Perseverance – You can overcome!

Samuel Butler, Image by Wikipedia

“The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance.” ~ Samuel Butler

Everyone living in this challenging economy knows that now, more than ever, is a time for perseverance. Perseverance is different for each of us, yet its essence is known as we dig deep and push further than we perhaps even believed was possible. Perseverance is a precious quality of character that is common to every successful person I know.

If you’ve ever been told that you could never achieve such-and-such based on your limitations or if your circumstances constrict to the point that you feel that another ounce of pressure will put you over the edge, then you know the starting line for perseverance.

A friend recently forwarded me a story that bolstered my faith in humanity and in the value of the persevering spirit. The first was Maya, a 12 year old girl who was born with congenital band syndrome. Maya was featured on the Rachel Ray Show the day before yesterday. Maya’s left arm did not develop beyond her elbow, though she never lets that stop her physically, mentally or emotionally. She had a limitation but she did not let herself be overcome by it.

Maya’s inspiration was fueled in part by Matt and Amy Roloff’s popular reality show, Little People, Big World. Maya said “They show that they can do what anybody else can do…Just because they’re little doesn’t mean anything, and that inspires me to do what I do.” The Roloffs were also on the show and it was wonderful to see the delight in their eyes as this lovely 12 year old told them how much they had inspired her over the years.

Speaking of limitations, I like to think of them in two broad categories. The first are natural and unavoidable, such as a physical or mental disability, while the second are typically self-generated and avoidable. Most of the limitations people experience fall in the latter category. It’s a sad thing, really, as millions of people suffer under the weight of self-imposed limitations, many of which are simply bad habits that tend to appear when the pressure is on.

Mr. Butler provides four excellent starting points that could easily serve as a guideline for how to respond to pressure. Put simply, they are

  • circumspection
  • deliberation
  • fortitude
  • perseverance

Put these four qualities of character to practice in your life and there will be little room left for the qualities of expression that tend to fill their void:

  • carelessness – “I didn’t mean to”
  • negligence – “I forgot to”
  • cowardice – “I’m afraid to”
  • apathy – “I can’t be bothered to”

Uncommon unpredictability calls for a steadiness and a willingness to go the extra mile to get the job done. Those who do have a better chance of making it through in one piece. Those who don’t are more likely to be torn apart by the winds of a stormy economy. Most limitations are nothing more than an illusion maintained by carelessness, negligence cowardice or apathy. Some are simply the child of ignorance. Whatever their provenance, persevere in bold, thoughtful action and you will surely overcome.

How will you meet what comes your way in the days to come?

13 thoughts on “Perseverance – You can overcome!

  • Having the right attitude toward the pressure itself, causes one to see it as a source of character building, a power generator.
    You have perfect timing as always, so often we internally make a choice for change, and as to be expected pressure comes, and just by default we are under it. Your starting point this morn offers the opportunity to ride the wave rather than get swallowed by it!!!
    Thanks for putting my attitude in place, creating a field in which creative joyous imagination may run the show!
    Onward and Upward!!!
    Love to you, your perspective is greatly appreciated!

    • Pressure can be an ally. It’s really a matter of changing your habits of reaction. Most people react without putting much, if any, thought to it. They react how they learned to react and unfortunately there is very little guidance in this department.

  • I think this is the best post you have written so far. It speaks so directly to the issues that our world is facing today, and cuts right to the quick of it. Basically, it gives us no excuses to continue with the way we have been living.
    Those four character flaws: carelessness, negligence, cowardice, and apathy, are things that affect everyone on the planet, whether directly or indirectly. The four “cures” that you have given to each of these problems, work whether or not they are your issues to begin with!

    Are you apathetic? Learn to persevere. People can help inspire you with this, but ultimately it is each individual’s responibility to fix their own character issues – especially once they see that they have them!

    Is someone else being negligent? Well, have the fortitude to tell them (or someone in authority) about the negligence, or if that isn’t the right thing, just persevere until the time is right for a change to be made. You can deliberate about which one to do!

    I think some combination of these four attributes can be a solution to any problem we face today. Thank you for this valuable tool!

  • Excellent post!!!! Yesterday’s post about the “ember” that is the ever-present possibility for change in the world has had me thinking all night. If I accept the idea that the ember is real, then what is my part in building the fire? Today’s post is the answer to my meditations. It’s practical, concise, and a brilliant start for action. Thank you.

  • I enjoy reading your posts. I do have input on this one.
    I agree on some points however not true for everyone who appears cowardly, careless, negligent.

    There is a factor of physiological predispostion of certain traits.

    This makes a huge difference of the impact of said trait doubled with a trauma such as adult survivor of child abuse, child rape etc. … the fear these people have is very real to them.

    To the outside world they may appear lazy, yet they do not have the ability to “just get over it” or the knowledge to seek proper care/help.

    Some are lucky to have family or friend to guide them. Some are capable to overcome, others however are likely to be drug addicts, fearful of life itself, or slip into mental illness.

    If everyone could simply get over it, there would be no therapists, medications, or facilities to help drug addicts.

    I am currently working on a paper with a psychiatrist that involves the predispostion of post traumatic stress disorder.

    Keep writing.



    • Great point, MsJo. I suppose the psychological predispositions you mention would fall under the category of natural and unavoidable as they are not typically something you can always “get over” by force of will. Thanks for your comment, for your encouragement and best of luck for your paper.

  • Sorry Gregg, you got me on that one. I read through to quickly and missed the important “unavoidable.


    Oops. At any rate, I do love to read your posts!



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