Perseverance vs. Stubbornness

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Perseverance:  (noun) continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Photo Credit to Dustin Tray on Pexels

Stubbornness: (noun) performed or carried on in an unyielding, obstinate, or persistent manner.

I was thinking about these two words the other day and realized they have a lot in common.  The main difference is the connotation that each word evokes.  Showing perseverance is generally considered a positive quality.  On the other hand, stubbornness is usually a negative trait.

The reality is there is not that much difference between the two words, even though they might be considered antonyms for each other.  If I dive deep enough into my character, I think I am both of these things.  I would argue that there are times when we should be both.

People are motivated by many different factors, but haven’t we all been in a place where we wanted to prove to ourselves or someone else that we had what it took?  I used to play little league baseball, and I was a decent enough player.  One of my claims to fame was that I once threw a no-hitter.  Yet, if someone were to ask me what perhaps my favorite individual moment in baseball was, it was the time I drilled one of Ken Swanson’s fastballs right back over his head. 

I was not trying to hurt him, and I didn’t derive pleasure from his close call.  I’m sure I would have felt awful if that ball hit him in the face.  The reason I got such satisfaction was that he was the most dominant pitcher in the league.  He threw so hard that half of the kids who faced him were bailing out of the batter’s box before he delivered the heat.  The truth was he had struck me out several times before that during the season.  He was tall, strong, and had developed a reputation for being unhittable.  I probably thought I didn’t stand a chance, but each time I wanted that opportunity to prove to myself and others that I could do it.  In a word, I was stubborn.

There have also been times where I was so stubborn when common sense should have prevailed.  One of the first instances was the time I tried to repair a collapsing fence. We live in a mild place close to the Pacific Ocean.  One reason my wife and I like it here is that it never gets too hot or cold.  It only gets above 70 degrees Fahrenheit a few days in the summer and even more rarely dips below freezing in the winter.

I had traveled to the edge of the Central Valley of California to meet who was to become my future mother-in-law.  Recently divorced after thirty-eight years of marriage, she had many things that needed fixing around her property.  The most immediate problem was the rotted fence that separated her from the neighbor’s cows, goats, and horses.  The situation was urgent, and I felt compelled to help my future mother-in-law.  It was well over 100 degrees, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  It wouldn’t have been that difficult a job for two guys, but there was no one else around to help.  Foolishly, I worked in the heat for several hours, and I did manage to complete the job.  The downside was that I came down with heatstroke.

I’m sure some male ego was involved as I wanted to prove my worth in completing this task.  I spent the next three days in bed with a high fever.  The fact that the temperatures were still close to ninety at night didn’t help.  What I accomplished didn’t prove I was a worthy man.  It was more a reflection of stubborn judgment.  If I were in similar circumstances today, I’d like to think I would make a more prudent choice.

Another example of my stubbornness was the time the ladder slipped when I was painting our house.  Like many teachers, I tried to earn money in the summer by working.  I had my own painting business for over twenty years.  I had finally reached a point where the income wasn’t necessary, and I was no longer enjoying the tedious and sometimes physical work. I decided to paint our house before hanging up my sprayer, rollers, and brushes for good for my swan song.

I was prepping the house using a pressure washer to remove the mildew and was more than halfway done when the accident occurred.  I foolishly tried to climb an extension ladder on our wet deck. When I was two-thirds of the way up the ladder, it suddenly slipped.  I was tossed and landed directly onto the deck with my back absorbing most of the impact.  I was stunned and hurt.  At first, it was impossible to determine how injured I was as I had the wind knocked out of me and was having trouble breathing.  My wife was at work, but our junior high son was inside the house and heard the thump outside and came to check on me. 

I refused an ambulance ride and discouraged my son from calling his mom.  Instead, my thought was to finish what I had started.  I had rented that pressure washer for the day and was determined to get my money’s worth.  Some might compliment me on my tenacity and toughness, but it was a stupid thing to do.  With my son assisting me, we finished using the pressure washer, brought it back to the rental place, and drove to the ER. By the time the doctor saw me, the pain had increased to an 11 on a 1-10 pain scale.   To no one’s surprise, I had sustained a compression fracture.    

