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?