Time for Tenacity! I Oxford Open Learning

Time for Tenacity!

Learning is a journey with highs and lows, joys and challenges, peaks and troughs. And when the going gets tough, we can be tempted to give up; We can want to run away, to take the easy way out. What we need in such times is tenacity.

Tenacity means being able to persist in the face of challenges. Whether it is preparing for exams, coping with an increased workload or dealing with growing demands on your time, it means you choose fight not flight.

Tenacity is a bit like a muscle; the more you use it, the more it develops. Developing the muscle of tenacity will serve you abundantly later in life, too. If you have its strength, you will find it easier to forge ahead in your career and be able to bounce back from knock-backs faster. You will always continue to pursue your dreams, regardless of the obstacles you might be facing.

This article gives three suggestions to to help you strengthen your tenacity.

Daily Discipline

A friend of mine, Anna, needed to learn a foreign language fast (within six months). She felt overwhelmed by the pressure of the tight deadlines involved and that the task would have seemed impossible to many. However, Anna very much wanted to succeed and did not shy away from hard work, ultimately leading her to achieve her goal.

Recently she told me the secret of just how she mastered the language in such a short time: spending at least an hour every day focusing wholeheartedly on her studies. With this disciplined, daily approach, she was able to recall information easier, continuously build on her knowledge and make tremendous, swift progress.

Deep Focus

What you put your mind to, you can usually achieve. There will always be academic subjects which you find more challenging than others. If Maths is not your natural strengths, rest assured, you can develop your skills beyond what you thought was possible. If it is English Literature, you can strive ahead and develop a rich understanding of the subject. The secret of better study performance might be more simple than you think. Put your mind fully to the task at hand. Eliminate distractions such as social media, texts, phone calls or e-mails. Focus single-mindedly on your work for extended periods of time. The more you learn to practice deep focus, the more you will notice your marks improve.


Have you set yourself some inspiring study goals yet? Daily, disciplined and focused study will always be profitable. However, you will not know when you have reached your destination unless you have set yourself clear learning goals. Are you aspiring to reach top marks in any academic subjects? What, specifically, do you aspire to achieve? Set aside a couple of minutes, and reflect on what marks you wish to get, and by when.

Share your aspirations with your friends, family or colleagues. In doing so, you will take more ownership of your work and so multiply your chances of reaching your destination.

Bon voyage!

See more by

Henrietta Nagy is a seasoned portfolio worker with over 10 years’ experience in the UK education sector. Henrietta writes educational content, designs academic courses, delivers university lecturers, mentors entrepreneurs, and provides career development coaching. With 9 years of higher education studies internationally (including an MBA), she has worked with CEOs, academics, scholars, managers, women entrepreneurs, academic administrators, and other consultants.

Stay Connected