What is it about perseverance that had a slight shade of suffering attached to it… Sometimes it even has the image of someone with a red face, grunting while huffing and puffing to get through something they oftentimes don’t even want to get through.. And other times, they are SO determined to not ¨fail¨, that they persevere and do it anyway, often arriving at a ¨successful¨outcome…
And then there’s the wikipedia definition :
I believe, as in so many other cases, it is how YOU define this word that counts!
I have been having regular encounters with this business of PERSEVERANCE for the past few years and thought I’d share some thoughts that I’m having about it today…
There are times that, in order to persevere, there was some huffing and puffing involved, I’ll be honest. Complaining and groaning came along for the ride too, as I questioned some life choices, paths etc.
I would sometimes here the phrases ¨STICK TO IT¨ or ¨DON’T GIVE UP¨… These often came to mind when I was in a somewhat competitive environment and I needed to exhibit my strengths, even though I felt weaker than a bubble learning a new complicated choreography, a new genre of music, how to teach well…. all the while something inside me kept going… and although it can also at times, be labeled as stubbornness, I call it PERSEVERANCE!
I would not have arrived at where I am today, had it not been for this!
Granted, I haven’t had the most challenging life as challenging lives go. I haven’t had to weather famine, homelessness, extreme poverty, hunger, pain, disease etc…
But all of us have a subjective view point on life based on our own experiences as well as what we learn from the world around us.
And if we are well read, keeping ourselves up to date with what is happening, in as much as is possible while continuing to pursue our own lives and reams.. it’s safe to say that we are more than likely more worldly in our viewpoints and with a greater perspective on things in general.
I’m currently reading a book called BIG MAGIC (http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/books/). A book about Creative living without fear. I believe a large helping of PER>SEVERANCE is part of this journey and that, in order to overcome fear, one must persevere and work through and beyond obstacles, disbelief, insecurity and other people trying to put you down or intimate you for example…
So, have I persevered? I believe I have. Did I ever give up? Yep, i can remember when I was around 12, I decided I’d knit a cardigan for a younger cousin and I just gave up half way through.. it’s still one of those unfinished projects I have pending lol!
No but seriously, there were times where I was close to throwing in the towel.. and other times, when, no matter how much I persevered, it was just proving to be fruitless and I needed to just stop and well, give up… or let go.
Perseverance isn’t a personal challenge to see how far I can push myself.. Maybe it is for some other people.. but for me, it’s something that plays a big role in moments when I intuitively know that giving up is not the right choice but that time is needed, alongside perseverance and well, patience.
I have several role models in my life that I can think of.. family, close friends, who have persevered, survived and overcome such tremendous challenges… Some to this day, who I am humbled by and left in awe at their perseverance.
A dear friend who recently went into remission from her second bout of cancer is one of those people! She is someone I admire greatly. She is the true definition for me of a survivor. A strong woman who has had her fair share of physical challenges all her life, but who continues to soldier on and persevere. She lets nothing stop her from doing what she wants, even when the odds are against her and so many people around her don’t fully support her decisions, she continues! She travels all over the world and she speaks several languages, three fluently, as well as working a high powered job in IT. To me, she is the epitome of PERSEVERANCE and bravery.
And having someone like this in my life as well as other people I could write about (but I’m mentioning her as we were just chatting online :), I believe so much of PERSEVERANCE is also about CHOICE, about PERSPECTIVE and about listening to ones own intuitive voice and when the moments come when we fall, get back up again.
Here’s a TED TALK by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love about her journey in life and in writing. (if you’ve been reading my blogs do far, you’ll know I’m a big fan of TED TALKS 🙂