I’m not sure if the value of hard work is instinctive or learned behavior.  My sense is it is more of the latter.  Both of my parents were diligent workers, and my brothers and I also share that trait.  I see that quality in our son, and it makes me proud that he is so independent and hard-working.

What do perseverance and stubbornness have to do with writing?  As someone who didn’t start writing until he retired, it means there isn’t time for all of the self-doubt and roadblocks that we sometimes create for ourselves.  Instead of looking for excuses not to write, I am focused and determined. There is too much to learn at my age to get sidetracked.  When my writing group was unable to meet for many weeks, I sat in with another group.  One of the people in the group said that she had been working on her novel for sixteen years.  At first, I thought she was joking, but then I realized she was serious.  I’ve always believed that people should do whatever works for them, but I wondered if this was an act of stubbornness on her part.  As someone who has perfectionist tendencies, I understood her plight.  At the same time, there are times when we have to persevere and finish what we started.

Use the support of your fellow writers.  The absolute best thing I’ve done in my writing was to surround myself with other like-minded people.  The people who attend are serious, trying to master the many challenges the skill presents.  My critique group offers helpful suggestions, and I feel like I have a unique opportunity.  I am not going to waste that chance.  I will persevere and even be stubborn on occasion, but I will finish the job.

115 thoughts on “Perseverance vs. Stubbornness

  1. Great post, Pete! I never thought about perseverance and stubbornness in this way but you’re absolutely on to something! I know I can pretty much accomplish anything I put my mind to, as long as I have the passion in me (throw in a good dose of doubt from external parties and I’m guaranteed to win).

    It’d be interesting to survey ppl who considered themselves stubborn and measure their level of success based on their perseverance… I bet we’d see a trend!

    Whether it’s nature or nurture.. probably a bit of both I think. At least for me, being a middle child growing up in a poor family I knew the only ticket out of poverty was me. And if I was going to be my only answer then I knew I had to find ways to succeed, and you don’t often succeed right away, it takes many trial and errors and a good dose of stubbornness/perseverance!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor May 4, 2021 — 8:52 pm

      It’s a minefield out there with all of the self-doubt writers create for themselves. It’s tough enough without us adding extra layers to navigate. Yes, to the nature/nurture observation. People always like to talk about the biological similarities children have with their parents, but what I find more interesting are the personality traits. For example, I taught many second-generation students where parents and kids shared many characteristics. (often times good ones, but not always). I’ve got to give you a lot of credit for figuring out your road to success. Some just throw in the towel and think that they can’t carve out their own path.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Pete, sometimes you just need one person to believe in you… Thanks for being in my camp!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Way to go, Pete. Like you, I am focused on achieving the goals that have accompanied me throughout my life’s journey, but a little to the side, not as the main event. Now they are moving into focus and I realise how little time I have to achieve them. I’m trying to make up for lost time by stubbornly working on them incessantly. Some of my friends say ‘Why are you doing this to yourself?” My response: because I want to and I love it and I feel like I have no choice. I feel like it’s now or never and I hope the now arrives before the never. 😉🤣

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor May 4, 2021 — 10:47 pm

      I admire that attitude, Norah. One of my prerequisites is, “Am I having fun doing this?” As long as the answer is yes, then that’s a good enough reason to get involved for me. But, as one of my friends put it, the hourglass is now going in the opposite direction, and we need to make that time count. So keep on doing your thing, Norah. I think we all feed off each other’s positive attitudes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, Pete. Every decision we make is a choice for or against what we want for ourselves isn’t it? I rarely, if ever, say ‘no’ to time with family or friends, but the time left over is for me to spent how I choose. (Family and friends, being the choice I make first, of course.) I’ll keep doing ‘my thing’ as long as it makes me happy. You do the same. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m in the same place, Norah. I have so much writing I want to get out into the world in book form, and I realized that I don’t have years to waste on agent queries and rejections. I’m going to have to get these books out there myself.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 8:39 am

        Many assume that finding a publisher will lead to more opportunities, but it seems the reality is that writers still need to spend a lot of time marketing themselves. That is the part of this process that I find the least appealing. Like teaching, there is more than one way to accomplish your goals. I’d say follow your instincts because while having some ability is necessary, there also seems to be a bit of being at the right place at the right time. Self-publishing gets the writing out there much quicker.

