In the I Ching (pronounced Yee Jing – an ancient Chinese text written over 3,000 years ago) we are counseled that “Righteous Persistence Brings Reward”. The operative word here is ‘Righteous’. If we are constantly beating our head against the wall, becoming frustrated that our exhausting efforts are not producing the desired results, we should pause for a moment and reflect on whether our persistence is indeed ‘righteous’.
In fact, if our persistence is not righteous, we may indeed be guilty of insanity! Albert Einstein famously proclaimed that to do the same task over and over and expect different results is the very essence of insanity.
So how do we ensure that our persistence is righteous? We need to examine the motivating factors for our persistence. What is driving us to continue to pursue a particular goal or vision? Is it greed or vanity or self-preservation or fear? These are characteristics associated with the Ego, and while the Ego has an important role in our personalities, allowing Ego driven motivations most often leads ultimately to disappointment, feelings of guilt and failure.
If our goals and desires are instead driven by our core values, by the core beliefs we have about the world and what is right and what is wrong – and if these core beliefs and ideals are connected to reality – then our persistence will be rewarded, not only when the goal is achieved, but in every step along the way, every drop of blood, every drop of sweat, every tear that is spilt in pursuit of the goal.
The sense of fulfillment and joy that is experienced as we pursue our goal using righteous persistence will far outweigh any pain or discomfort that we will certainly endure along the path.
So exam your core values, the beliefs you hold at the center of your being. Hold fast to those that are good and helpful, discard or transmute those that may be harmful and stifling.
Let Righteous Persistence be your driving force and there will be nothing that can stop you from achieving your goals.