The One Thing More Important Than Persistence…

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

– Calvin Coolidge –


I remembered this was the point made for the movie “The Founder”.

Ray Kroc was depicted telling himself this at the start and at the end of the movie.
Sure – this seems like common sense and jives very much with “hustle”.



But I have come to realize, just like jiujitsu and the art of living well – its all about efficiency.
Just like nature – efficiency comes from being efficient in how you operate – to minimize energy exerted and maximize energy conserved.

I remembered someone telling me – “What’s worst than an idiot is a motivated idiot”

So, what is more important than persistence?

Is being very clear on what to persist in.
Being very objective and selective in your goals, activities and charting the strategies to get there.

Often times – we are not clear on the direction we are heading.
As a result, we keep stabbing at all directions and pursuing all the wrong things.

This will mean – being totally OK not doing everything and knowing everything and being very aware of this.
For example, I am currently focused on getting good (or at least able to grapple with a gameplan well enough) at jiujitsu.
This means knowing my trade-off’s – I will be having less 1 hour ++ for most days for training and perhaps even not doing weights / skipping as often as I would like to.

Taking a step back – looking at the syllabus and focusing my time and efforts on the right techniques and getting good at the 20% that will get me to an acceptable level. In this case – good defenses & escapes in the different positions – guard, mount, side mount, turtle, sweeps from the various positions and basic attacks from the different positions. Just focus on mastering these and getting good at it that I can operate on sub conscious before I move on to the next cool technique.

The Bright Shiny Object Trap

I find myself in my younger days (heck even sometimes nowadays) falling prey for the “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome” by pursuing many things and not having the “Mastery” mindset to get good at something.
I ended up being pursuer of “Hacks” and “Techniques” rather than being a Master.

This is a subtle and yet very big difference between an Adept and a Master.
As Bruce Lee famously said: “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”

I came across a really good framework – that seems to be working – on this.
I have come to the conclusion that self management at its essence is management of attention / Presence, time, energy and Emotions.
But the core of it is time.

Its the one thing that is limited to everyone – young or old, rich or poor.

Sure money can buy you convenience (and some time) – but the total hours you have in a day would be the same.
So – the question is – how best you can utilize the time given.

I am currently testing this framework out and will share more as I progress.
I have been jumping from one system to another – but I think this is a great end-all-be-all of all systems that unilaterally develops my “self management” muscle at the same time.

It combines a few things I have been picking up from different books, systems and what seems to work well for me.
Short circuiting habit, presence and self awareness.