Persistence: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
One of the most common human experiences has to be that of feeling defeated. We’ve all been there. We all have goals and dreams, but then we find that the path to reaching those things is exhausting and full of strange surprises. People pop up to challenge our hope and optimism with large doses of criticism and cynicism, and suddenly our dreams seem foolish and our talents and energies feel deficient. It’s a common experience to feel defeated, and maybe that’s why it’s so uncommon to resist the end result of being defeated.
We are always going to feel defeated at some point most weeks. We’ll get tired, broke, sick, stressed, and criticized, and we’ll have a million legitimate reasons to give up. But if we can just find our footing—just enough footing to keep us from slipping off a cliff—and if we can just keep fighting (just enough fighting to keep us moving even one tiny step forward), then we can eventually experience the uncommon taste of victory.
So what victory do you want to experience? What do you consider worth fighting for in your life? Your professional dreams? Your marriage? Your friendships? Your fitness goals? Your happiness? Your soul?
Just keep fighting for the things that are important to you. Just be persistent. Even though you might feel defeated for an hour or for a day or for a week, just get back up at some point every month. Be gentle with yourself, take a moment for yourself, and then get yourself back up. If you can do this consistently, then eventually a measure of victory will be yours.
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Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
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Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
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Perseverance (theology): continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.
So I say to you: Keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you, 10 because everyone who keeps asking will receive, and the person who keeps searching will find, and the person who keeps knocking will have the door opened.
Jesus, Luke 11:9-10
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
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“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
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