What are the influences on our tenacity? Why do some people keep going to the mat and others fold at the first sign of resistance? Is it cultural? Is it a parent or family member who models to us what perseverance looks like?
And, where is the balance between crossing the finish line at all costs — basically killing ourselves for the ideal of finishing– with making a wise and balanced choice that it’s time to stop a particular pursuit and move on to other things when our very best efforts simply do not bear fruit?
What about those of us, much like Ferdinand,
who by our very nature are simply more
aligned with letting life take us where it will?
It’s such an interesting experiment to take a moment and review our past with a specific focus on where, when and how we let go of our deepest dreams. Is it possible to find successes within our failures?
Is it possible to see failure in our success?
Somehow the British seem to have a wealth of really great quotes about staying the course. We all know Winston Churchill’s rallying cry of “Never, Never, Never give up!” but another English proverb that serves — perhaps even better for anyone struggling in the trenches — someone feeling a bit battered with discouragement is this one:
The person who never makes mistakes,
never makes anything.
Of course, one of the all time great reflections on a visionary path strewn with both abject failure and unflagging determination is embedded in the speech J.K. Rowling gave at a Harvard commencement.
“Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.”
Oh yes! What a timely reminder: the enduring power of friendship.
Through it all – scaling the wall of success or sinking into the quicksand of failure, having friends that shout encouragement when you need a boost or, let you crash on their couch when you are bottoming out is what goes the distance.