“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ― Thomas A. Edison
On a personal note, I’m playing crummy tennis these days. And by crummy tennis, I mean really crummy tennis. In fact, I am 0-5 in our neighborhood Men’s Singles Tennis League—the exact same league I won last fall! In fact, not long ago, I was actually losing so badly to a fellow competitor I was tempted to quit. But then, I remembered that my 6-year old daughter is struggling to learn how to tell time in school… and I decided that I had to persevere.
You see, my kids are important to me. As a result, I work hard and intentionally to help them develop important life skills. By important life skills, I don’t just mean reading, writing, and arithmetic, I also mean kindness, humility, responsibility, discipline, and perseverance. And perseverance is one we’ve been working on for quite some time.
My daughter has a tendency to get frustrated when she doesn’t get something right the first time. This is, of course, not unusual. But when the frustration too quickly escalates to resignation, I often step in and encourage her to persevere.
I understand that life can be very difficult at times. I realize many of the most important concepts she will learn in school and life will take time and effort. I have come to understand that nobody gets life right the first time. And in those moments, perseverance is an essential life discipline to draw upon. We will never reach our full potential until we learn to push through the frustration… no matter how difficult our circumstances may be.
Of course, the very nature of perseverance requires that we face trials in life. We can not learn perseverance without experiencing difficulty. This often makes it a painful skill to learn. But also, one of the most rewarding.
People who become the most in life have learned the skill of perseverance. They are the ones who refuse to give in regardless of the score… or the current trial they are facing.
My dear friend, today, persevere.