What keeps you in the game?

Three recent articles seem to be circling around the same theme:  stick-to-it-iveness.  This is essential for any artist, of course, as the road to success is rarely easy, and a candidate for greatness needs to not only “have it” but must also really want it to survive the slog to the top, or even to the middle.

How People Learn to Become Resilient” by Maria Konnikova, The New Yorker, 2/11/16

This well-structured piece starts with decades of research into stressed children who thrive anyway, moves through the mindsets that make that resilience possible (and which can be taught), and ends with a rebuttal to those  who focus on the darker elements of survival.  If you question your ability to hang in there, this will get the wheels turning — focus on the middle section, where one researcher describes why your perception of experiences can make or break the ability to move on from them and even learn from them.

Learn This Man’s Method for Rolling with Rejectionby Joe Robinson, Entrepreneur, 2/14/16

If ever a man-on-the-street sales story was reminiscent of a performer’s life of auditioning, this is it.  With a short article, the pitching of anything-but-bland peanuts sounds strangely familiar, and one entrepreneur’s resilience in the face of “No” becomes a mindset that leads to a new approach:  Ask questions.  Do your homework.  Know that there could be “Yes” later.  Keep going.  This is a serious oversimplification, of course — read the article and see how Sanjiv Patel grew out of his version of “sing, thank, leave”.

Apply Constant Pressure For As Long As it Takes” by Melanie Pinola, Lifehacker, 2/11/16

Actors get discouraged, too, of course.  Riffing on an Instagram post by Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy, Parks and Recreation), this LH scribe gleans the most important thing in the face of adversity and tough times and long hours and too many sardines:  Persist.


The Takeaway

External forces don’t have to break you — they may change you, but your ability to thrive and turn into something uniquely beautiful may be because of those experiences rather than in spite of them.  Find your own breakthrough moment and hang on to it — the memory of that epiphany can help root you to the right path.  Examine your own mindsets and how you tend to react when your efforts are greeted with something less than enthusiasm.  Make determination your new mantra, and lean into the wind.

Featured image:  Bruce Brouwer / FreeImages

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