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Wednesday, September 2, 1998:

Persistence, Patience, Hard Work

These three characteristics permeate every endeavor -- whether it be Job, Work, or Gaming.

Consider the example of making flag runs in a game such as Quake CTF. You would be wasting your time if you fought to get the flag from the hole to the spiral and then to the top of the ramps only to give up because you hadn't capped the flag yet. You have to keep at it.

Along with persistence, you must have patience. It's silly to abandon an effort when you do not get the results you expected in the timing you expect. If you are not getting the results you expect use that as an opportunity to re-evaluate -- but re-evaluate everything, don't just re-evaluate your commitment. Maybe things are indeed going along fine but you're measuring your progress too harshly. Maybe the way you are going about things needs a little modification. Maybe you have actually achieved the goals you set but somehow because you keep changing the goals you didn't notice you'd actually won. Be patient with yourself and others.

But if things did indeed go wrong, ask yourself: "What went wrong" What is not working? Look at it straight in the face and then take appropriate action. Then, wait and see again. Many times, people will just give up too quickly.

In the midst of all of this be on the look out for other ways of going about achieving your selected goal. Some methods will work one week and not another. Be flexible. Mutate with the flux. But no matter which method you set for yourself it will take hard work. Just because something might be a game does not mean we can expect it will not require hard work.

There is only one way to get to Carneige Hall: Practice, practice, practice.

Wait a minute, if something is going to require all this Persistence, Patience, and Hard Work won't that smash the fun out of it? No quite the contrary. By being persistent and patient with yourself your hard work will get you to levels of fun that you might not have thought available to you before. But there is a catch. If you are going to use your persistence, and exercise your patience, and put in your hard work it needs to be for your goal. Somewhere along the line you will need to "own" your goals -- make them your own. If you are doing something just for another's sake it will be rather difficult to continue. The only exception to this rule are those special individuals who have the ability to treat something borrowed as if they owned it -- giving it the same respect and dedication they would something of their own. But, hey if that's the case then our rule still applies they are working for their own goals -- only they are borrowed. In any case when you are true to yourself you may be thwarted but you are never defeated.

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