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      2. Publishing my debut novel with a traditional publisher and having to do all of the marketing and promotion myself was a real eye-opener. Like you, I find the marketing of myself very unappealing.

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      3. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 7:17 pm

        Like everything in life, things change. Self-publishing seems like it will continue to grow by leaps and bounds. I suspect that will be the place I eventually get to too. When I attended a children’s writing workshop before COVID, I learned that even if an author lands a publishing deal (and you would know), it takes on average another two years to see it in print. That is rather discouraging. While I get pleasure from the act of writing, all of the business of trying to sell ourselves and, by association, our books are part of the job. It’s just not as much fun. I may reach out to you down the line as I would be interested in hearing about your publishing experience. Thanks for sharing, Liz.

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      4. The other side of self-publishing that I’ve been reading about is the unbelievable number of predators, scammers, and bad actors trying to take advantage of people. I’d be able to share my publishing experience with you, Pete. Feel free to reach out to me when you’re ready,

        Liked by 1 person

      5. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 10:05 pm

        I was approached by quite a few of those scammers after my book came out. I won’t take up any more of your time now, but I’ll tell you about it when I write.

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      6. I’ll look forward to hearing about your experience, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Way to go, Liz. That’s a courageous decision. I wish you success with your projects, and many many readers.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Thank you very much, Norah. I appreciate your good wishes!

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I know what you’re saying, Norah! My husband said you can relax now since you finished your children’s book. I said I don’t want to relax, I’ll continue to do what I love to do and don’t want to waste my brain away!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. petespringerauthor May 17, 2021 — 7:38 pm

        Active mind and body are the only ways to go. You’ve got it right, Miriam. I’ve been back at my gym (still requires facemasks) the past two weeks, and I’m adjusting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My gym is open, even the pool area is open, but I’ll wait for another month or so. Hope you had a wonderful trip seeing your son.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. petespringerauthor May 17, 2021 — 7:54 pm

        It was great! I’ll be blogging about it in the next couple of days.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. That’s good. I have to be cautious because of my low immune system.

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      5. Exactly, Miriam. Give it all you’ve got for as long as you’ve got it and love it. 💖

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      6. You’re right, Norah. I’ll continue to do what I love as long as I can. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re absolutely right. And, I’m glad to hear the pressure-washer story. That would totally be me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 4, 2021 — 10:50 pm

      It was funny that I waited for my last job to seriously hurt myself. I’ve inherited a lot of my dad’s qualities, and he was the one who taught us to work hard and stand up for our principles.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s funny – I wonder how many people have sworn to themselves ‘I’m going to finish this… if it’s the last thing I do’ and sometimes it is. Ladder accidents often happen when the loving wife is not at home, wives tend to have an overcautious approach to ladder safety!

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 8:28 am

      More than once I’ve been way up there and thought, “This probably wouldn’t be a good time to fall.” Scaffolding was a beautiful invention.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Our window cleaner was the last one locally to change from ladders to long poles and a hose attached to a tank in his van!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Pete,

    I wrote out a long response, but due to having problems logging into Word Press, I lost everything I had written. In general, I am also stubborn but would not have continued with the pressure cleaner. Like you I started writing after my retirement and now 80 am still bust writing with eleven books published and another novel being evaluated by a publishing company. After all, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Best regards Colin Guest Colin Guest.https://www.colinguestauthor.com Twitter.com: http://www.Tigermanguest Facebook.com:: www. tigerman55 Amazo.com/author/colinguest: Be positive, not negative, positive thoughts lead to positive results.

    [image: Mailtrack] Sender notified by Mailtrack 05/05/21, 10:11:54 AM

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 7:59 am

      I think that’s great, Colin. I take inspiration from stories like yours. I’m finding that quite a few people didn’t start writing until they were older. The only people I’ve met in retirement who are unhappy are those that fail to find something that gets them excited to get up in the morning. The best of luck to you. Keep writing and inspiring others in the process.

