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Persistence Part 1

I want to explore the concept of persistence.  Persistence is something that I get asked about a lot, from parents in particular.  It's a perfectly reasonable question on the surface.  How do I keep my child motivated?

It's such a simple question that I think people expect a simple answer in response.  Especially if even the mention of the very word "practice" has the ability to create cataclysmic, world-ending tantrums.  It's natural at such moments to question your own sanity.  Why force to happen that which does not want to be forced?

And herein lies the issue with that sort of thinking: it implies that persistence is something that should come easily.  But it doesn't.  Not for anyone.

To put this into perspective for the non-musicians... let's talk about the gym.  The gym, I feel, is the perfect adult example.  We age.  It happens.  And as we age life gets in the way.  We get busier and our bodies maybe don't work exactly the way they did at 18.

We all want to stay healthy.  And most of us don't want to gain lots of extra weight.  On paper, we should all have the highest level of motivation to persistently go and work out.  But do we?

Maybe.

Some people love to work out.  The working out is its own reward.  But I would say the majority of the average population doesn't feel this same way.  I think most people have certain activities that they enjoy.  For example, going on hikes or playing tennis.  I also think that most people enjoy the results of being active.  The motivation lies in feeling better or even looking better.

And yet is this enough to make you unfailingly go to the gym every day?

Again, maybe.

I think most people go through ups and downs.  There will be periods where working up the motivation to go to the gym is easy and there will be times--maybe during the winter when it's cold and rainy--when wild horses couldn't drag you there.

I want to reiterate that this is for an activity that should have the highest number of motivational factors for most adults.

So what keeps someone going?  More on that in part two...

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