The Mindset of Perseverance

How committed are you really?

One of my favorite writers, John C. Maxwell, has this to say about perseverance. “Perseverance draws sweetness out of adversity”.  He continues, “The trials and pressures of life and how we face them often define us.  Confronted by adversity, many people give up while others rise up.  How do those who succeed do it?  They persevere.

They find the benefit to them personally that comes from any trial.  And they recognize that the best thing about adversity is coming out on the other side of it.  There is a sweetness to overcoming your troubles and finding something good in the process, however small it may be.”

What is perseverance?  It is persistent determination.   It is continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulty, failure or opposition.  It is refusing to give up or let go.  Even when you read or hear the word perseverance, it gives you energy and packs a powerful punch.

Perseverance is the foundation of great achievers.  It is the cornerstone of talent.  It’s the brother to determination.  It is the catalyst necessary for significant change.  It is the essential element inside of our commitment that separates long term success from the one hit wonders.  When we persevere there is nothing, not one thing, that will stop us.  We succeed because we are determined to succeed, not destined to succeed.

Henry Ford went bankrupt three times before he managed to design his first automobile.   He said: “Failure is merely an opportunity to more intelligently begin again.”  Thomas Edison is said to have tried 10,000 times to create the light bulb before he succeeded.  His attitude was: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”  Probably the greatest example of persistence is Abraham Lincoln. If you want to learn about somebody who didn’t quit, look no further.  Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.  He could have quit many times – but he didn’t.  And, because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country. 

Deciding to persevere is no more difficult than deciding to quit.  But when you decide to keep pressing forward, the rewards are infinitely greater than if you had decided to give up.  Obstacles, placed before us, give us the opportunity to develop our character.  Some will opt for the illusion of greener pastures others won’t have the inner strength to align with the values necessary to endure.  But for those that dig deep, remain focused and rise with the tide…..that’s who we want on our team. 

The Bible tells us in James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

There are at least FIVE perks of perseverance:

  • Patience:  Patience is the will to navigate the obstacles and challenges you will face as you work the process.  Patience is essential because there will be problems.  There will be people who irritate you and situations that frustrate you.  If you are patient, you stay focused on doing the work and with perseverance you trust the process. 
  • Trustworthiness:  Someone willing to persevere is more trustworthy than the rest.  People know you are not going to throw in the towel, chase other dreams, quit – no matter how hard the situation gets.  You will hold your ground.
  • Self-confidence: It increases your sense of self worth and confidence.  You start taking full ownership of the goals you have set out to achieve.  You will become a firm believer that your destiny is in your hands.  You will take responsibility of your fate.
  • Motivation:  Perseverance can be summed up to mean you are committed to your goal.  It enhances the goals value and intensifies your motivation level.
  • Commitment:  You need commitment to produce the focus and consistency necessary to keep your eye on the target.  Controlling the moments of truth, staying true to the basics, the systems, the processes, the routines and the standards will keep you and your team on the pathway to success.

So, where do you find yourself in 2020?  We are FIVE days into the new year.  What have you done the past four days to dig deep and take advantage of a fresh start?  No one thinks you can’t do it, but does anyone think you will?  Reset and regroup and put the past behind you.  New goals.  New objectives.  New measurements.  New energy.  New beginnings.  Hindsight is 2020.  What have we learned from the past decade, the past year or last week that can make the YEAR 2020 our best?  You only get 360 more opportunities at the year 2020 in your windshield instead of your rear-view mirror.