February 18

Today's quotation:

People who have attained things worth having in this world have worked while others idled, have persevered when others gave up in despair, have practiced early in life the valuable habits of self-denial, industry, and singleness of purpose.  As a result, they enjoy in later life the success so often erroneously attributed to good luck.

Grenville Kleiser

Today's Meditation:

Most people don't know the benefits of perseverance because they've been taught that if something isn't working out, you should ditch it and start something that is sure to work out.  If something's sure to work out, though, we learn very little when we undertake it as a task.  Human beings thrive when tasks are difficult, when we have to reach into ourselves to find the strength and the heart and the ingenuity to make something work even when it seems that it won't or can't.

When we persevere, we see something through to its end.  Either it's finished, or it's completely impossible to take it any further.  But we haven't given up on it just because it's been difficult, whether we've been working with someone who's a challenge or working on a task that seems impossible.  Perseverance isn't easy--it requires us to take risks on something that may or may not be worth it, and that requires us to also have faith that there will be value in keeping on.

The person who perseveres definitely sets her- or himself up for success, for that person is learning how to stick with something that others will abandon, and that person will be rewarded with results that the others never will see.  When we persevere we learn more and we change more based on what we've learned.  We grow as we stick with things and see just what we're capable of in the long run, as opposed to doing everything for short-term gratification.

Whatever you're doing, stick with it if you want to learn from it and allow it to help you to grow.  If you abandon something too early, you'll never know just what it had to teach you, and since we're here on this planet to learn and to grow, missing such lessons can be a shame.  Of course, we need to persevere when something truly is worth doing to us, so it's also important to be able to decide when something deserves the extra strength and time that it would require.

Questions to consider:

How often do we stop working at something right before we would find great success with it?  How can we know if that's the case?

Why is it so easy for us to give up on something just because it becomes a bit difficult, or because we're getting worn out with it?

What are some of the real benefits of persevering?

For further thought:

Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.  Those that walk with vigor, three hours a day, will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe.

Samuel Johnson

more on perseverance



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