Don’t be your own enemy

I’ve read somewhere – “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t”. Indeed, the greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground.

And then courtesy of Ben Casnocha, I read this Boston Globe piece on persistence. An excerpt –

“I’d bet that there isn’t a single highly successful person who hasn’t depended on grit,” says Angela Duckworth, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who helped pioneer the study of grit. “Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard, and that’s what grit allows you to do.”

So, that’s it. The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running. Intelligence is clearly secondary if you stack it up against persistence. No quantum of intelligence will help you “get there” unless you’re willing to persevere. Think of the postage stamp; its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there. The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by falling often.

Like Jonah Lehrer says in that article “Everybody knows that things fall – it took Newton to explain why”.

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. Stalwart investors that dabbled in the stock markets will vouch for it. There could be as many dissuaders that stress upon the perils of stock market investing to deflect every genuine investor. They pound you with instances of past crashes and bust stories, why stock markets are unsafe and why one should keep away. But what if someone is left with not many alternative fields of expertise? What if he finds it the most exciting place to be?

I would just say this. Stick around and be dogged about it! Don’t be your own enemy !


2 Responses to “Don’t be your own enemy”

  1. Amitabh Choudhury Says:

    Nice piece of thesis my dear. Yet the point that requires a mention and reconsideration is…..

    >>Intelligence is clearly secondary if you stack it up against persistence.

    Observe sincerely and thee will know that ……

    Persistence leads to the key that can open the door to intelligence required to accomplish a task.

    Intelligence differs from reasoning/analytical ability.

    Intelligence becoming secondary to persistence is a contradiction in itself.
    Do thee mean intelligence is secondary to physical force? Or, do you consider intelligence at par with reasoning/analytical skills?

    Haven’t ye heard of emotional intelligence? So which intelligence do ye mean, my dear?

    Warm wishes

    Amitabh Choudhury

  2. Krish Says:


    Have you confused perseverance in relation to physical force (tolerance)? Nah !

    I come from the context where early failures dissuade many a (seriously) curious people from stepping up to try again. Not to back off after the initial setbacks. Here intelligence is clearly secondary to perseverance. Unless you dig in, you are not in the game.

    What exactly do you find contradicting in intelligence being secondary to perseverance? Unless you persevere with a certain challenge, you wouldn’t compile data for analysis and that means you aren’t keen on researching or reviewing your findings. It all begins with perseverance that is followed by application of intelligence.

    Hope I’ve made myself clear.

    On a side note, have you come here after reading John Milton’s Paradise lost?

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