I've thought a lot about what persistence is. I had a dog in high school that I would define as persistent. He knew how to get your attention. He would come up and nudge your hand hoping you would slip your hand on top of his head. Inevitably upon first, second, even possibly third attempt, he would get dismissed. He never quit. He would keep returning until you gave in. He would get those ears scratched. His persistence paid off.
It's interesting to consider where I've been persistent in my life and where I've fallen short. How does persistence tie into what we perceive as success? How do we value whether or not our persistence has paid off? I've worked to jump the biggest, run the fastest, be the thinnest. While I may have achieved some relative success, each of those efforts was set up to win some sort of external recognition or accolade. None of them had the internal effect I really needed or desired. So, what was missing?
Persistence exists intrinsically and defines success through an internal barometer. Having to look inwards to define how hard I need to work for something allows me to make my own decisions about success and to create a persistent effort in taking care of myself. I don't have to jump bigger, run the fastest, or be the thinnest. The consequences of trying to meet the expectations of a moving bar are toxic. That's a game changer.