Imagine a situation, when you are trying do something, give up and then trying again, and repeat this many times. You do this just because you can't imagine your life without something and desperate to get it, but nothing seems to work. You stubborn in your goals, but flexible in the ways. You want to be perseverant, but you don't have enough energy to be perseverant for a long period of time.

What is the best positive word to describe it? I tried Perseverance, Persistence, Sedulity, Stubbornness, Willfulness, but none fits good enough. Or may be I misunderstand them and they do? Desperation fits well, I guess, but I would like to emphasise a positive side of the situation/person.

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    I'm not sure there is a single word to describe that, because it is really two actions - firstly, working with focus on the problem, and secondly, going away to recoup. Your synonyms are all good, but they focus only on the first action only - the dogged attention given to the problem. If you're open to using a phrase, you might use something like "persistently revisiting the problem", or "repeatedly attacking the problem".
    – Phylyp
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 9:33
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    Neither of those phrases are a drop-in replacement for "perseverance", so it might require further restructuring of the sentence. For instance, "He shows perseverance" might become "He demonstrates an ability to persistently revisit any problem"
    – Phylyp
    Commented Mar 24, 2017 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


A few words that might have the connotation you are looking for:

Unflagging: tireless; persistent

Tenacious: not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined.

These both carry subtle implications of continued hardships and setbacks but a persistent return to the task at hand.

This one is way out there, but it might give the right flavor:

Odyssean: of, relating to, or characteristic of Odysseus or his journey

If you know your Homer, you know Odysseus spent decades being side-tracked on his journey home from Troy to Ithaca. He was single-mindedly committed to getting back to his family, but was beset continually by hardships that prevented him from reaching his goal. Each time, he (and his men) overcame their antagonists and resumed their voyage until they finally succeeded. (Well, most of his men were dead by then...)

This is a serious stretch, but I think, to the right audience, it will get the idea across nicely.

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