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  6. such incredibly great advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 8:43 am

      Thanks, Beth. Self-sabotage is a real thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always been stubborn to a fault since childhood. For me, I always felt like I had to prove something, not just to others but to myself. Nowadays I try to practice perseverance, but within reason. It’s hard finding that balance though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 8:46 am

      There is a pretty fine line. I also know there are things that I’ll let go of easily and others that I will stand my ground for. For example, when I feel like a business hasn’t lived up to its end of the bargain, I’m going to let them know about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Stubborn is not knowing when to quit, even if what you seek is impossible. Perseverance is not choosing to quit, even when what you seek is near impossible. Great post, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 8:47 am

      Wonderfully put, Brad! Everything is a choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. A great post, Pete. The two could well be linked but one should guard against being foolishly stubborn [I’m thinking about this in my personal capacity]. If General John Pershing hadn’t been both during WW1, we might all be speaking German now as Germany may well have won the war.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 8:55 am

      Certainly true, Robbie. Your comment reminds me of the classic George Santayana quote, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I often think about that as we go down this road again (sigh) for the umpteenth time vilifying someone because they are different from us.

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  10. Ah a good post Pete. I think these 2 words go together quite well. As a tomboy I hurt myself many time trying to prove I could do everything my brothers could do. I was always stubborn. Now as I age I find tasks that I am determined to preserve at. Ha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:00 am

      The saying “choose your battles carefully” seems to apply here. I have plenty of things that I can easily let go of and others that I can be quite stubborn about. I had many tomboy friends growing up. It makes me wonder, “Are there tomgirls? If not, how come?”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha I am sure some of you guys could be tomgirls if you wanted to be. My mother always told me to choose my battles carefully (or wisely).

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The ladder story illustrates how/why you’ve succeeded in your profession–education and now writing. Though you made a stupid decision to persist after the fall, you learned a lesson. Good student!

    A favorite line: The absolute best thing I’ve done in my writing was to surround myself with other like-minded people. I couldn’t agree more. My blog drew in experienced writers who then became beta readers and also book reviewers later on. Plus, who can measure the valuable friendships I found. Great post, Pete!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:06 am

      I hadn’t considered that blog followers could become beta readers, but why not? It’s probably not fair or prudent to ask our family or closest friends to be our beta readers. It puts them in the unenviable position of trying to be encouraging while also being critical. The Jack Nicholson line from the movie A Few Good Men just entered my head, “You can’t handle the truth!” Great comments, Marian!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I tend toward pigheadedness myself, so your post really struck a chord. (“I’m going to do this if it kills me” being the mantra). When it comes to writing, though, that’s not the case. There is the pride of accomplishment in finishing a piece of fiction or a poem, but it’s the act of writing itself that does it for me. Now, publication is another matter entirely. That takes perseverence.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:11 am

      Your comment, “The act of writing itself does it for me,” is exactly where I’m coming from. At the end of the day, it would be nice to have something to show for all of our hard work, but there is so much value in the process of getting there. I tend to be more left-brained, but writing is the thing that feeds my more creative side.

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      1. I never can remember which side of my brain is supposed to be which!

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      2. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 7:18 pm

        😊

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  13. What an excellent (and teaching) post, Pete.
    I do think that perseverance and stubbornness have a lot in common, and I can be both when the situation calls for it. Given I’ve been writing as long as I have, the former is definitely a factor–thanks to the latter 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:17 am

      You’ve obviously found the happy medium, Mae. That is a skill in itself. One thing I’ve been good about since starting my journey is not to compare myself to others but to observe how much growth I’ve made. We all need role models, but it should be creating a path that works for us in the end.

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  14. It’s a fine dividing line, isn’t it. But you sure as heck are stubborn!

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:18 am

      I’ll take that as a compliment, Clive.😎 We need to be stubborn about our principles.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was intended that way. We need to fight for what we believe in.

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  15. Your title made me immediately ponder the definitions of perseverance and stubbornness. I agree with you, Pete, how they have a lot in common and almost go hand in hand except for the pos/neg connotations. Interesting how you use the game of baseball for examples. I think we have discussed before how many of life’s lessons can be found in baseball. Heatstroke is scary, as you know well. My husband and I often discuss the concept of work ethic and genetics or learned behaviour. We are on the fence on this one. An interesting post, as always, Pete. These qualities are obviously working for you and your goals. (I have been off the grid, and I enjoy catching up on your posts)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:22 am

      I’ve noticed your absence. (Isn’t it nice to be missed?) In most areas of life, there is a certain amount of “nature vs. nurture.” I hope all is well with you and your family, Erica.

