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Perseverance Is The Key To Succeeding At Anything

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” 

This week I was blown away by a young man in the youth program I am working with who decided to give him his first art piece as a gift. I do love gifts and they do make a huge difference for me but this time round it was the story behind the gift that blew me away. I learnt that it had taken him close to two years to complete this mosaic art piece. Two years!! Having to work on the same piece two years is a true mark of perseverance. I know an artist who has 50% of his workshop filled with unfinished art pieces because he got bored along the way after starting working on them and has never regained the zeal to finish them.

Failure occurs when we quit or stop trying. Perseverance is the key to success. After thousands of efforts to make the electric light bulb, Thomas Edison said, “I haven’t failed, I’ve identified 10,000 ways that it doesn’t work.” Mario Lemieux, Helen Keller, Abraham Lincoln, Marie Curie and an endless list of other great achievers found that success inevitably arrives for everyone who perseveres.

Acquiring a desired job or promotion, or succeeding at business may present difficulties. But this is part of the learning process. Ultimately, people who persevere become successful. They learn from mistakes. Do you persevere? Or, after meeting rejection or difficulties, do you quit?

Many of us ten to give up just before reaching the finishing line. The last bits of an athletic lap is the hardest to complete because after running a long race, everything in you just wants to stop and take a break. What keeps you going in moments like that is your resolve to go all the way no matter what. It has been said that its not how you start that matters the most but rather how you finish. Starting is easy and almost anybody can do it but the ability to work through a project all the way to the end takes determination and perseverance. No matter what project you are working on, you will be met by some form of resistance along the way and you will have to choose whether to give up or to press on.

I guess the question we all have to answer is; ‘how badly do you want to succeed at what you are doing?, how much are you willing to sacrifice so as to achieve that success?’. To everything we accomplish in life, there is a price attached to it. We must learnt to weight the cost before committing to ventures so that we determine from the start if this is something that you want to work through.

I don’t know what kept this young man going during the two year period but one thing I am certain of is the fact that he was determined to go all the way. No wonder this piece was one of his most treasured possessions and he attached so much value to it. It is a beautiful piece that whoever see’s it is amazed at the creativity and the neatness he employed in putting it together.

As much as I was blessed by the gift, I was equally challenged by his perseverance to examine my own commitment to the projects that I am working on. We easily commit to projects in the heat of the moment but what happens when you wake up and you have no drive at all to keep at it? Will you choose to be a person that works through to the end? I believe that world will become a better place if we embrace the resolve and commitment of this young man. I challenge you and I to keep pressing on even when the going gets tough and to choose to set your eyes on the victory that lies ahead. We shall be able to inspire more people by the projects that we accomplish than the one’s we simply start and abandon. People are remembered for what they accomplished and not what they intended to accomplish. Live your life in a way that builds a legacy for generations to come.

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