The Four “P’s”

My nephew has been staying with us for the past month as a special treat and he’s a very intellectual and curious teenager. He asked me one day early in his stay how my husband and I get so much done in a day and don’t seem bothered, stressed or flustered by it. My response to him was the capability of understanding and executing the four “P’s”. I had his attention. The four “P’s ” are practice, prudence, patience, and perserverence. Let me explain a bit more. I’ll also let you know the one aspect that I leaned was missing from my initial advice to my nephew.

One of the toughest things, I think, for anyone to accept is that with practice we all can accomplish anything. Now, I’m not saying you’ll be able to dunk a basketball if you’re five feet tall, but you could become a fairly decent player, if that’s what you wanted. There are physical limitations and I’m not saying you can defy physics and logic. My point is that we don’t give enough credence to the idea that accomplishing some things can be strenuous or difficult, but if they’re worth while we’ll put the time into practicing them to achieve our goal.

Whether a particular set of skills comes naturally to a person or not, in order to become truly great at anything you need to practice. Now, the best things to practice, which will lead to success in all other areas are prudence, patience, and perserverence. This is why I’ve ordered the four “p’s” in this manner. If you practice prudence, patience and perserverence you have no other choice than to ultimately reach success in whatever your endeavor might be.

Why do I say ‘prudence’ after practice? The definition of prudence is: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason, sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs, skill and good judgment in the use of resources, caution or circumspection as to danger or risk. Quite literally, the practice of being mindful in your thoughts, actions, words, and deeds. If you are mindful in focusing on tasks which bring you and those around you growth, you will be successful.

Patience, of course, is difficult and must come after prudence because being mindful and watchful of what you consume and do on a regular basis takes work. Work that can be difficult at times, but through patience in your failings and understanding that you put your best efforts forth each day, will lead to success. Patience in understanding that any task or goal that’s worth accomplishing comes with difficulties, failures, and sometimes frustrations. Use those to your benefit to feed further growth.

Lastly, perserverence, which, with practice, is the final piece of the success. Things worth having or accomplishing take patience but also the ability to stand steadfast in your endeavors and follow though. Continue to try work through the problem or goal until you reach success, in whatever form that may be. Unless you persevere through the difficult times and look at those times with potential to bring you closer to you goal, your likelihood of quitting is much higher.

The most challenging thing about accomplishing a task or goal is centered around the willingness to sacrifice short term satisfaction to bring that goal into fruition. For myself, I’ve learned the only way to overcome that mentality is to practice prudence, patience, and perseverance. There is one other aspect of what I think brings success that I haven’t addressed yet. It has been the most difficult thing for me to practice.

Sometimes I find a different or better path along this journey, or learn something that teaches me to change my ultimate goal. In the past I would look at a change as a failure, but this is not true. I’ve since learned this is a natural occurrence in a successful path and necessary for growth. The final ‘p’ which I don’t have on the list but which is equally as important is ‘possibility’. Keep your mind open to possibilities which might lead you on a path of greater success and growth.

This is what I’ve learned over the years. Do you find this is true for your life? What are the things you do to ensure success? As always, there is never only one way to go about things; this is just what has worked for me. Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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