The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines perseverance as the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.
If there was a picture of perseverance it would be of my guest, this week on many of my stations, Geri Jewell.
As you too will learn about Geri, her sheer perseverance made her who she is.
Perseverance is also a theme I discuss often in the show because it is one of the human qualities that is of the utmost importance. Some of my favorite quotes of all time are about this topic and range from some of the most admirable people to grace our planet. From Winston Churchill to Abraham Lincoln and from Benjamin Franklin to Nelson Mandela, they all know that in almost all cases perseverance trumps everything when it comes to achievement and overall satisfaction. Just Google “perseverance quotes” and you will be overloaded with inspirational gems.
What makes this quality of such value to all is that without it being part of our human make-up we literally would not exist. It is in us at the deepest cellular level from the beginning of time. It is the quality that allowed us to hunt and gather even before we could make weapons or tools. In fact, persistence hunting was a technique where early humans followed their prey until the prey was exhausted but their human counterpart had the perseverance to continue and caught them while they slept.
But maybe because it is so deep within us, and not just at the surface, we too often give up before we draw on all its power. I remember feeling so down about the struggles it took to launch Between the Lines that I just wanted to throw in the towel. I could not find the perseverance within me that I knew was there but just would not manifest itself. If it was not for my wife, whose perseverance and faith was literally in arms reach, who knows?
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Even if you are alone, and have to fight the daily good fight without someone in your corner, there is always a way to reach deep down and find that perseverance gene within. During the great depression many people felt so desperate and hopeless that they were sure they could not go on any longer. President Roosevelt was aware of this situation and knew he had to assure the nation that through our persistence we would overcome the situation. In one of his famous fireside chats he uttered these words:
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
I often question why we sometimes have to get to the end of our rope before it kicks in. I want it to be easier. Who, after all, wants to struggle in the first place? Now, if I had that answer you’d be reading quotes about me. But I do know how fragile that perseverance gene is and how difficult it is to locate sometimes. However, as Winston Churchill so famously stated: “Never, never, never give in!”
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