The more you show up, the more you do the thing, the better it will get, right?
Persistence means firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
We tend to admire those who soldier on despite challenges and setbacks. Cheering for the underdog is a classic theme in movies, sports and in life-- the final scene of the classic, 1993 movie, 'Rudy' comes to mind. With the Notre Dame team strong against the Georgia Tech football team, the idea to play all the seniors is suggested to the head coach by one of his staff. 'What about Rudy?' another peer suggests. The head coach shakes his head and walks away saying, 'Absolutely not.' Next, comes the individual voices of Rudy's teammates.
One says, 'Coach, you gotta play him. You gotta play him, Coach. Come on, Coach. One play.'. Another player says, 'Give him a chance, Coach.' Then it starts. With 37 seconds remaining in the season, another teammate begins to chant, 'Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!' He looks around for support. Pretty soon like a wonderful wave, his teammates and the crowd join him. Even Rudy's teammates on the field set up a play for Rudy to enter the game. Riding the ground swell of support and to the disbelief of the head coach, Number 45 runs to the field. After two years of toil, Rudy gets his moment to shine. He tackles the opponent. Making the final play, he glories in the moment as he's hoisted up on his teammates' shoulders. End scene.
When one of us seems to win in this game called life, it gives us hope. But is there a time period or circumstance under which we should just give up? Or at least pivot?
We all know that this human existence is hard. Like Rudy, we may find ourselves working hard more often than we see results. Only we know the sacrifices and investments we've made to learn to do things better. To wake up earlier, to practice more. Unlike Rudy, we may not hear others cheering us on. This is especially true when we are working on something that is different yet part of who we are. Something that is truly ours. Something, that according to Tony Gaskins, 'we can't be fired from.'
There's a saying that doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different result is almost foolish and definitely a waste of good Earth time. Sometimes though, you may know that you have to do something differently but you don't know how.
Since stepping into the deep waters of entrepreneurship, I've questioned my choice. Difficulty and delay seems to be the top 2 songs on the playlist right now. Did I climb out of the boat too soon? Do I have a hobby or a business? Should I throw up the white flag?
Then I looked back at the last part of the definition for Perseverance: despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Those last three words leaped off the page. Inherent in this definition is the promise of SUCCESS. That through my persistent 'showing up' for the game, I will eventually achieve 'the expected end.'
I'm not sure when I will see the fruits of my labor, but for right now, I will continue to do the thing. Most big wins are gained through a series of small, intentional steps. I will look for and appreciate the small wins.
TODAY, I hope that you will too! I look forward to hearing about your 'Rudy moment.'
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