Perhaps persistence may be “gotten” by making a habit of continuously re-rendering the sights and sounds and feelings of accomplishment — with sufficient variation that it can be “like new” each day. Thus, we “pull” ourselves along toward some end by enamoring ourselves of the glory of those moments.
To exert control over our “inner lives”, we need to both amplify the signal we’ve designed for ourselves and attenuate the signals of the environment around us (which are often in conflict with the signal we’ve designed). This is particularly true of the “self-made” individual who transitions from one world to another. (e.g. “rags to riches”)
The interesting question that follows: How do we both cultivate our own view of things — which sustains our persistence in the face of difficulty and noise — while remaining receptive to changes in that view?
This is a difficult thing to do and will always be — there is no point at which the individual on this path may rest. However, empirical evidence presently suggests a way forward — and it’s the been the same for ages. The way forward appears to be the cultivation of the Mastermind (a la Napoleon Hill) — a group of people who do not necessarily share the same views, backgrounds, or values but who do share an ethic of improvement, a set of constructive habits, and shared rules of working together.
With such a mastermind, ideas, plans, and mental models can be externalized, examined, evaluated, and sharpened to a fine point. Not endless dialogue about trivialities or a free-for-all of words, but rather a structured “wringing out” of poorly-conceived notions and a building up of an eclectic set of models which may, in fact, disagree, but can yet be held together by recognizing the Area of Validity of each.
Final statement: Such Masterminds have existed for millennia and will continue to be formed, sustained, and renewed into the future. And I think it’s fair to say more are needed, they are needed early in life, and it’s worth considering how we might make more of them.