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  16. Two great words. I think we all have both traits though sometimes the stubborn side can be more persevering.

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:23 am

      I think your handle was one of the first things that attracted me to your blog. We all need a certain amount of bitchiness and stubbornness in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Great post, Pete! These two words are like a two headed beast. Every now and then one head pokes higher 🙂 I will remember your ladder story since we are in the middle of painting the house 🙂

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:26 am

      It’s probably not a great idea to think about that when you’re thirty feet off the ground.😎 You’ve already discovered one of the downsides of retirement, Margie. Now you actually have time to deal with all of those things you could put off when working. 🤣

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      1. Haha, true, but I like to think of it as up side (and only when we feel like it!)

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  18. I enjoyed the post, Pete. I think that woman with the 16-year novel is probably afraid to be judged. She needs to put herself out there if, in fact, she wants to be a writer. If she wants to be a dilatant, she is going in the right direction. Besides being banned from grocery shopping, and laundry, I have also been banned from working on a ladder for the very reason you pointed out. I’m too stubborn to know when my life is in danger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:29 am

      Being banned from the grocery shop and laundry—I want to sign up for that club.🤣 I remember your comment about turning the sheets pink. I still climb ladders, but I take it a bit slower as I know I’m not as steady as I used to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I got the red flag when I turned 70. (ten years ago) This is a problem when one marries someone 15 years younger.

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  19. wonderful post, Pete. It is a fine line between the two, and you certainly shared some painful examples of the problem with being stubborn. But I think it’s that same trait that enables you to persevere and achieve all the success you have had. I often think of some of the things that children get criticized for, like asking too many questions or being too bossy, but in a few years, those same children are viewed as curious or having leadership qualities…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 9:33 am

      Fantastic point about questions and curious children—the two go hand-in-hand. No wonder kids are so confused as society gives them such mixed messages. “There is no such thing as a dumb question,” and ten seconds later, “I’m not answering that.” You’ve also hit on another fine line between leadership and bossiness. I’ve been thinking about doing a post on leadership, and you just reminded me of that.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. it’s gotta be tough being a kid sometimes! looking forward to your post on leadership…

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting perspective…years ago, my wife’s cousin had a boyfriend who told me how he was going to come to Hollywood and be a big Movie Director. I asked what the next steps were, and he said he had to have some work done on his car and then he listed a dozen other things that stood between him and fame and I thought: “this guy is NEVER going to Hollywood. He will live his life with a dozen excuses why he’s not going to chase that dream.” I say that because I work in Hollywood and it’s full of dreamers, schemers and charlatans who talk a big game but never actually do ANYTHING. So, write write write and don’t let “repair work on your car” slow you down!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 2:50 pm

      Dreams are the easy part, but do we have what it takes to follow through when things don’t come easy? Hollywood is the home of broken dreams. For every one hundred sad stories, there is one bright one to give others hope.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, and what you posted reminded me that some people say they are going to do something, but the talented ones just do it…which is what you have done so bravo to you!

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  21. They are both sides of the same coin, aren’t they? I remember when my daughter was very young, my mother kept mentioning how stubborn she was. I told her that was a good thing in the long run because should would grow up knowing how to stick with things and rely on her own instincts. As a grown woman now, she is delightfully stubborn when she needs to be, and has persevered through many obstacles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 2:53 pm

      You were a forward-thinking parent, Dorothy. I actually liked to see some spunk in my students because then I knew they would be willing to stand up for something they believed in and not be taken advantage of. “Delightfully stubborn when she needs to be” sounds like the perfect recipe.

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  22. What an interesting comparison of both words, Pete. They are similar, but different. I definitely possess a little of both, as I am sure we all do. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 3:01 pm

      It seems to come in varying supplies for most people. I certainly taught many students who needed to be taught to not lose hope and look for other creative ways to solve a problem. If we don’t have any stubbornness, perhaps we give up too easily.

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  23. Great post, Pete! I’ll be thinking about this for a long time. I’ve always admired persistence–it’s time for me to recognize that being stubborn (as some of my family members seem) can be and has been a very good thing. Thanks, Pete!

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 3:05 pm

      I think stubbornness gets in the way if we aren’t open to accepting someone else’s viewpoint. Yet, I would say stubbornness is a good trait to have when it comes to not giving up easily. There are plenty of times when we need to try alternative paths to come up with a solution.

