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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stickability-Your WHY Establishes Your HOW.

This weekend I heard the term "stickability".  The Urban Dictionary defines it as: The ability to stick to a particulally hard job, trade or another type of thing. Also see: persevere, sticktoittiveness, rough it out.

Many people experience success in areas of life, where others fail. The main difference? Stickability. Anything worth having is worth working for. Whether it is marriage, raising children, a job, a relationship, or another passion. Those that succeed are those that decide ahead of time-that quitting is not an option. See, when I got married, I decided that divorce would not be an option. Thankfully, my husband has the same conviction. When you are in relationship with another person-it takes both people deciding to stick with it.

Most people quit way too early in an endeavor. Anything worth having is worth working for and pursuing. It is worth the effort it takes to grow and learn. When I first began homeschooling, I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't have a 12 year plan laid out.  I knew I had a passion to do it. I knew I had been called to do it. I didn't necessarily feel equipped to do it. So the first step was to decide that I would do it. Once I made the decision the path became clearer. The first thing my husband and I did, was to establish our WHY... Why did we want to homeschool? So we listed those reasons. And when it got tough, I went back to my WHY. When days came that I wanted to quit, I went back to my WHY....Then it was no longer about the why. (I knew why. It had been made clear.) So then it was no longer about why-but instead it was about HOW.  How am I going to homeschool? What resources am I going to use? Who am I going to learn from, etc.?

I have been working out the how for 8 years now. As my son is an 8th grader and my daughter is a 6th grader. You know how I did it? I decided I would learn about homeschooling, I would become teachable. I wouldn't pretend I knew it all. I would become a student myself. I would learn from others who went before me. I would unite with other like minded families who also sought to homeschool their children, etc. Each semester I would pray about a plan. I would ask God for a vision. I would pray about the curriculum to use, and I would do a lot of research on the curriculum. I went to conventions and conferences. I didn't always make the best choices, there were times I ordered a curriculum and saw it wasn't a good fit. (Even after hours of looking it over.) There were times I had to abandon my daily schedule and routine. I had to learn to become flexible. My HOW is the process of the WHY! 

It is like this in any endeavor. When you get married, when you have kids, when you join a church, or get a job, you have first decide: WHY. Why am I marrying this person? Why am I choosing to homeschool my children, Why would I work here, why am I getting involved in this church or take on an extra job? Why am I pursuing this?  Then it just becomes about the how. I know why I am doing it. Now I just need to work out the how. So I learn as I go- It is  OJT-(On the job training). I learn how to be married while I am married, I learn how to be a mom, by messing it up at times, and brushing myself off and starting again. I learn as I go with a new business.

I read an article in our local paper about Thomas Edison. It wasn't his IQ, or his charisma that made him who he was. It was his "stickability". He failed in many inventions, but he started again. He  learned from his failures, he improved and then he had success. He was one of the most successful men ever to have lived. He must have also experienced much failure, the difference was that he kept on going, when others quit. (Those are the ones we never heard about, because they gave up.)

What I see is that people quit on the why, long before they even start on the process of how. The difference is stickability.