Why Tenacity Is Your Best Friend

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee


Oftentimes, when faced with a long workout with repeating elements, I might suggest to my fitness clients that they find a pace they think they can sustain, and then wash, rinse and repeat as long as they can. But this is in fact an oversimplification of what I mean.




In fact, as I work through these kinds of workouts, I am constantly making adjustments as I go. My intent is to be consistent, but sometimes, well, I might get slower on the bike as I tire, or realize I went out too hot on those burpee box jump overs. But I might also realize I can push those hang power cleans a bit, or jump up and rip off those toes to bar sooner than I anticipate. By thinking this way, I learn how to adjust as needed in order to keep working towards my ultimate goal of being smooth and efficient in my work, which, in the end, typically makes for the best result I am capable of at that moment.

This is a good example of the idea of persistence vs tenacity.


Persistence means you implement your strategy, check the results, and repeat the strategy over and over again until you get what you want. This sounds pretty good…at least at first glance. However, blind persistence can in fact become a closed-loop system, where no matter how flawed the methodology, you stay on the same track in the hopes that hard work will in the end pay off.



Tenacity takes a more strategic approach. Tenacity means you implement a methodology, analyze the results, then make adjustments to improve efficiency as you move forward. Both the persistent and the tenacious person possess tremendous will to realize their goals, but the tenacious person uses the information at hand to improve their outcomes.

The result is you work smarter, not harder. Can you see how this is applicable to whatever you’re working on at the moment?

Food for thought. Happy Saturday!