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  24. Some great examples. I think most writers need to be somewhat stubborn and definitely need to practice perseverance. I laughed (sorry) at the house painting story, as I can just see that happening. My stubbornness has cost me at times as well.

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    1. petespringerauthor May 5, 2021 — 3:09 pm

      No offense taken to my painting story. I can look back at that now and laugh at myself. Some of this comes down to the male ego. GPS has allowed us, stubborn males, a way out from asking for directions.🤣

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      1. GPS has saved many marriages I believe. I used to think it was a guy thing, not asking for directions until I was driving my daughter and her boyfriend to a place and we got lost. They kept saying, let´s stop and ask someone for directions and I kept saying, “No, I´ve got this. We´ll find the place soon.” I realized after, it´s the person who’s driving that doesn´t want to admit they are lost!! Have a great day!

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  25. Brilliant word analysis, Pete.
    Stubbornness is perhaps in the eye of the beholder?

    For example, my unpaid writing as work:
    (Me, hoping I’m persistent) Of course it is work. I am a writer. I work at it everyday and I give it priority no matter what.
    (Mother-in-law viewing me as stubborn) She can’t take a hint. You aren’t supposed to enjoy work. If her writing was work, she’d be getting paid. Why does she continue to call herself a writer?

    Writing this, I realize I want to prioritize writing even more. (Because I’m stubborn?)

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    1. petespringerauthor May 6, 2021 — 8:05 am

      Yipes! Me thinking: “This wasn’t part of the deal, having to listen to unsolicited advice. Can I actually trade this mother-in-law in for a new model?”

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      1. Thanks for the chuckle!

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  26. Yikes on your run-ins with stubbornness! Back problems are awful, as is heatstroke. I hadn’t thought of the similarity between those two words until now. Denotatively, they are quite similar. Connotatively, they mean something entirely different. Great article as usual, Pete.

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    1. petespringerauthor May 6, 2021 — 8:08 am

      I finished some physical therapy recently that has made a world of difference. I will continue to persevere and stubbornly do all these stretches on my own.

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  27. So true Pete. Ever-changing connotations play an important role in communications — especially in business/work environments. Have a great rest of the week. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 6, 2021 — 11:01 am

      Communication is even more of a challenge in the present environment in which so many are looking to pick a fight about anything. On top of that, we can’t pick up on normal social cues since we’ll still be wearing masks for a while. The eyes tell only part of the story. You enjoy the rest of your week as well, Teagan!

      Like

  28. Great wordsmithing, Pete! I’ll add a different slant to the table as most of the commenters reflect my thoughts already.
    And that is: When our related/respective parents on my Dad’s side of the family (including my Dad) got older and ‘stubborn’ about the many milestones to overcome while aging – especially that of driving – Us cousins all rallied around each other at various times and recited what became a Family Mantra:
    “Remember they’re ‘stubborn but practical’.”
    It was hard to walk through, but knowing there was at least a tiny bit of balance inherent in the Family’s DNA, it helped us brave through those hard but precious times of elder care back in the day.
    (Too soon it might be my kids’ turn to recite that to each other – HA!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 6, 2021 — 11:06 am

      Excellent point, Laura! We do get set in our ways. It’s already happened to me. “Stubborn but practical” sounds pretty good to me.” Much better than “stubborn and anal.”

      Your comment about aging made me remember trying to teach my mom how to use her cell phone. She was starting to get it, but then it would be like starting over the next time. The saying “use it or lose it” comes to mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Yes, been there and done that. As a reformed (in process, some times–it always is there lurking) procrastinator, I do persevere. The stubborn situations most often come on when I insist on doing something which I am not really sufficiently skilled to complete safely and successfully. Thankfully, the wisdom of age and the accumulation of enough money to pay somebody else the “Harry Homeowner” mishaps are now few and far between. Of course, it is the writing that perseverance is most essential; stubborn seems ill-suited.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 7, 2021 — 4:29 pm

      You sound just like me when it comes to home repairs, John. That was never my forte, but I usually managed to struggle and eventually complete whatever jobs needed to be done. But, of course, it probably took twice as long as it should have. While I’m stubborn in some areas, I would much rather pay somebody with more expertise these days. I’d rather spend my time with things I enjoy doing, and we’re comfortable enough financially.

