Perseverance: Are you rock or water?
|March 17, 2010||Posted by Teresa Ivory under Articles|
“What is harder than rock, or softer than water? Yet soft water hollows out hard rock. Persevere.”
Ovid was born in 43 B.C. That means people have been talking about perseverance for a very long time. Which means the challenges of reaching our goals has been a problem for humanity just as long. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel a lot better – knowing I’m not alone in the struggle. Especially when I feel like I’m bumping up against an immovable wall.
Try a search on the web for perseverance quotes. From ancient wisdom to modern humor, there are inspiring words to help us keep at it, stick to our goals, persist, pursue and endure. Whew! I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
You can also find stories of people who overcame huge obstacles to do great things. Those are wonderful to read unless you’re like me -one of those people who then feels inadequate – as in “Why am I not living up to my potential like that superhero person did?”
So I want to share a story about a regular person – one you may never hear about in the news – one who may never do things that are so amazing to the outside world that they end up in motivational books, posts, and speeches.
The story takes place at the local college my son attends here in Vegas. He’s in the animation program, and most of the students want to work in the video game industry when they graduate. But the story is not about my son. It’s about one of the other students, and the things my son has told me about him – let’s call him Gary (protecting his privacy and all).
Gary was told by a professor early on that he didn’t have what it takes and that he should just drop out of the program. In front of the whole class. BAM! OUCH! What would be your reaction to that at age 19 or 20? You don’t have what it takes to make your most passionate dreams come true!
I would have been destroyed when I was that age –I would have barely made it through the semester, confidence destroyed, and then slunk off to waste my life looking for something I cared enough about to make it worth doing.
Gary finished all the assignments, passed that semester and then signed up for the next class. I asked my son about his attitude toward the professor – “He obviously doesn’t like him, but he’s always respectful and always does the work. He just really wants to do this.” (meaning work in video games).
This semester, the professor apologized and said, “I was wrong about you.” In front of the whole class. Whoa! The sun breaks through the clouds!
How does that very short story make you feel? Gary is the water Ovid was talking about. He hasn’t made millions of dollars, he hasn’t made the news with his accomplishments – and he might not ever. But he has done what we all want to do – he hasn’t let anyone or anything stop him from working toward his dreams. He has persevered.
I don’t feel inadequate when I think about Gary. He’s a normal person, doing normal things – not a superhero making millions. I can be more like Gary. I can persevere – respectfully – through the misjudgment and criticism of others. I can continue working towards my dreams – and trust me – I won’t forget, thanks to Gary, that the world doesn’t have to know or approve for that to be great.