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Until recently I was a school governor. As part of my role I had the opportunity to spend time in class talking to the teachers about their approach to education.

I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert on this subject but one of the key aspects that the teachers were trying to instil in the children was the ability to stay with a problem and figure it out.

We have never lived in an age with as much choice as we have today. If we are watching TV and don’t like the channel, we can choose one of the other 300 available to us. Even then, we could always choose another device for our viewing entertainment. The same goes for shopping, eating, gambling or socialising. We have so many choices open to us.

In a way we should be grateful for this but it also leads to a belief that everything is disposable.

When we come up against a problem we can’t solve in five seconds, the natural reaction is to flip the switch and choose something else. But what happens when we can’t?

This is where perseverance comes in. Staying with a problem until we figure it out is a key skill that will serve us more and more the further we progress in our career.

So the next time you hit a wall with a problem, don’t take the easy option, stay with it and figure it out!

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