Perseverance As A Virtue
By: Dayo Olomu
"Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure."
- Benjamin Disraeli (1804 - 1881) - British Statesman, Prime Minister
Let's face it: life is tough. And guess what? It will only get tougher. So much for the facts. The question remains: will you rise to the occasion and meet the day-to-day challenges, head on, undaunted and without complaint? In essence, will you persevere? This is a question asked by Kirk Charles, America's top motivational writer and speaker.
In the journey of life, perseverance is a virtue we all need to achieve greatness. One person that is often quoted for his perseverance is Abraham Lincoln. This is what Chief Bola Ige, Nigeria late Minister of Justice said of the two-time American President in his book Golden Quotes: 'I admire him greatly for his persistence and never-say-die spirit. He experiences personal tragedy and career failure on a scale that few men ever experience. But defeat was obviously not a word that was not in his dictionary. He always persisted and throughout conducted himself with dignity and high moral standards. He ended up being one of the greatest American Presidents of all time.'
According to founder, Publisher, Writer, B. C. Forbes (1880 - 1854), 'History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.'
John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848), sixth President of the USA) said, 'Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.'
The Swedish lawn tennis legend, Bjorn Borg, 2-time Player of the Year (1979 - 80), who won five straight Wimbledons (1976 - 80) and retired in 1983 at age 26 once said, 'My greatest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However, down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.'
In my earthly journey, I've encountered tough times. It actually got to the point where I wanted to quite, cry, give up, raise the while flag of surrender and admit I couldn't do it and had no heart. I reached an emotional low, the depth of which I didn't think existed. Persevere? I didn't have time for abstract concepts.
If you've been in this mental and spiritual disposition, I don't envy you. However, I do have excellent news. There are corrective measures one can take to get back on the right track; corrective measures, which will assure that you, will persevere.
Top American Writer and Motivational Speaker, Kirk Charles, proposed a four-course line of action. The first is that, 'you must immediately change your disposition. When you are in an unfavourable position, when you're at the bottom, you're also more powerful. Consider a wounded dog. When he's hurt, he's much more dangerous. If you dare touch him, you may have to pay a hefty price. When you're wounded, the potency you possess must transform into a positive, internal energy flow. It should not be one that is threatening, but one that is electrifying and activating. Don't fret and languish when times are tough; and especially don't complain. You are in a powerful position because you probably do not have anything to lose. Take advantage of it and you will persevere.'
The second thing Kirk proposed is to take inventory of your assets. When you do this, it may surprise you how much you really have and how well you've done. This process will increase your morale. Get a pen and piece of paper and list all the positives you have in your life. Are you healthy? Do you have a family? Do you have skills? Whether you believe it or not, you possess something of vale. Years ago, I didn't know I possessed writing skills. When I discovered it, I began to develop it. Consequently, I've been published. There is some dormant skill in you, waiting to be activated. Use those coattails to ride out of the current situation you're in. When you decide to seek, find and develop whatever skill your Creator has endowed within you, you will persevere.
Third. You must understand cycles. During prosperous times, you must realize that tough times are going to come. Why? Because that's life. Life, like the seasons, is cyclical. Every year, you can make a sure fire bet there will be a winter. You don't know how severe it will be, but you do know that it will come.
But, winter doesn't last forever. Spring, the season of new beginnings, follows winter, the season of despair. Spring is your opportunity to plant the seeds of success so, when winter comes around, you will be prepared for it. When opportunity knocks on your door, be prepared to embrace it and you will persevere.
The final according to Kirk is that you must pay your dues. Life is like going to the movies. You have to pay a price to enjoy the show. Inherent in paying the price is labour, struggle, uncertainty and risk. These components are the foundation of any worthwhile and rewarding endeavour. If you pay your dues, willingly, it will produce mental toughness, giving rise to strength and ardour, with which you will persevere.
You have to be persevering in other to achieve greatness in life. You must not attempt to run more than your legs. In all of life, there are sequential stages of growth and development. A child learns to turn over, to sit up, crawl and then to walk and run. Each step is important and each one takes time. I have a strong belief that if you can persevere, you will eventually get to your destination.
Dayo Olomu is a UK-based Motivational Speaker, Writer, Business/Life Coach, Trainer, Media Entrepreneur and Competent Toastmaster. His core belief is that we are all endowed with seeds of greatness, and his mission is to help individuals and organisations achieve their full potentials. He is the author of best selling "4 Indispensable Strategies for Success" and the President of Croydon Communicators Toastmasters. Get his FREE monthly Rise to the Top ezine by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at: www.dayoolomu.com