I dare you to watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nifq3Ke2Q30
No, I’m not going to have you buy anything or send anything to your computer. Nor am I going to sway your political or religious beliefs. I dare you to watch this video (be sure to click the back button when you are done) and reflect on the emotion that it evokes inside of you. Go ahead…it only takes 2 ½ minutes. When you have that assignment done, then you are free to continue reading.
Ok. That was worth 2 ½ minutes of your time, wasn’t it?
That Olympic performance was perseverance with a capital “P”. Because of Derek Redmond’s sheer willpower and strength of mind, he completed that which he had started - The one thing that was his only focus for weeks prior. He persevered through extraordinary circumstances to accomplish his goal.
During the Olympics we see so many individuals stand the test of time and overcome great obstacles to earn the right to stand on a podium and watch the flag from their country raise while their national anthem is played. The thing that those athletes have in common is perseverance.
Perseverance is not only for the Olympic athlete. The woman diagnosed with breast cancer receiving chemotherapy and continuing to care for her children, has perseverance. The man who was laid off months ago and continues to seek employment after each rejection letter is received, has perseverance. The child who comes from the home where there is fighting and unhappiness, yet chooses to give their best during school has perseverance.
Perseverance comes in all shapes and sizes. What is your challenge? What are you pressing through right now? Are you in the beginning, end or somewhere in the middle? Have you had those days where you just don’t want to go on any more? Are you asking how to carry on?
A dear friend, whom I have great respect for, gave me this quote this week, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass – it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Derek Redmond didn’t wait for the pain to subside – he danced through the puddles in his way.
If you find yourself faced with a challenge and the road seems long and bumpy, look around you and see all the reasons to keep going. If nothing else…write these quotes upon your heart. They are sure to get you through the next hurdle:
Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish. (Ovid)
Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway. (Mary Kay Ash)
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. (Dale Carnegie)
In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but by perseverance. (H. Jackson Brown)