So what could be the “practical end” we might be looking for?
How about: ” Getting where I want to go?” If that’s the case, we have to define where we want to “go.” If I want to go to a new place in my life where I am not making the same bad choices that get me to places where I don’t want to go, then I need to stop making those bad choices, make better ones, and persevere through the changes required to do so. If I give up, and not persevere, I will not get where I want to go. I tell people all the time; “start doing things that get you where you want to go, and stop doing things that don’t.
Why is it that they might keep faltering and missing the mark? They succumb to something along the way that stops their perseverance. Maybe they lose faith. Maybe they lose hope. Maybe they get tired. Maybe they succumb to fear, or maybe, as in the case of someone trying to quit smoking or drinking, they succumb to temptation and fall back into the addiction.
There is no reason that we cannot persevere to victory in anything, but if we are not wise to the things that will deter me from getting there, or simply choose to give up, we will not persevere to the end result. Therefore the point is that we must identify those things that deter me from persevering. The John Maxwell team frames it out like this.
“Perseverance is a trait that can be cultivated. And the initial step to developing it is to eliminate its five greatest enemies.”
Perseverance requires determination. If you take the time and effort to cultivate tenacity, you can achieve what appears to be impossible. However, there are endless temptations, false beliefs, and distractions that can lead to abandoning what once seemed of the utmost importance.
We must eliminate the five greatest enemies of perseverance. Eliminating the following five things will bring greater chance of persevering to the end.
1. A lifestyle of giving up
“Talent without perseverance never comes to full fruition. Opportunities without persistence will be lost. There is a direct correlation between perseverance and potential. If you have a habit of giving up, you need to overcome it to be successful.”
There is no doubt that giving up is the easy thing to do in many situations. When we’re presented with opportunities, we are programmed to want to take the easy route. However, taking the difficult path will allow us to see our talent come to full fruition.
2. A wrong belief that life should be easy.
“Having the right expectations going into anything is half the battle.”
It’s common to expect that life should be handed to us on a silver platter. However, expectations don’t always match reality. When faced with tough situations, we have two choices. We can either give up, or we can dig in and get down in the trenches. Perseverance is choosing the trenches.
3. A wrong belief that success is a destination.
“If you think you have arrived, then you’re in trouble. As soon as you think you no longer need to work to make progress, you’ll begin to lose ground.”
Success is not a destination. Success is a path we choose to walk down each day. When we stop seizing opportunities, we hit plateaus. As leaders, we constantly have the chance to learn, grow and move forward. With a bit of perseverance, we can move beyond our “success” and through further open doors.
4. A lack of resiliency
“We must not become dry, brittle, and inflexible. And we must endeavor to bounce back, no matter how we may feel.”
We can’t let discouraging moments break us. Instead, we must be resilient. By persevering through tough times and taking struggles on, we have the ability to go beyond our talent.
5. A lack of vision
“People who display perseverance keep a larger vision in mind as they toil away at their craft or profession. They see in their mind’s eye what they want to create or to do, and they keep working toward it as they labor.”
What is your vision? Let that be your guiding light as you persevere through the less than desirable moments in life. Know that through perseverance, your talent will be lifted, ultimately reaping great benefits in the end.
Overall, take the time to think through which of these enemies is hindering your ability to persevere as a leader. Once you identify these strongholds, you will be able to rise above any situation and accomplish even the loftiest goals.
Matthew 19:26 “With God all things are possible.”
Source: John Maxwell Company/BH