Why Persistence and Perseverance can work against us.

Why do persistence and perseverance sometimes work against us?












Persistence and perseverance are two vitally important characteristics needed for success in life and business, but in certain situations they can work against us, keeping us focused on the problem and not an alternative path to the solution.

I had an experience of this myself earlier this week.

A reader had submitted a comment on one of my posts, disagreeing with my opinion. I have no problem with that, but I did object to 2 obscene words in the comment. I have no objection to swearing, swear myself at times and sometimes a single swear word can add more impact than a whole sentence of polite words.

However, I know and appreciate that this blog attracts visitors from a wide range of backgrounds, age groups and  sensitivities. I accept the risk of alienating people of a more liberal political outlook with my attacks on political correctness and the loss of individual rights. One of the purposes of this blog is to encourage critical and contrarian thinking, to look at things from a different perspective.

It is impossible to please everyone, trying to do that spells disaster for any endeavour, business, political or literary. But, I still believe in the importance of good manners and acceptable behaviour. It is possible to disagree strongly with an opinion but respect the person who holds it. For that reason, and I suppose as a baby boomer taught not to use bad language in public, I do not use swear words on this blog nor accept them in comments.

I though that it would add value by letting the comment stand after editing out the offending words.

Many months ago, I switched to the Disqus comment system. I had not attempted to edit a comment since the switch. I edited the comment in the WordPress dashboard as I have done on previous occasions only to find that it still appeared in its original form on the blog. Back to the edit window and the edited version appeared.

That is when both the persistence and perseverance kicked in, I was not going to give up, I was determined to get it right. I knew I was taking the correct steps because I had done the same thing before.

After 30 minutes of frustration, I took a break, did something completely different, put the comment editing problem right out of my mind.

Within an hour, the light bulb went on, Disqus! Sure enough when I opened up the Disqus dashboard, I could edit the comment and the edited version came up on the blog.

This might be a male thing, like refusing to stop and ask for directions until one is hopelessly lost, but I think it is a little more complicated than that.

Persistence and perseverance are important, but if repeating the same steps does not get results, we need to look at other possibilities.

Do you blindly persist and persevere without getting results? Or do you look for alternative solutions?

What are your thoughts on my censoring comments? Am I still living in the Victorian era?

Wishing you success.

Peter Wright




photo credit: Kevin Trotman via Compfight

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  2 comments for “Why Persistence and Perseverance can work against us.

  1. Roberta
    March 10, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Persistence and perseverance are both admirable qualities. But like anything they can be either a strength or a stone around my neck. Like with most things on earth I just have to find a balance. The popular song by Kenny Rogers sums up my philosophy pretty well…..you gotta know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. If you manage that trick life can be pretty good.

    I agree with you on swear words. What I might say in person to someone I know well (or at home by myself when I stub my toe) does not necessarily belong in a bog post or comment. In my 3 years of writing on MTTD I think I only used a swear word once. And as you say sometimes only a swear word gives the emphasis I want. But overuse of such words numbs the effect if and when I do use.

    I also do not like the over use of swear words in society these days. It is part and parcel of the general coarsening of society! I especially dislike it on TV. The variety of words has increased as well in the last year or so. No longer is it a simple, “damn”, anymore.This is a troubling trend.

    I only edit comments for spelling or grammar. But like you, I did edit one for inappropriate and over use of swear words. I agonized doing it since the writer was a friend and comments fairly often. But I finally decided I did not want to get that kind of trend started and I also want my blog to be family oriented. It is after all MY blog! I did email the person telling them what I did and my reasoning.

    If all this makes me a prude or out of sync with modern mores, so be it. I am proud to be so!

    • March 13, 2013 at 9:03 am

      Thank you for your thoughts Roberta, I don’t think your policy on swear words makes you a prude or out of sync. I think the proliferation of swear words in public and out of the mouths of children are both symptoms of the pendulum effect of swings in society. Let’s hope that we live long enough to see a swing back to common sense and more considerate behaviour.

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