The Power of Perseverance

If someone asked me for one word that was the cornerstone of success, without hesitation, I would say perseverance.  In the end, being great athletes, parents, leaders or anything else for that matter is really about a willingness to persist in the face of challenges (and yes, even tragedies), and to use those moments as a means to demonstrate our commitment and resolve.

To expect that any road you travel will be a cake walk is not only naïve and foolish, but is the fast track to failure.  Not one of us is immune to the obstacles that life throws our way, but each of us does hold the power to choose what we do with whatever it is that lands in our lap.

So what about you….do you give up when times are tough?  Or do you pause to assess the obstacle and determine if you are being challenged with a test, a lesson or an opportunity that can lead to your growth and fulfillment?

Let’s face it, we live in a society of instant gratification, and unfortunately it seems more and more people are treating their goals and dreams in this same manner.  We want instant mastery, flawless performances and overnight success.

The truth is, our true character and potential are determined by how we deal with our obstacles.  It is in these moments that we are required to step up or give up!

There’s a story I read a few years ago by an unknown author that describes what I’m saying here perfectly, so I thought I’d share it with you.

It’s called Shake It Off and Step Up.

Once upon a time there was a farmer who had an old mule that fell into a deep dry well and began to cry loudly. Hearing his mule cry, the farmer came over and assessed the situation. The well was deep and the mule was heavy. He knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lift the animal out.

Because the mule was old and the well was dry, the farmer decided to bury the animal in the well. In this way he could solve two problems: put the old mule out of his misery and have his well filled.

He called his neighbors, and they went to work. Initially the old mule was frantic, but as the dirt kept hitting his back, the mule realized he could SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!  So blow by blow, each time a load hit his back, this is exactly what the mule did.  No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation, the old mule fought panic and just kept SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!

Before long, the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly through the mouth of the well.  What seemed like it would bury him, actually helped him….all because of how he handled the adversity.

What a great attitude, and what a great way to approach life!  When faced with the inevitable adversity of life, SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP!

One of the things that saddens me most is to watch people dwell on their “problems” for weeks, let alone months or even years.  Whether your problem is a physical or mental limitation, the loss of a loved one, an illness, an abusive upbringing, a natural disaster or a past mistake…..we ALL have our stuff.  Every one of us has a choice:  let it fester inside us and rob us of our health, happiness and prosperity or SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP.

When we can accept our adversities as a necessary part of our growth, we can start to see the gift of the situation and we can prevent being buried in the well!   Sure sometimes I want to give up, but the number of times I’ve found success JUST beyond the moment where I truly felt stretched to the point I’d snap is truly astounding, so now I always know to persevere beyond what’s comfortable.  Nobody ever achieves greatness by remaining comfortable!

The thing about perseverance is that it is available to all of us.  As Calvin Coolidge so eloquently said, “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 bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if you get there fast or get there slow, as long as you keep on going!  Hold steadfast to your vision, your hopes, your dreams and your desires.  Never stop and never give up!  I don’t know who said this but I absolutely love it…. “when your dreams turn to dust, vacuum!”  😉

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68 Responses to “The Power of Perseverance”

  1. This is a great post. There are many things that we have access to that can bring benefit to our lives and our business. By far, having persistence is one of them.

    It goes by many names and many people have talked about it in various ways. I think it was Winston Churchill that said “never…ever..give up.”

    The only way to get fired from your business is to quit. Another great saying I always like to remember is to never quit before pay day. For all you know, pay day and the payoff of all your hard work is just around the corner.
    .-= Don Enck´s last blog ..Are You A Go-Giver? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Don ~ Well yes, the only way to get fired from being an entrepreneur is to quit…..not a J.O.B…..but then again, that’s not why we’re here, right?! 😉 Thanks for sharing your insight!

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  2. Beth you have been an absolute study in perseverance! Just look at your awesome 30 day video challenge! You indeed model what you talk about and “practice what you preach”.

    Each day, each step, each shovel of dirt that we tamp down, takes us one step closer to the top. Sometimes the road is long and hard, sometimes its tedious and boring, but it is whats required to get to the top.

    Thanks for sharing the journey with us!
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..Hot Facebook Tip: Facebook Post Privacy, Control Who Sees Your Post! =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Awww, thanks Kim. And ditto to you my friend. 🙂

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  3. Great story, Beth, and wonderful application. Shake it off and stand up. I need to remember that.

    Ana/YourNetBiz
    .-= YourNetBiz ´s last blog ..Targeted Internet Marketing Looses to Information Overload? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Ana, happy to offer simple but important reminders that move us forward!

