|keep on truckin'|
What is perseverance? It's focusing on the job at hand and continuing when it isn't easy to do so.
I love red vehicles. But I never owned one until recently... now I own two. In the past, whenever I was going to buy a car, I wanted to choose red but for one reason or another, it never happened. Then finally, my husband said, 'get the red one even though it's more expensive'; so I did. I drive a small red SUV. He recently bought this lovely red truck. He wanted the truck and bought red for my benefit. He demonstrated something in all of this: if you really want something, it's worth having, so don't give up!
When I was a kid I was made to take piano lessons. Sure I would have liked to have been able to play well, but I did not. My older sister played brilliantly. My biggest mistake was quitting but my second biggest mistake was comparing myself to her.
Comparison is perhaps the worst enemy to achievement, because when we compare we aren't looking at the goal or even at our own progress but at someone else.
My young son is involved in competitive gymnastics. The program and coaching are excellent. One of the best things about the club is that the children on our team don't compare themselves with each other but rather the goal is for each kid to do his best. There are criteria, with set routines, so there is a standard to reach. Individual performances at competitions are scrupulously graded, and the best kids win. BUT while there are medal winners and those who don't win, each kid within the team is encouraged to progress based on what he can do if he works hard and tries hard and faces challenges with a good attitude. Improvement is what matters most to our coaches, and not the medals. In fact, the kids in our club are so secure in their environment that they did win quite a lot of 'stuff' at their competitions, but they did so without comparing to one another within their team, or looking at other athletes as though they are 'the competition'. I think all of life should be led like that!
Looking at someone's progress rather than our own is a killer to success. If I had focused at my own progress in piano, I might have enjoyed myself a lot more. More importantly, I would have stuck with it and although I would probably not have become a concert pianist I would have been able to play. I certainly have had many regrets because I quit when I was 12.
Sometimes quitting is common sense. But mostly, when we find ourselves in a situation that is hard work, it is an opportunity to grow in character by going forward, even if it's only one little step at at time. Just because something is uncomfortable or hard is not a reason to give up.
There is that saying, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going.' Looking back over my choices, there are one or two things I wish I'd quit sooner because I wasted my time investing. But there are many more things I gave up on that I wish I'd persevered with. I have learned the hard way, that character is built through effort and experience. One challenge overcome always prepares us for the next. Life is hard, and facing challenges is inevitable. But the more character we've developed through our past experiences, the more we 'toughen up'. And as we grow stronger, the challenges become more demanding and therefore, more interesting. Giving up is a step toward the mundane; persevering is the pathway to adventure! That may not be the reason to keep going, but certainly it is incentive!
I plan to be here with a new post next week: Thursday 25th April.