“No good thing is created suddenly.” Epictetus
How strong is your perseverance muscle?
Do you ever wake up and feel like you want to pull the covers over your head and go back to sleep? Or perhaps the day (or week) has been tough and you’d like to pack it in and get a J-O-B? What keeps you going? What gets you out of bed when you’d rather stay? It’s one of the keys to success: that perseverance muscle.
The story is told of a miner bought what he thought was going to be a great mine. He expected to hit the mother lode. He worked that mine for months and got nothing. Disgusted and discouraged he sold the mine to another miner. The second miner dug a few feet and hit the largest silver vein in Colorado.
John D Rockefeller wrote,
“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
When you consider some of the great accomplishments in human history, can you think of any that did not require perseverance? Voyagers, experimenters, explorers, they went through periods of disillusion, discouragement, even despair. Those who persevered are the ones we remember.
So, what to do when faced with obstacles and setbacks?
- Turn to your support network. Make sure you don’t share your current “mood” with a “Nay-sayer”. If you don’t have a support network, get busy! These people are the ones who see you and your success as a viable possibility. They will help you remember why you are going through all the hassle and what you will get at the end of the endeavor.
- Refocus your attention on the goal and the “Why” you set out to accomplish this goal.
- Check your inner status. Have you gotten so involved in the project that you haven’t gotten the kind of sleep or nutrition your body needs to function?
- Check your inner dialogue. Are you listening to the Inner Critic? What does your Inner Nurturer want to tell you? Which one are you feeding? The Critic or the Nurturer?
Remember, Perseverance is like a muscle. To not atrophy it requires exercise. What is one small thing you can do to strengthen your perseverance muscle this week?
FYI: Epictetus, Roman philosopher, teacher, born a slave died a freeman while living in exile. If you read about him you will discover he understood the cost of perseverance.