Monday, March 3, 2014

Habits of the Mind—Persistence

Persistence is one of those habits that we need to help young people develop.  Persistence is labeled as resiliency in Youth Development circles.  Persistence is the ability to keep on, keeping on.  It is important that this persistence is proactive and that the situations youth find themselves in are analyzed to determine which “next steps” make the most sense. 
We can share stories with youth to help them understand the idea of persistence.  Two that come to mind include the Tortoise and the Hare and The Little Engine That Could.  In both of these stories the notion of “slow and steady wins the race” and “go slow to go fast” ultimately carry the day.  It is important that youth understand this concept.  There are other expressions that also speak to persistence.  “No pain, no gain” is one of those and can certainly speak to youth who are interested in sports.  Think about the Olympic athletes who train for years in order to get to the Olympics, and certainly getting to Olympics is only a part of the strategy they will have to employee to be successful.  An expression that speaks to both persistence and the importance of collaboration is “many hands make hard work light”.  Helping youth to understand that persistence does not have to be a singular pursuit, can also make persisting more appealing. 
The final thought about persistence is captured in this phrase, “from adversity—steel”.  Persistence requires us to work hard, to face adversity and tough times, and move forward anyway.  Persistence helps to build the character of the individual—without it, we would not be nearly so fortunate.

Consult 4 Kids encourages you to share your story of persistence with us.  We would love to highlight you through our Guest Spotlight.  Send your story along with a picture to

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