Perseverance is the toughest action that we decide to do. Most things don’t just happen overnight,and many of us don’t realize this until later on in life, or after we’ve given up. Or perhaps, you’re like me and just didn’t observe that you’ve been prepping for perseverance all along! As I reflect on my youth, I’ve become aware that this is precisely what I’ve been doing, and it has prepared me for one the most ‘persevering’ experiences that I never expected to encounter: entrepreneurship. It’s one of the most slow-moving, highs-and-lows,gut-wrenching, stick-it-out time periods in my existence! I like to think of it as a beautiful nightmare, where’s there’s so much potential to for success mixed with the fear of the unknown.
I am so grateful to have learned not to be a quitter- not giving up so quickly through good and bad things. Here are a few high (and low)lights of the perseverance training that I have personally experienced:
- Piano Practice: Every day after returning home from school, I had to practice the piano, before attending my piano lesson instructor on Mondays. Most times I dreaded practicing; but, it was almost impossible to complain because I was the one who literally begged my mother to sign me up for them! Even though I dreaded the routine of practicing, I enjoyed the result of putting in the work: beautiful music, that became effortless because of time spent practicing!
- Sports: I’ve been playing organized sports since I was in the sixth grade. I worked hard to make the varsity volleyball and basketball teams, and in the off seasons, played softball and ran track. Today, I’m still a runner and compete for personal best times in 5 and 10Ks and half-marathons. You can’t just show up to the starting line of a race and expect to do well. It requires weeks, sometimes months of training!
- Higher Education-Obtaining a master’s degree was one of the most disciplined things I’ve ever done. I returned to school in my early thirties when there was more to do than just being a full-time student. I worked, nursed and took care of my newborn baby, and studied. God, prayer, and bottomless cups of coffee helped me earn the certificate that stated I completed my course studies. It’s an accomplishment that no one can belittle or steal from me!
- Working Multiple Jobs-Working more than one job has helped me create and maintain a schedule. I wake up early-well before the other members in my house open their eyes (including the dog) and work on items that I know have to be done before the end of the day. I’m living a “wash, rinse, repeat” life cycle right now: continue to work through the day, eat,sleep, and do it all over again!
As I was (and still am) in these moments, I did not take the time to stop and think about what I should be learning (another life lesson). Now that I have forced myself to reflect, I have realized that those daily routines of physical actions taught me how to be patient. They also taught me how to persevere. When you start something new, you’re never as good as you want to be. So what does one do if she wants to be included in the circle of ‘best’? She trains!
- Do research on the activities that will make you better.
- Surround yourself with like-minded goals.
- Seek out a mentor and ask for help
“There is no substitute for persistence! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow.”-Napoleon Hill
There are many places and people that I draw inspiration from on a daily basis. Right now, my biggest motivator that spurs on perseverance is knowing that it won’t always be like this. If I keep trying, keep receiving and appreciating the small victories, and continue to put in the work that moves me toward success, then I will achieve my goals.
There is no secret to success; it only requires hard work and determination.You can do the same!
JRobinson, Owner and Founder, JRobinson Digital Media Services