Generous Persistence

I was listening to an archived episode of the Akimbo podcast titled Genius. In it, Seth Godin riffs on the idea behind being a genius and challenges many common assumptions by bringing up examples like the Jack Pine. Go listen to the episode and hear what he has to say.

“We have to be wrong if we want to be a genius, because we don’t even know what the problem is yet.”

Seth Godin

One phrase caught my ear: generous persistence. Seth drops it at 15:52.

Generous, to go beyond what is strictly necessary, and persistent, to remain dedicated, disciplined, and focused on something for the long haul. This seems to be a key ingredient for real genius, the kind that is bottled up and available within all of us from day 1.

I was in my car when I heard him say this. It was impactful enough that I actually pulled over to write it down, because I think he’s right!

Life is not a dress rehearsal for something larger and grander later. It’s happening, right now, to us all. Regardless of what you believe happens after death, it’s the choices that we make every day that determine our own happiness, values, balance, and quality of life. With the future being unknowable, and wisdom being a function of experience, it makes sense that being generously persistent in our life will result in the improvement of that life.

Consider this – Pursuit of Wonder has a video titled Eventually, Everyone We Know Now Won’t Be Known By Anyone. At face value, the title sounds depressing.

“If we will no longer be known in the future,” I hear some of you saying, “why bother at all?”

To me, this statement is more about acknowledging that purpose is what you make of it. Those little fears that play in our heads, telling us to limit ourselves or put our dreams on hold, can be used instead as a compass to find the next adventure.

After all, we are but mere mortals clinging to the rock of legacy to try and escape the tides of time.

The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.

Baruch Spinoza

Being generously persistent. It means avoiding comparisons because everyone is on a different path. It means coming to grips with failure as the journey from learning towards understanding.

And with that –

✌ Peace and love