16 Mar Perseverence – Hanging in When it’s Tough
Is Perseverance Ever Needed?
Let’s say you’re healthy, have a real good attitude, you’re satisfied, the road of life is smoothly paved, and you’re relaxing in paradise. Does the word perseverance even exist for you? Probably not. Even the bad stuff is a breeze and you smile through it all.
What a nice place to be.
Actually, I know people who have that amazing outlook, very positive, and they are great to be around. Obviously they feel a good deal of contentment.
I started this post to discuss the value of persevering toward tough-to-achieve, longer term goals, and then of course, I saw the other side of the coin. That just maybe, problems really don’t exist – it’s all in your head.
Let’s analyze your life right now. Tell me, can you be very ambitious and content simultaneously and how do you feel happy when your dream life is off in the future? How ambitious are you? Are you going anywhere with your life?
That’s what the purpose of this blog is — to discover new perspectives and have awakenings. I suspect those moments are part of an emotional journey, not one where the road is paved with gold.
What do you think? Is perseverance an important character trait or one that indicates a negative frame of mind?
I know people who are remarkably resilient and positive even though their lives are severely impacted by different issues. They look in bewilderment when you mention limitations and impossibilities. For them, impossible is nothing. I’m very reluctant to mention actual stories of perseverance because the battle they experience makes readers uncomfortable.
Striving for More
Yes, it’s important to feel good and appreciate what you’ve got. But what if you want more? Is ambition a failing? When is ambition too much? What would Donald Trump, Sergei Brin, Bill Gates and Richard Branson say? Are those without ambition a bunch of phonies or lacking in any drive to improve their lives beyond the ordinary?
I shouldn’t complain about my life. It is good. I live in a very comfortable, modern home, have a car and a great job, some good friends, and I’m in perfect health and enjoy some great sporting activities. But, despite all that, I want more. Is it right to want more?
The Perils of Ambition
Life’s Competitive and What You’ve Got May Not Be Enough
Life is competitive and difficult so you won’t raise the championship trophy without suffering lots of setbacks and challenges. If you don’t have failures, by which to learn from, then you might not be well equipped to handle what life will throw at you on occasion. Those failures/setbacks make you stronger and more creative as you go forward. Your goal: Kaizen.
The more you want out of life, the more perseverance you’ll likely need. As your challenge increases, you’ll need more energy, time, and persistence to win. And there’s no guarantees whether anything you do will work out. Perseverance might be the one thing that saves you.
Am I an authority on perseverance? Hardly. I know people who have been through hell and survived. Their medical issues are way beyond my comprehension and empathy. I have trouble speaking to them about it. Now you know why I’m a vitamin supplement and fitness fanatic.
Situations in life test your perseverance though, so how do you come through it all? A lot of times, it’s friends and family who basically help you get your mind off of your limitations and failures — maybe even helping you reframe your problems. People quit because they’re overwhelmed by limitations and repeated, unfulfilled expectations. And the enjoyment level plummets.
I see perseverance as a path rather than a set of personality traits. Although, those personality traits are what enables the path to fulfillment.
What do you do when the barriers are too much? Get away temporarily from the source of stress. Reconsider your approach, take days off work, change how you view what you’re doing, pare down your activities, tone down what you expect of yourself, review your career and personal ambitions and how long they will take, tell others you can’t meet their expectations and they should do something, ask others to help, and find new things to do.
Some personalities have a lot of it — probably developed through previous challenges. These people just seem to have a broader imagination, faith, or confidence that lets them use different channels to the end goal. And they have stamina to help them get through periods that are emotionally and physically draining.
What is Perseverance?
Perseverance is the ability to overcome setbacks, doubt, friction, frustration, pain, and lengthy time periods to achieve a goal.
Time and Expectations Management
Anyone’s brain can get in a rut. Add to that the fact we have so little time to live today in our long commute/long work hour schedules. Yes, this leads to extended stress and negative health consequences.
I’ve seen athletes quit sports when it wasn’t the sport at issue. It was their lives which had become unrewarding and the sport simply became another source of stress. They couldn’t see the joy that was still present but couldn’t be felt anymore. Depression sets in and they can’t see the road ahead.
For parents, their kids sports regimen can be troublesome. They live vicariously through their kids so drastically, they don’t realize they’re starving out the other people in their lives. Years later, they’ve lost those friendships or eroded them through neglect. Not a good model for their kids to follow, and follow they will.
The Grind for Young Tennis Players
For tennis players in a rut, it’s signified by swearing on the court, being too focused on winning, not sharing in the spirit of the game, and being critical of others. They’re generally unpleasant and self-centered, when being the opposite is what will take them out of their rut.
Managing disappointment and frustration is a key life skill, because even the best of us will face many failures. Kids training competitively have to keep things in proper perspective or their performance will really fall.
For kids on the court, it’s important to learn composure and keep a balanced view. The kids involved in serious athletic training have a grueling regimen. And since it’s just one sport they are active in, it may get very dull and monotonous. It’s when their expectations are crushed by what they see as their limitations that they think of quitting. Coaches need to break their activities down into pieces so the kids can see accomplishment and satisfaction more easily. In a world of instant satisfaction, few kids develop the ability to delay rewards. Give them some small wins and they’ll be okay.
A good work ethic and perseverance are excellent qualities, but knowing when to take your foot off the gas pedal is smart. With the kids, it means having other activities to keep them fresh.
Take a look at Online Tennis Instruction says about minimizing frustration and maximizing satisfaction. Can we apply this to our personal lives as well?