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When the going gets tough (What makes perseverance so difficult?)

By Karen Vally on 11 Jan 2020

Most people begin the new year with the intention of changing some aspect of themselves or their lifestyle. There is something enticing about the first month of a new year. As the pace of life shifts from holiday mode into work mode, feelings of fear, doubt and overwhelm can take us by surprise. Before we know it, we have slipped back into our old patterns or we're suddenly faced with an unexpected challenge.  

It is comforting to know that no one is immune to setbacks. We need to forgive ourselves. It does not help to beat ourselves up. We should  begin again, having learnt a valuable lesson. The road to success is not a straight one and an integral part of success is learning how to deal with the challenges along the way. It requires hard work, patience, perseverance, consistent action, courage and a strong belief in oneself. A well-known example of someone who persevered, is J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series. Despite being rejected by 12 publishers, she persisted because she wanted to finish, " the only work that mattered to me. "

So what is it that enables a person to keep on going? Perseverance, the ability to persist steadfastly despite any obstacles, is a major key to success. People who triumph over challenges, manage to stay on track because they are flexible, tenacious and determined. They use their strengths to devise a new strategy. They realise that life is a building process and that they will reach their goal by continually correcting. They are resilient and take care of their well-being which enables them to cope effectively with their challenges. They remain calm and focused despite the turmoil around them. Successful people are usually optimistic, view setbacks as temporary, take responsibility and do not allow the challenges to affect other areas of their lives. They have mastered the art of preventing their minds from running wild. They arm themselves with knowledge, wisdom and understanding. They also know that small steps lead to big results over time. Successful people cultivate patience because they know it prevents frustration and despondency.

Successful people have a sense of purpose. This motivates them to keep going. They regularly review their expectations so that they don't run the risk of tripping themselves up.

Extraordinary things are accomplished by ordinary people who realise the benefit of sustained action. Know exactly what you want to achieve. Be well organized and proactive. Choose someone to support you. Expect to stray off the path you have set yourself, notice this and try to notice earlier next time. Gently, coax yourself back onto the path. Keep an open heart as you practise your new way of life. 

" When the going gets tough, most people disappear." Make sure that you're not one of them. Instead, remain steadfastly committed to your chosen path.

" Have some perpetual small enjoyment in which you engage daily. Never miss it, regardless of how busy you are. This will do wonders for your well-being. Indeed, it will do more for your happiness than acquiring the biggest and best of possessions."  Ernie J. Zelinski.


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