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      1. Yup, we’re on the same page. I typically only ever did stuff I could, but it took too long. Saved a lot of money though. Not an issue now; time is!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Wonderful post, Pete. Both stubbornness and perseverance have good traits. Knowing when to forge on and knowing when to stop is what we need to do. Your stories were delightful to read. I would have loved to have been in the stands when that fast pitch ball went over his head. How you relate the two characteristics to writing is perfect. It’s a great reminder and advice to writers. Okay Jennie, you need to ‘up’ your book writing perseverance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 7, 2021 — 4:31 pm

      Don’t forget to give your friend, Pete, a signed copy. 😎 Just about to board our airplane to head to Montana. I’m sure we’ll post a couple of Facebook photos. Have a great weekend, Jennie!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Will do! And, have a grand time in Montana!

        Liked by 1 person

  31. When I started reading your post, I had to immediately think about writing a book. I wondered if I was stubborn to want to complete the darn thing or if it was perseverance. It might have started with the first one and then turned into the second one. I’m a tad stubborn in general and, like you, I’m a perfectionist and don’t give up easily, if at all. That’s perseverance. Or, in the injured or painful category, it might be stubbornness. 🙂

    I think it you’re talking about a long-term goal of tough project (like writing a book), pursuing that is perseverance. But afterwards, when you want to promote it to keep selling it, would you call that being stubborn or persevering (to make it all worthwhile)?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 9, 2021 — 11:48 am

      I wrestle with that part of things, but the biggest feeling of satisfaction was getting to the end of the road and completing something that I started. Like many others, it goes against my nature to promote myself. While thinking about that idea, at the same time, we have to put ourselves out there if others are going to read what we’ve written.

      This time around, I’m trying to especially take the time to try and cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s. It’s not that I rushed my first book, but fiction is a whole different ballgame. I just finished getting my story professionally edited because I knew it needed a more thorough vetting. It will be nice to have something to show for all my hard work, but I’m being patient and respecting the process. I think that includes elements of perseverance and stubbornness.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally! And it’s the right way to do it – for people like you and me. You will be happy at the end that you had a professional help you with edits and that you crossed the ts and such. It will feel like the process is dragging on (it did to me, or better, to my husband who did all the formatting and needed to keep making changes in both book versions every time I found a typo or a better way of saying something in the final stages!) but it is important that you are happy with the end product!

        Liked by 1 person

  32. So good to think about the difference between those two words, Pete. You certainly had some great examples to draw on! Toni

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 10, 2021 — 7:52 pm

      I think that stubbornness can sometimes be a good thing. I’m generally pretty easygoing, but I will raise a stink if I think somebody is trying to take advantage of me.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Great post Pete. I’m wondering if perseverence is more akin to determination than stubborness? And ouch on the sunstroke, I can’t help but wonder if you were wearing a hat? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 10, 2021 — 7:56 pm

      Good comparison! Perseverance and determination are very close. I think I made the comparison between perseverance and stubbornness because it’s a pretty fine line.

      Yes, I was wearing a hat. When you’re not used to that climate, it takes quite a bit to get used to it. I’ve never liked the heat. I actually do better than most in a cold environment, but perhaps that is because I spent nine years growing up in the Dakotas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wow, that sun is a double-edged sword. Glad you came through okay. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  34. I used to be super stubborn, Pete, and like you, would occasionally put myself if jeopardy or drive my parent’s to distraction. Hopefully perseverance has taken over in later life. 🙂 I totally agree that perseverance is necessary for most writers. Not only when writing a book, but afterwards with all the work necessary to get it out into the world. I’ve been at this for about 13 years, and it’s still requires perseverance! You’re also right that our writing community is vital to our ability to stick with it. They’re our companions on this challenging journey. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 11, 2021 — 9:53 pm

      I think it takes a certain amount of getting out of one’s comfort zone philosophy as so many writers tend to be introverted. The only cure for that is to keep working at it. Like any new experience, it gets easier over time or if having mentors to emulate. I always liked to see perseverance in my students as we all have times in our lives when we need to pick ourselves back up and go at it again, whatever the pursuit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a necessary quality if we want to fulfil our dreams.