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  4. Beth,
    That story of the mule is a great analogy of one way to move ahead through life. if we sit and stop cause it’s too hard, we’ll never get anywhere.

    Thanks for this great perspective,
    Val
    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..Are You on a Rhinoceros Path in Life? =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I’m glad you liked the analogy, Val. It not only shows that if we stop we won’t get anywhere, but that if we think outside the box there is always a way out of whatever situation you may be faced with. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Shake it off! I love that story. I think people are realizing more and more that you have to fail yourself to success. I always enjoy your posts…
    .-= Nick Logan´s last undefined ..Response cached until Thu 25 @ 1:24 GMT (Refreshes in 23.95 Hours) =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hey Nick~ Happy to hear you loved the story! Yes, failure is part of success…..how we handle it is the key!

    [Reply]

  6. Hi Beth,

    A very motivating post, you just have to keep moving forward and never look back. It’s easier to keep going than to stop, be disappointed and then start all over again. Giving up is actually the harder option.

    Great story about the mule, I suppose to the mule it seemed like the simpler option. We humans tend to complicate things and make life harder!

    Thanks for sharing, Lynn.
    .-= Lynn Glaser´s last blog ..How To Add A Featured Content Gallery To Your Blog =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Lynn ~ yes, it is amazing how complicated we humans make things when the simplest answer often works the best?! Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad the post offered you some motivation!

    [Reply]

  7. Beth, I so enjoy your posts each week. The story of the mule is just awesome. What people have to understand is that when you fail your success has more impact.
    .-= Brandy Price´s last blog ..Must Have SEO Plugins – Unless You’re OK Losing Precious Traffic =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I agree with that Brandy ~ pushing beyond our failures is what really defines our character and leads to extraordinary success of great impact. Thanks for commenting!

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  8. Dear Beth,

    Perseverance is absolutely the key to success! I have never been a genius, but I have an insane work ethic that has served me very well. You have really honed in on an important “secret” to success!

    Thanks for giving us a much needed reminder!

    Nancy
    “Mentor Mama”

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Nancy ~ I can tell you have a great worth ethic, and always appreciate your wise mama wisdom! 🙂

    [Reply]

  9. I love this! Thanks for the motivation to persevere and keep pushing through to the top..
    .-= Julianna Brower´s last blog ..How To Get A Facebook Opt In Box On Your Profile Page =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks Julianna, glad you enjoyed it and I appreciate you stopping by!

    [Reply]

  10. It is almost taken for granted. We all start out thinking, “yea, I’ve got the stamina… i’m not a quitter.” And the truth is, most of us do have the stamina and are not quitters.

    But the process of success goes deeper than that. Failing, like smoking, is about a lot more than will power. In fact, if we rely on will power, we are quite likely to fail.

    Perseverance takes over when we stick to a program… no matter what. How many times did you hear a smoker say “things are really tough for me now, so I think I’ll just stop smoking unless things improve.” Smoking, indeed, is a habit–a place of comfort. It is “ingrained”, an integral path neurolinked into our brain and referred to automatically, especially when we are under stress. Failure is the same type of habit. It’s not a matter of conscious choice as it is a place of comfort to turn to.

    Perseverance is the pursuit of forging a new cerebral path… and overcoming the old comfort zone of quitting and failing. This takes time, patience and practice. I’m glad you bring this issue to us, Beth, because it is BASIC to our success. Now we need to get to the business of creating a neuro path called perseverance that we will automatically resort to when things get tough. That’s the path to success. You’re on that path Beth, and you’re certainly leading the way to us falling in line right behind you. Thanks for your leadership.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thanks so much for contributing this great information on forming new neuro-pathways AND the very nice compliments, David! Thank YOU for your leadership as well!

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  11. “Nobody ever achieves greatness by remaining comfortable!” I love this. I don’t think there is any argument.

    I think that anything worth achieving is only achieved through stepping out of your comfort zone.

    Besides, if you don’t fight for it, what would you tell your grandkids when you are telling your old war stories?
    .-= Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog ..Forget Your Why…Begin With Your Purpose! =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Oh Jose, the stories will be rich indeed! Thanks for being part o the good fight! 🙂

    [Reply]

  12. Beth,
    I love this pos, especially the story about the mule. Wow.
    .-= Jodi Lee´s last blog ..Timely Post for SMART goals =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it Jodi!

    [Reply]

  13. Aloha Beth,

    I love that story of the mule! I agree with you 100% on the power of perseverance! It truly is the secret of success!

    Thank you so much for writing about this very important trait.

