We’ve all been tested along the way, some of us to a greater, others to a lesser degree. To be alive is to face obstacles. Peon or patriarch, man or woman, no one is spared.
Perhaps that’s what drives the market for biographies. We read about the social, physical, and mental hurdles the famous have had to overcome before reaching greatness. We enjoy experiencing their struggles vicariously, as if we were motivated to acquire their skills and apply them in our own situation.Drawing inspiration from exemplary people is a good thing. Perhaps the most powerful lesson we learn from them is not to give up. Creativity, resourcefulness, and a dozen other much-lauded “key success factors” aside, one of the traits we can emulate is perseverance itself. If your spirits flag, try not to forget the importance of sheer staying power. All the knowledge we’ve acquired is useless if we resign ourselves to failure.
If you’ve persevered at something, by definition that means you haven’t had an easy time. You’ve had setbacks and defeats; you’ve been on the ropes. I’ve found that making a real effort to shift my perspective even modestly in a positive direction is helpful. It makes persevering a little easier, and buys me time.
Beyond enabling us to remove the barriers at hand and accomplish what we set out to do – sometimes it’s simply a question of survival – perseverance bestows other, often lasting gifts along the way. It teaches us what we’re made of, so to speak. It challenges us to muster all of our strength, to make a monumental try, thereby revealing the otherwise hidden personal resources we can tap.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. ~Confucius