I woke up this morning thinking about what I was going to blog about. Since I really didn't want to get out of bed, "persistence" came to mind. So, as I lay, thinking about all the things I could say about persistence, images of people working out with fabulous, muscle-bound bodies came to mind. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like working out and reaching my own personal fitness goals.
Then, as I was getting dressed, I remembered how frustrated I used to feel having 4 small children under the age of 4 (three in diapers). I thought of the time when the house that our family built went into foreclosure -and our water was being shut off. I thought about how it felt to have my car repossessed, get divorced, lose a loved one through death or how I felt when I was in so much pain I couldn't walk. Through all of those times, persistence was not the guy working out at the gym.
As my mind began to think of all those things that I'd experienced, the images in my mind for the word persistence began to change. I began to see others who I know have also experienced debilitating circumstances. I looked, with my mind's eye, at all of us and noticed one thing in common -we survived. We survived because all we had to do was get through each day. This was no small feat. This required, not the work-out at the gym and don't give up kind of persistence; just simply the knowledge that I'm breathing; I'm alive. Sometimes, in life, that's all we need to do.
“It's decidedly bizarre, when the Worst Thing happens and you find yourself still conscious, still breathing.” ― Elisa Albert, The Book of Dahlia
Oftentimes, I think we give ourselves too many requirements, too many expectations. At a very early age, I learned that everything is not always in our control. In order to reach your goals (sometimes against all odds), here are some basic things you need to remember before you start pushing yourself:
1. You're here.
I believe every single individual on this planet is special. While I realize this may sound contrary to the definition of the word, I know it to be true. Just like your own unique fingerprint, there is no one else completely like you in this world. You are a complex combination of unique skills, talents and abilities that you may not have even tapped into. You're still here for a reason. It doesn't have to be forced.
2. Time is relative.
I learned the theory of relativity first hand on a trip to Alaska. Although it was "summer", those of us who traveled there from Arizona were still considerably cold. While we were at Glacier National Park we saw young boys running around with no shirts in swimming trunks jumping into the ice-filled water. I couldn't believe it. I asked one of the little boys if he was cold. He looked at me, surprised, and said, "Its summer!" Time is the same way. One minute doing something you love goes away in a flash. One minute afraid or in anticipation seems to last a lifetime. There's an abundance of time. It will never run out. Use it to your advantage. Everything doesn't have to happen all at once. Slow down. There's plenty of time.
3. Learn to just exist.
Look at the flowers. Do you see them working hard or stressing? What are they being persistent about? What about a lion? A lion spends most of his day stretching. He's not out chasing animals all day. Use some of the time you have to let your mind wander. Take note of the positive things around you. Just sit (or stand); just breathe. Sometimes, if you can just get through the day, you've succeeded beyond measure.
"Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again." - L. Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz
Being persistent isn't a bad thing. But too much of anything can be detrimental.
For now, I'm going to take my own advice. I'm going to eat, sit, and meditate on all the things for which I'm grateful. Maybe I'll write about persistence tomorrow...