    Much love & aloha,
    Kellie 🙂
    .-= Kellie Hosaka´s last blog ..MY PRIVATE AND VERY PERSONAL ADDICTION TO FOOD =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Kellie ~ Happy to hear you loved the story! You’re welcome! 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Sunshine & Baba ~ Glad to hear you find my blog inspiring ~ I look forward to connecting with you more! 🙂

    [Reply]

  15. Beth, thank you for those words. so inspiring! I can definately relate to this and I agree with you 100%, perserverance is key.
    .-= Deirdre Rutherford´s last blog ..How To Deal With Technical Issues In Network Marketing =-.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I’m glad you can relate and that you were also inspired! Thanks for stopping by, Deirdre, and thanks for sending some love to my new fan page! 😉

    [Reply]

  16. what a great site ..i have just visited this post and it is so good..yes its always how a person perceives the incident which makes all the change..just shake it off..!!
    my latest post” how to succeed in life” on my blog http://healthisdivine.blogspot.com/
    has similar viewpoint…great going!!

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it Dr. Adesh. Yes, life is all a matter of perception…and when something tries to take you down, it is definitely best to shake it off and step up! 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

    [Reply]

  17. Hi Beth,

    I just loved you post. People are not aware of the power of persistence and perseverance. Somewhere I read “the are no volunteers in the path of knowledge, volunteers resign when they find the path not convenient to them” in other words, people always regret their decisions they are not capable of giving power to their actions. They do not realize that what made humanity a civilized community, was that at some point someone decided to keep on a decision and other decided to follow them. If you want to have success on what you do, you have to persist in what you do. This what it is all about: Perseverance. Good share.
    Daniel@Sock Buster´s last blog post ..Socks with sandals – The new fashion on footwear

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Hi Daniel ~ Thanks so much. That quote is so (sadly) true. I think that it’s not that people aren’t aware of the power of persistence and perseverance, but like the quote says, it’s just not the “convenient” path. At least in that person’s minds eye. Thanks for your great comment, and for stopping by!

    [Reply]

  18. Very simple and inspirational story…
    Thank you

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Thank you, Augusto, I’m happy to hear this post inspired you. 🙂

    [Reply]

  19. I completely subscribe to this post. It reminds me of a Donald Trump quote regarding success:

    “Never, never ever quit or give up, ever”

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Absolutely! Thanks Warren, glad you enjoyed it!

    [Reply]

  20. I’m one of those people who suffers from regret and holds grudges. This has been helpful.

    [Reply]

  21. Perseverance applies to every aspect of life, and sometimes we are tested more intensely. Sometimes just getting out of bed is difficult, while other people spend years persevering at projects.

    It really does define our character. It’s how we prosper, and how we stay positive.
    Emily´s last blog post ..What Kind of ATM Machine Should I Get

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Definitely. I must say, I’m in one of those phases of life where I’m being tested on all fronts…..and despite being pulled in a million different directions, life keeps rockin’ because I get the power of perseverance. It definitely gets me out of bed (ok, mostly my 3 year old does that!) 😉 Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Emily!

    [Reply]

  22. *shake it off and step up*

    I love this phrase. I will definitely adopt it as my mantra in hard times.
    Valerie´s last blog post ..How “Rent-2-Own” Really Works

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    Glad you benefited from this post, Valerie….enjoy. A great mantra for hard times, indeed!

    [Reply]

  23. I’d like to give one example where quitting is acceptable: marriage. My parents encouraged my ex and I to stick it out, but it was unhealthy. We had to call it quits, after putting everything we had into persevering. I guess what I learned is, sometimes you have to know when to throw in the towel, before you get too deep.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    There will always be exceptions to every rule. I personally wouldn’t say that quitting is just “acceptable” in marriage ~ in fact, I think far too many people call it quits without trying to save it. Relationships take a lot of work! I could go on and on about this, but I think you get it. Sounds like you did the work, and it wasn’t savable. I am sorry to hear that, but happy that you did what’s best for you both. Thanks for visiting, Avery, wishing you all the best in life and love!

    [Reply]

  24. I really enjoyed your post, and the follow-up comments. I wanted to say that it is quite refreshing to see how you respond to so many comments – what a great personal approach.

    [Reply]

    bethallen Reply:

    I really appreciate that, Ben. Yes, it’s important to me that my readers know that I’m here and listening ~ blogging should not be a one sided conversation but a living, breathing and dynamic conversation! 🙂 That’s how I’ve been able to build great relationships, both personally and professionally, using this platform. Thanks again!

    [Reply]

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