Sitting in my daughter's school the other day I was watching a game that the teacher was playing with the kids. The game consisted of a block of wood with some sockets in it and it had long cylindrical pegs that needed to be put in the sockets. The pegs were all of different sizes and the aim of the game was to put the right sized peg in the correct socket. At first the kids looked at it kind of indifferently but on a bit of encouragement and excitement they were all very interested in it.
What I noticed was that most of them were persistent till they completed it or thought they had completed it. I have found that with kids - once something catches their attention they are very persistent to do it. They have an unclouded mind and they attack the problem with a goal in mind (the goal may not be the right one). As we grow older we start to use our own judgment or the judgment of the people around us and we stop becoming as persistent in completing our goals if the right environment does not exist.
The environment around us is a very key ingredient in how we approach problems that we face. If the environment is very non-rewarding where no encouragement is given then one will not be persistent to solve the problems. On the other hand if there is a positive environment around with a go-getter attitude then things will be very different.