        Liked by 1 person

  35. I’ve always believed that to persevere you need to be a lil stubborn. Like you – I’m both. And I relate to so many of your experiences. I had to move houses mid-pandemic since my lease expired and our apartment wouldn’t let any outsider in to help pack. I had a flatmate who I could have asked for help but I was adamant to do it all myself. I packed and lifted heavy ass boxes and managed it all but ended up hurting my back. Would have just been easier to ask for help. I also think I’mterrible at asking people to help – I prefer to do it all on my own. So I relate with the lady whose been working on her novel for the last 16 years. But I do want to change that – and I’m working on it. So here’s hoping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 13, 2021 — 9:01 am

      The pandemic has had its unusual side effects, and not being able to have friends help you pack fits into that category. We raised our son (now 28) to be independent and self-sufficient. He is both of those things, but now like the insane parents we are, we wonder, “but how come he never needs or asks for our help anymore? 🤣

      I have become that friend that others ask to help move him/her. (I’m retired, and I’ve got a big ass truck.) I also think people assume that I’ve got all this free time on my hands because I’m retired, but I’m almost as busy as when I worked. It’s just a different kind of busy.

      Like

  36. Oh, love this post! My guy and I persevere. We think our son (38 now) is stubborn. But if you asked him, he’d say the opposite. 😃 One of my teacher friends also painted houses in the summers. A few years ago he decided this was going to be his last summer but he fell off the ladder and broke his back. It took him months and months to recover. Like you, he was stubborn that day!
    But we writers, we need to persevere every day! I’m so glad you do. By the way, I want to live where you live. Perfect temperatures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 13, 2021 — 3:16 pm

      It’s a fine line between stubbornness and perseverance. I’d say either one is better than a person who gives up too easily. Kids, especially the younger ones who have yet to learn to be resilient, were famous for saying, “It’s too hard. I can’t do it!” Then after I’d spend thirty seconds with them, it was, “This is so easy!” My teasing manner was to say, “Wait! I thought you said it was too hard.” Next came the sheepish grin and a moment of bonding as we smiled at each other.

      We just visited our son in Montana, and when we got back, my wife said, “Maybe we should move.” It was a moment of delirium as she hates the cold. 🤣

      Like

  37. I think I persevere and my husband is stubborn. It probably I learned it a hard way and through lots of tears that it’s okay to be vulnerable. I even said to myself that I didn’t need to prove to myself or anyone else.
    You were lucky to have just a heatstroke, Pete. I worked with the parents and had weekly meetings with them. During one meeting, someone came to let a parent that her husband died from working in the yard – he had a heatstroke and died.

    This is a great post and we all have to think about the difference between perseverance and stubbornness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 17, 2021 — 7:53 pm

      Yes, heatstroke needs to be treated with extreme caution. I read that we are more susceptible to have it again if we’ve had it once.

      I know when I’ve solved a problem after some stubbornness or perseverance, there is an extra level of satisfaction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve had a long journey of perseverance in my younger life, Pete. That is something I’ll share with my daughter and granddaughters so they wouldn’t think that I had it easy.

        I’m glad you found out more about heatstroke, something to pay attention to.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. I think men carry the stubborn gene in their DNA, lol. They are the providers, protectors, and perfectionists. I for one, am grateful for the men in my life. My dad taught me to work hard and always try to do my best. My husband cares for our family and takes great pride in the garden we tend together.
    Both men have shown me the importance of persevering in whatever goal I undertake, whether it’s the brick-like loaves of bread I can’t quite master, or the book that doesn’t want to be written.
    Great post, Pete. I hope your back injury didn’t create lasting damage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor May 19, 2021 — 11:09 am

      Perfectionism can be a blessing and a curse. I have some perfectionist tendencies, but it only rears its head in certain pursuits. Sharing the work in your garden is a wonderful thing for a husband and wife to enjoy together.

      I’m amazed at how well my back is doing these days. I must have been in some degree of pain for three months straight. I had actually accepted that was the new normal. Then, I tried physical therapy. It took a few sessions, but since then, my back has been great. I’ve continued to do my stretches on my own over the last month, and things are still great. I don’t know how long this will last, but I feel especially grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad. No more ladders for you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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