Perseverance

I think I’ve confused this term with commitment, tenacity, and follow-through for too long. This word evokes images of gritted teeth, extreme effort and even the good ol’ “sweat, blood and tears.” A dictionary definition suggests otherwise. Perseverance is “doing something despite difficulty or delay in the achievement of success.” No where does this definition suggest, “and kill yourself while trying.” If anything, this simple yet profound explanation suggests perseverance is the opposite of extreme. Perseverance is dutifully placing one foot in front of the other. Whether that be slow and deliberate, or at a sprint. You simply continue at whatever pace you choose to reach your goal. You don’t know how long it will take. You don’t know what resources may be needed. You don’t even know if you’re capable of completing the race. But you sign up anyway. You start out, at the beginning, with everyone else or on your own, and you don’t stop until you get to the end. You don’t even know if you will succeed. That is not the purpose. Success is not the purpose of perseverance. Effort does not define perseverance. Your goal may change along the journey. You may realize half way there, you are actually striving for an entirely different destination. Perhaps the resources or time needed are simply too costly. Perseverance suggests that the destination may be altered, as long as you keep going. Perseverance means you don’t quit until you are done. You decide how far you go. You decide how you get there. You keep going until you’ve arrived.

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