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Archive - February, 2010

Persistence

 

Persistence (AP Images)

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. –Calvin Coolidge

On Monday evening, I was flipping between two shows.  I didn’t realize that the Olympic sport being shown was called “ice dancing” (I just thought it was pairs skating), but I’d seen the Canadians as they qualified over the weekend and wanted to see them go for gold in the finals.  Yes, the costumes were flambouyant; and yes, the dances lacked the jumps we love to watch, but I didn’t care.  I was captivated by the sheer determination it must have taken every Olympic hopeful to get there.  The announcer stated that a coach had paired the Canadians at ages seven and nine.  Imagine giving up so much and practically living your life with someone else beginning in second or third grade because of a dream.

When I look at my own life, it’s clear to see that persistence was hard-wired in my circuitry.  And that’s both good and bad.  It’s great when we go after a goal, or start a new hobby, or decide that we’re going to help someone.  Something inside pushes us not to give up.  On the bad side, it can show up as needyness and competition, both of which hamper our ability to grow and affect change.

What is it within us that makes us strive for more? To reach for something that allows us to make the world a better place?  I think it’s specific passions born by God into each of us.  And what we do with them shapes who we are and alters the world around us.  Powerful stuff.

I was joyfully tearful when the Canadians won that night.  It was wonderful to see their persistence pay off.

What are you passionately persistent about?

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In Comparison of Others

Photo credit Peter Daveney

I admit it.  Sometimes I compare myself to others.  I wish I managed my blog and connected with new people as well as Lindsey does.  To have the effortless grace Tami does would be wonderful.  And how I’d love to wake up every day knowing exactly what I was made for, the way Britt does.

But I am not these fabulous women.  I’m me.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being me.  I know I have my own unique gifts and talents–it’s just that sometimes I wish I possessed the unique talents other people already have.  Wouldn’t that be fun-a sort of “widget”  list of great attributes we could add to ourselves?

We all struggle with “Keeping up with the Joneses”.  There’s a need to be seen as having it all together, staying on track with our career goals, having the perfect marriage, and being the perfect parents.  As I’ve gotten older, there are a few lessons beginning to take shape:

  1. Titles don’t make the person-Early in my career, I set some serious “over achiever” goals for myself.  And I worked way too hard to get them. A few years’ back, I realized I didn’t care about the ladder anymore.  I cared more about being passionate about what I do.
  2. Being passionate is a must-The business cards, the paycheck, being part of a leadership team…none of that can ever add up to “enough” when you are alone with your thoughts if you don’t love what you do. Same goes for who we love, who we’re friends with, and what hobbies we spend time doing.  We’re just burning hours without passion.
  3. Being happy is worth the risk-If you aren’t in a career, relationship, or church you love and are fed by, make room for a different possibility.  Be willing to be uncomfortable for a little while in order to be happy in the end.
  4. There are no perfect people- We all have strengths–and weakenessess–that make us who we are.  And while I may see characteristics in others I’m motivated to add to my own list, I know that God created each of us for a specific purpose and without those inherent traits, we would be unable to fulfill our purpose.

” Why compare yourself to others?  No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”-author unknown

Do you struggle with this too?

 

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