It was decades ago that I stumbled on the three Ps. There are many variations I’m sure but for me: ‘Patience, Persistence and Perseverance’ struck a chord.
While the mantra had a powerful impact on me at the time, I hadn’t thought about it for ages. Recently, over a family dinner, we were talking about what we thought was great about each other. (Occasionally I drag this one out; it really should be a lot more deliberate than random.)
It was during this conversation that my wife reminded me of the 3P mantra, saying “I remember you saying patience, persistence and perseverance were three things you wanted in your life and I think it’s great that persistence and perseverance are part of who you’ve become; they’re part of your character.”
It blew me away. It’s been years since I intentionally scratched these words out on an A4 sheet and stuck them on my wall.
I wanted those characteristics but I was light-years away from them
At the time I wasn’t any of those things. I wanted those characteristics but I was light-years away from them. I’d been in and out of relationships; my savings were all over the shop; I had multiple super funds. I didn’t think long term and couldn’t stick at anything; I wanted everything now!
Discovering the 3Ps was a ‘tipping point’ moment. In a sudden rush of clarity, I wrote down my goals and dreams, and worked out what I would need to achieve them. Underpinning it all was the realisation that to achieve them, I would need to focus on the 3Ps: patience, persistence and perseverance.
At that stage of my life – as a young, single man unable to commit to very much of anything really – I identified one of my first financial goals as being the need to save $10,000 towards the purchase of my first property.
With my newfound self-awareness that the 3Ps were something I lacked, I came up with a plan to ‘trick myself’ into incorporating them into my savings plan. I set up automatic deposits into an account I couldn’t access. Whether I liked it or not, I would need to display patience, persistence and perseverance before being able to access that cash.
I’ve learnt, over time, that – more than luck, more than talent – it is the 3Ps that define success in any arena. In all walks of life, there are talented people; people who seem to have everything going for them, who fall by the wayside because they don’t have the patience to implement their plan; do not persist when the naysayers tell them their dreams are impossible, or cannot persevere when disappointment or circumstances set them back.
It is the 3Ps that keep us going when new competitors turn our business model on its head; when the rules of the game are suddenly shifted by the introduction of new technologies, new regulations or changed economic circumstances.
Over time, of course, my goals have been refined, enlarged, and developed. Without consciously articulating it, the 3Ps have become the bedrock on which they’re all built. I’d like to think my 20-something self would be a little chuffed to realise that his 3P revelation had such a lasting impact.
As my wife so deftly pointed out by omission, patience is still a work in progress. But, hey, with perseverance and persistence, it is only a matter of time…