this section because of how important it has proven to be in my life. Be honest in your tithe with the Lord, and you cannot fathom the blessings that will be yours. I have paid an honest tithe since 1979, I have never wanted for the things of this earth since. Sure I am not filthy rich, but I have enough for everything I need. I still want things that I don’t have but I can honestly say they are wants and not needs. Be persistent in paying your tithes until you have seen the blessings in your life that prove the Scripture. I have gone from trying to determine what is an honest tithe, you know is it on the gross, or on the net, or should I take out for all of the things that the government takes from my paycheck to just paying on the gross. I made that change when I realized that I wanted all of the blessings that I could get. I wanted the Lord’s blessing on my 401K, on my pension, on my IRA, on Social Security (maybe it will be around long enough for me to get some with the Lord’s blessing). I wanted the Lord’s blessing on my insurance plans and everything else that I spend my money on and paying tithing is just one more way that I can get those blessings. Being persistent in this one principle will have a great impact on your life in so many other ways.

Coming up next:

Important Things in Life – Part 5: My Conclusions



  1. […] This is the Conclusion to the topic of The Important Things in Life that I have learned from living with that monkey, George, on my back. These are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. […]

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