Are you persistent?
Show me any successful individual who did not have to dig deep and persevere at some point on their personal journey? We all wish it was that much easier and much more rewarding even when we get there. At times, one destination is a mere stepping stone to another. Sometimes life seems full of illusions, set ups, anti-climaxes and deceptions and then we learn better in hindsight. Yet, we must look ahead with fortitude, patience and persistence.
There are two considerations along any path we set out: The one is the destination; the other is the journey. Let’s examine what happens when we focus on either.
If the destination is all that matters when we set out on our venture, we are more likely to feel:
|1. Impatient||“Are we there yet?”, “Where are we now?”, “How much longer”, “What is the expected time of arrival on the GPS?”These questions make us more eager for efficiency, speed and results.|
|2. Successful (by external definitions)||“Win/lose” is the focus. Bring “home the gold”. “Bottom line results matter most”.Poor self image results because we compare ourselves to others who may already be at the destination; or got their faster|
|3. Little appreciation, gratitude and wonder||All that exists around us is no longer our focus. In everyday life this could be family, loved ones, health, truth, what is happening to the earth and more. This is often the opportunity cost of success and bottom line results.|
On the other hand, if the journey is all that matters, we are more likely to feel:
|1. Patient||“Life’s a journey, enjoy the ride” – the old Nissan commercial rings true.|
|2. Unsuccessful (by external definitions)||One might not have much to show for success; but the quality of life and ‘being present’ was the gain. Relationships are more likely to matter here. A better self image also, because comparison with others is less likely.|
|3. Appreciation, gratitude and wonder||There is much to experience. Concern for what matters most is a much likelier engagement and habit. The opportunity costs here may be not having much to show for in terms of bottom line results (except if you are a farmer, off course 😉|
Is there one better than the other? One can only answer which one is of greater preference based on their purpose, perspective and priorities.
When one is going through life challenges, ‘destination’ becomes the focus and ‘journey’ takes the back seat. Achieving a balance becomes blurred by meeting demands; but this is where ‘persistence along the path’ must kick in. Persistence is an attitude of thinking and behaving with ‘constancy of purpose’ in mind. It is optimism, action, resilience, tenacity, a ‘never say die’ attitude fused together with humility, quietness and stillness.
Some thoughts from great influencers:
“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” Barack Obama
“There is no failure except in no longer trying.” Elbert Hubbard
“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” Franklin D. Roosevelt
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe”
“Arriving at one point is the starting on another.” John Dewey
“The best way out is through” Robert Frost
“If you are going through hell, keep going” Winston Churchill
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” Calvin Coolidge
We all face challenges along life’s journey. May we stop to look ahead, perhaps behind also, and either sides, above and below, and yet realise that this much to do with who we truly are in character. Resolve to press forward with patience and persistence.
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