Persistence is like DQ ice cream cake. It’s always good.
For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I can’t get enough of it.
Wake me up at 5am? I’m mad. Got cake? You get a kiss.
Funeral? Cake. All is better.
Failed a test? Cake. Get ‘em next time.
Broke up with you wife of 50 years? Get two cakes for you good sir.
Broken both of your legs, turned paraplegic, and lost your father in the same day?
Get some cake in you though. You’ll need it to get through it. Oh boy, I am a dark man sometimes.
This beautiful DQ ice cream cake with its luscious icing cream, pure vanilla ice cream, and the fudge on the middle is the topic of our discussion today.
Oh fudge, how I would marry you if it was legal.
Of course I am not talking about literal fudge in DQ cakes.
I am talking about persistence.
Persistence is life’s DQ ice cream cake.
It loves it every hour of the day, all the time.
It can’t get enough really.
But there is one catch. This life character, you see, it is still an infant.
I mean humans are only 2-6 million years old…
In the grand scheme of things, life is a VERY young child.
And in the spirit of being young, it uses its favourite tactic: whining.
So when you give it cake, it’s happy. No whining. Smiles for all!
No more cake? Crying until the sun goes down.
One more thing about this baby: it has a tapeworm. Basically, it can never get full, no matter how much cake it eats.
But at the same time, it needs cake to live. The end of whining isn’t sleeping eventually, like most babies, the end of whining for the baby of life is death.
Sam. You lost me at DQ ice cream cake. I just got back from mopping up all three floors of my house from all the drool.
Sorry. I’ll give it to you straight here. Check it out.
The idea is that, for most things we want in life, persistence will get us them.
The metaphor of giving the cake to the child of life translates to: if you want to bring about a change in the world, you’re going to be feeding the baby of life (the world) with very amazing cake (high quality work) for what seems like forever without any progress.
The key about persistence isn’t about where your going.
It’s about not stopping.
The only time it’s possible to lose is after stopping. That’s when the baby dies.
And rarely can you bring it back to life. That’s kind of how death works.
All you need for persistence is hard work, time, and patience.
Some might say the most important thing is hard work. In life. Ever.
I am not sure this is true.
My friend worked really hard on his degree, but he didn’t get it. He did a ton of work on school, but eventually didn’t make it through his program. His grades weren’t high enough.
He didn’t make it.
Someone else, who is less of a friend and more someone I know, got their degree, but some might say they didn’t work as hard. It took this fellow 12 years to get a four year degree.
Of course, he went on to become a PhD, and world-class motivational speaker.
Just a little bit of success.
I am a MAJOR advocate for being smart about how you work. I have spent a lot of time perfecting my focus to ensure that when I do work it’s at 10,000% so I can work 10x less than I normally would have to. And have time to spare to work on exploration and undirected activities.
But it seems like this doesn’t matter. Of course working smart and/or hard makes it go faster…
But why are we in such a rush?
It’s much more important to reach our goals than how quickly we get to them.
I would much rather be the second student who made it to his PhD, with a great story to boot.
What was wrong for the student who didn’t get a degree despite working hard for four years to get one?
For the rest of Student 1’s life, they will be used to setting goals and not reaching them.
They will have absorbed the value of impatience early in their life.
They will have trouble managing perspectives of others, having to explain such a large failure in their life.
This student has set the precedent that it’s okay to let the baby die.
Despite the second student taking longer, they achieve something much greater.
They made the baby fatter.
Just because the baby has a tapeworm doesn’t mean it cannot grow.
It just means it takes a LOT of cake.
Let’s come back to our golden triad of values to help us reach our goals: hard work, time and patience.
As we’ve uncovered here, hard work is the secret key to have a chance at making the baby fatter.
It’s the goal. It’s the part of the game. It’s the rule to win: you need hard work to have a hope at winning.
Our second ingredients are much more important. These are the difficult ones.
Anyone can work hard.
But not just anyone can work hard for a really long time.
This is where patience comes in.
Patience is for the tough days.
Patience are for the days when you feel you’ve fed the baby more than you have ever before, and despite a family member dying, your significant other leaving you, and you losing your phone that day, the baby doesn’t grow a gram.
Patience is for the days when you stop believing me. Or, even tougher, you stop believing in yourself.
But let’s not kid ourselves here, we don’t matter. We really aren’t that cute.
This baby matters WAY more than either of us.
Could you imagine killing it?
Could you imagine doing anything less than caring for it with all of your being?
So don’t kill the baby. Grow it into something beautiful with hard work and patience.
“WAIT SAM WAIT!”
“What is it you silly goose?”
“YOU FORGOT SOMETHING”
“I am pretty sure I have everything…”
“YOU FORGOT YOUR YOUTH!”
“Goose. I am never getting that back. Thanks for reminding me.”
“TIME. Time. You forgot time. I am such a silly goose.”
Time is the last ingredient to make persistence work.
But before I talk about time, let’s talk about goal-setting.
So we’re trying to be persistent, make babies, and reach our goals.
Wait, I mean grow babies.
See, there are TONS of babies out there. 353,000 were born today.
THREE HUNDRED FIFTY THREE THOUSAND.
That’s a lot of sex.
The point I want to make here is that there are a LOT of choices of where to apply your persistence.
And there are things within things too.
You’re going to apply it to school?
Which one? Where? What program? Are you joining clubs? Which ones? Sports?
You have to be specific.
And pick a worthy goal too.
Do things that don’t hurt you, or others. And do things that feel good.
Basically, it matters what you pick. Because goals are something you stick with until you’re done.
Unless you’re a baby-killer. And don’t want friends. I have yet to meet someone who likes killing babies.
Of course, you are not going to be banished from the kingdom of society if you miss achieving a goal.
But, your future self probably won’t be too stoked for you.
So let’s be careful about what goals we pick. Or what babies we want to fatten.
And to these goals, let’s apply persistence by demonstrating the values of hard work, patience, and time.
Or, feed the baby a TON of cake for a long time. And don’t let up. It’s about the baby not you. It doesn’t care what has happened to you, it just wants to get fed.
In my experience, this has helped me lead a happy life. So hopefully this can help you.
I leave you with a Latin summary of today’s lesson:
Get it up. Keep it up.