“Cassie won a full-ride scholarship to a Division One California University!” bragged my friend whose granddaughter is a star high-school track athlete.
“What is her best event?” I asked.
“The 100 meter hurdles,” he answered with a puffed up chest (he was a state high school championship hurdler many years ago).
I told him I could not imagine training hour after hour, day after day, and week after week so I could run a race that lasts fewer than 15 seconds.
He answered, “You’ve never stood on the medal stand, have you.”
Take note of this quote from Brian Tracy in his book, No Excuses, “Each act of self-discipline strengthens every other act of self-discipline. Every act of persistence strengthens every other act of persistence. When you discipline yourself to persist, over and over, you like and respect yourself more and more. You become stronger and more confident. Eventually, you become unstoppable.”*
Cassie, because of her perseverance, became unstoppable.
How do you view the training and extra effort it takes to run the race you are in?
Too often we see the training we are required to take, the problems we encounter, and the setbacks we are obliged to endure as stumbling blocks to our goals or delays to our destiny. Instead they are resilience building, lesson learning, wisdom attracting rewards that can only be won through extra effort.
In his book, Outliers Malcom Gladwell writes, “…success follows a predictable course. It is not the brightest who succeed…Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities – and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” **
You are here at a specific time in history that offers you certain opportunities unique to the times. Seize those opportunities and persevere through the times of trial and error until you become one of the few who emerge with more skill, more experience and more wisdom than those who give up too soon.
Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to be grown up?
You can count yourself grown up when you do what needs to be done whether you want to do it or not. It is called delayed gratification. Children don’t get it. Adults do. It is what makes you unstoppable.
Do you see how going the extra mile, training the extra hour or seeking to be more than you have ever been before benefits you?
When you strain and toil and overcome you are the winner; you stand tall on your own self-created medal stand. When you bow your head to have the gold medal placed around your neck you have earned the right to raise your arms in victory because you persevered.
You did it. You won.
Perseverance, you see, is its own reward.
*P. 118, Brian Tracy, No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline, MJF Books, NY
**P. 267, Malcom Gladwell, Outliers, Back Bay Books
©2015 Ronald D. Ross
- 5.4: Persevere Power – When Quitters Win
- 5.6: Perseverance Power is Enhanced in Surrender