There is quote by David Sarnoff that says, “The will to persevere is often a difference between failure and success.”
All people who have achieved worthwhile things and goals before who have been able to live their dreams can tell you that they have faced so many challenges to get where they are today, but they wouldn’t have been living their dreams today without overcoming those challenges.
If you have also been pursuing dreams or goals before then you will know sometimes things get really tough especially when you are about to reach or get in line with the finish line. It’s not always easy to living our dreams, or take major life changing steps in our lives, or to achieving goals that are worthwhile.
Sometimes for whatever reasons that maybe we wish to quit and give up on whatever we have started, and persevering becomes the thing we don’t want to hear. There are five things we can choose to remember each time we feel like giving up. When we remember at least one of these five things, it will help us to persevere as we pursue our dreams and goals every day.
- Remember why are you doing it
The famous Steve Jobs said “There are times when you run a marathon and you wonder, “Why am I doing this?” But you take a drink of water, and around the next bend, you get your wind back, remember the finish line, and keep going.”
People who have reasons why they do what they do, they always persevere and certainly able to reach their goals and live their dreams.
Why are you doing what you are doing? Are you doing what you are doing just because, or are you doing it because of certain reasons. Let’s say maybe because your life depends on it. Or perhaps if you will do this thing, you may be able to change somebody’s life and yours too. When you know why you are doing what you are doing it will be easier for you to persevere when things get really tough. If what you are doing is worth of your time, money, energy, health, happiness, and if it is life changing not only for you, but for other people, then somehow you will be able to persevere. You will fight for it because the outcome it will bring you would be far worth rewarding than the pain or the struggle you feel at the moment.
Jesus is a great example; He knew exactly why He was here on the planet earth and He lived His purpose. He knew why He was doing what He was doing each time. He faced so many challenges and oppositions, but He knew why He had to get to the finish line. In fact the last words Jesus said before He died was “It is Finished.”
So when you remember why are doing what you are doing it will help you to persevere and continue pursuing the things you are pursing in your life each day until your reach the finish line.
- Remember your past victories
Imagine you were called for your dream job interview somewhere. And you get there and the receptionist tells you the interview activity is conducted in the office meeting room located in the fifteenth floor. You look at your watch and so proudly you have 15 minutes to get to the top, but then as you wait for the elevator you find out it is not working, you have to take the stairs. You calculate and say, ‘one minute maximum for each floor, I can do this.’ And so you manage to take the stairs and reach up to the tenth floor, breathing like a dog. You look down and think maybe I should forget this and go home, but you look up and see possibilities to get something you have been dreaming and waiting for all this time. And then it dawns on you, ‘I have climbed up to tenth floor. If I was able to climbed ten floors, I can also climb the rest of five floors. I know I am tired, but I need to keep going if I want to get to the top,’ and so you continue and reach to the fifteenth floor one minute before your interview starts. You then put yourself together, take a deep breath, and say, “Yaay..I have made it, and it wasn’t that really hard than I thought, let’s do this.” And so you walk towards the main door, and the rest is history.
Martin Luther King Jr. has this quote that says, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
When you feel discouraged or you have lost your passion, remember your past victories. That’s why people display their trophies, awards, certificates, or other rewarding credentials and collections to remind themselves every day of their past victories and what they were able to overcome before.
Believe that this too you shall overcome. If you have at least one testimony of how you were able to make it or overcome something from the past, then use it to help you overcome things this time around. It may be a different situation, but the principle can be applied the same way. Remember those times when you persevere in something that you almost gave up, and then you were able to accomplish or achieve it because you decided not to give up.
- Remember your first love or when you first love it
Myself included have said before it’s important to do what you love, but I also have to tell you it will help you if you also learn to love what you do. Life is not fair all the time; therefore we are not going to do everything we love all the time. Most of the time we get to do things we don’t love in order to pursue things we do love.
But what happens when we fall out of love in our journey to pursuing some of our dreams and goals, and other life endeavors? I know…just like people fall out of love with their long-term relationships, this can also happen in living your dreams and pursuing your goals. When you lose that love feeling, you goal or dream becomes vague to you. You will tell yourself, “Mmh..maybe this is not for me; I don’t want to do this.”
So another thing that can also help us to persevere and keep pursuing our dreams and goals is to remember our first love or when we first love them. To remember how it felt when we were so passionate about them, or when our dreams and goals were so alive and it was very clear to us that we wanted to pursue them.
For instance if you are an author or writer, you can remember the first time you wrote a really good article and how it felt when you read it. Or if you have published at least one book already, you can remember how it felt when you published your first book and how your first copy of the book felt on your hand, the smell of it as you turned and read page after page of your great work. ….hahaha.
This can also work in relationships. When couples fall out of love, one thing they can do to rekindle their love once again is to remember their first moments together; their first kiss, their first dance, or their first date. And then they can use that to create new memories let’s say by starting going out again doing the things they love, and pick up the rhythm from there.
- Remember that sometimes no pain means no gain.
Or like the Chinese proverb that says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction.” When things get hard it’s not necessary a bad sign, it can mean that things are about to get really good for you. This is true especially when you are about to giving birth to something.
It’s hard to climb up the mountain than to climb down the mountain. When you climb up that mountain to get to the top, each step you take it comes with resistance. The harder it gets it can basically mean we are progressing, we are growing into something, and we are moving one level up.
I am reminded by ‘no pain no gain’ concept each time I workout. I don’t know if it’s just me, but man…let’s just say, ‘if it wasn’t for the benefit of it, no way I was going to workout each time.’ There are times it gets tough and I wish to take a short-cut and say, “Let’s just forget this workout today; my entire body is aching right now.” But I thank God, each time I am able to persevere during my workout sessions and finish all the way.
Just like this instructor I know used to say during workout sessions, “Smile, no pain no gain,” so remember when things get tough you need to persevere – ‘no pain, no gain.’
- Remember to be patient
There is this quote by the famous Aristotle that says, “Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.” We all want to see things to happen at a fast pace. But we forget this saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” Where there is a will there is a way, so be patient.
And I have to say this is one of the areas I have been struggling with. I am that kind of a person that I need to see results quickly. I never understood why I have to wait or do something over and over again for ten years to have my breakthroughs. Especially after you have been sowing seeds for a long time but then, someone else does the same thing in short-time period and yet reaps the harvest. It can get so frustrating when such things happen.
I had to learn to trust God that He cares for me, wants the best for me as well as wants me to succeed, therefore one day I will also have all my breakthroughs as long as I continue to keep pursuing my dreams and goals, keep learning and looking for better solutions, and keep persevering till the finish line. Soon or later and in due time, more opportunities will present themselves to me, or come my way and things will turn really sweet if I continue to be patient.
So tell me, which one of these five things to remember has resonated with you the most?