A quick comparison between today’s generation and the older generation shows one major difference. It is the fact that the older generation lived in a time when they had to do everything manually yet they had more perseverance than this generation that has nearly everything automated for it. We want all things at the speed of thought and nothing is worth waiting for anymore.
The older generation seems to have what I refer to as the staying power and this generation tries something today, jump to another thing tomorrow and before the sun sets, they are already on something else. Nobody builds an empire by trying out different things hoping they all work out. An empire or anything successful is built by persistent perseverance.
You must have the ability to stay with your dreams and projects through the thick and thin. I recently saw a post online that says, ‘people can’t stay with a business idea for three years, yet they can go and work for someone for forty years.’ Now that also quickly reminds me that many people today can’t wait for things to work out. Once they start something today and it does not work they are ready to move on to something else.
Interestingly, all the rich and powerful people in the world today who run successful businesses seem to have been telling the younger generation to persevere and not think that those business empires they are seeing were built in a day. Ja Ma, the founder of Ali Baba was telling people to learn at a young age and also work for people who are building businesses. I heard about Aliko Dangote, the founder of Dangote group saying it took him thirty (30) years to get to that admirable level that people are seeing today. The same generation that wants to be like them does not even have the power to stay with things for so long and they want the results of those who have persevered for so long.
Why is there no staying power?
Why did we all lose that staying power? Or why did most people lose the capacity to stay with something for long and make it work? Over the years a lot of people began to lose the staying power and even parents stopped teaching this value to their children. I have seen some of the reasons listed below as possible reasons for the dwindling capacity to persevere like we used to.
Purpose – Purpose was a very strong word and many people used to pay attention to it. Today, many people talk about it but do not pay attention to it the way they ought to. I think we only pay lip service to it. If you think that you know they purpose of what you are doing, you can’t easily give up on it. There are so many people whose purpose for doing what they are doing is just the financial gain. So if that thing does not produce any financial gain then it is not worth doing. Of all intents for doing something, the financial gain should be one of the last reasons.
Conviction – While this is very close to purpose, it must still be taken seriously and treated separately. Some people see the purpose of what they are doing or what they need to do but they are not convinced that they should be doing it. One of the people you cannot easily discourage is someone who has a purpose and combines it with conviction. Why is that? Everything called purpose is an external reason for doing something but the conviction is the internal belief for staying with that thing despite the absence of physical results. So this generation lacks staying power because it does not seem to have conviction about too many things except a few people here and there.
Pressure – I understand, because it is all over the place, that there is so much financial and social pressure in this generation. Although, I must say that this has always been in every society and even in the older generation regardless of how primitive it was. The social pressure is not a new thing and may never come to an end. Till this world ends, there will always be people intimidating others just to prove a point. You will always see those saying they have arrived and they must rob it in for those who don’t have anything. While all of these will be going on in the society, you cannot bow to the intimidation of others and give up your pursuit just for quick gains. Mostly when you give up your pursuit, you may make the quick gain that you want but will lose out on the bigger gains that can sustain you for a longer period.
Acquisition of material possession – It is that social pressure, among other things, that leads to the pursuit of acquiring materials possessions. You also want to join the league of those who can say they have arrived and start oppressing other people. You desperate want some things even though they are things that took others years to build.
Let me conclude by saying it is not foolishness for you to stay with something until it works. The two important things for you to do will be to have a clear purpose for what you are doing and have the inner conviction as to why you are doing those things. To make it easier, you should also learn from those who have gone ahead of you and get some encouragement. Whatever happens, you need the staying power to succeed.