“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch,
I recently had a blog post called “Make your Choice”. Talking about how we have choices no matter what our circumstance. Deeply own the concept of choice and it gives you the opportunity to explore all the possibilities of life. But, will simply having choice let you fly? Not really. There are more ingredients to the “recipe” of living than just choice. How about perseverance.
This all got into my mind from a recent event. I’d like to share it with you. I ride horses. I started learning about 5-6 years ago. It’s challenging to learn horse language. It’s a lot of non verbal communication. Sometimes, depending on the horse or the horse’s mood, it can be down right scary and nerve racking. Okay, so, I am at a horse show this past weekend (actually it was 4 days including the weekend). This was a championship show in Orange County and a lot of folks were competing. What a wonderful time. So many lovely and very accomplished riders. Over the years I have heard some of the dreams of young riders. Things like “One day, I want to jump a horse 5 feet”! Or, a young rider while watching a professional will say almost to themselves, “I want to do that one day”. Time goes by and all of a sudden I see the rider, more grown now, steps closer to their dream ride…or actually doing it! It’s regular practice, sometimes being yelled at by trainers and coaches, lots of grooming horses, tears and frustration, sometimes pain or injury from a fall, and doing it wrong until you get it right, and can feel it and then duplicate it. I see it and hear it all the time. But lo and behold, no matter what happened their last ride…a few days later…there is the rider again, at the barn again, smiling and mounting up. The simple act of not giving in to the moments of fear, discomfort, judgement, or embarrassment and I have been privileged to witness young riders who were once bouncing aimlessly on a horse (myself included here), take charge and literally start to fly (over jumps that is). It’s inspiring and beautiful.
Perseverance is when you are able to stay on task and not give up. Perseverance is being committed to the end goal, regardless of the bumps along the way. It’s the ability to get the job done even though difficult circumstances may try to prohibit you from finishing. Smiling along the journey and enjoying the process helps. Pride in the outcome helps too.
Whenever you keep trying, in spite of obstacles or discouragement, you are persevering. Perseverance is a day-to-day choice not to give up. It’s my belief that it is critical to success and fulfillment. It’s one of the key ingredients to a life you love.
It really doesn’t matter how long something takes you (unless it’s that report that is due). As a matter of fact, the more time something takes, the more accomplished we will generally feel.
So you make a choice. Choices usually require effort and hard work to lead somewhere meaningful. School, sports, hobbies, talking to that cute girl with the ultimate goal of getting a date with her, it doesn’t matter. Consistent effort gets you there. An epic fail? Well, figure out the fail, dust off, regroup and get back in the saddle (that saying really fits here nicely).
How have you persevered in your life? What about giving up? If you have ever wanted something and then given up, how did that change you or how do you feel about it now? Sad, loss maybe regret?
Choose well, keep your eyes on the goal. Persevere. Be well.
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