“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”
― James A. Michener
How persistent are you in reaching for your goals?
Are you the kind who starts at a very high note and then end up quitting after experiencing a few bumps and bruises? Or are you the kind who keeps on trying no matter what until you meet what you are aiming for?
Sadly, most people tend to quit even before they can actually finish the race. “It’s too hard”, “I don’t think I can do this”, “I don’t think I’m built for this”. If this is how you react every time you encounter a problem that’s keeping you from reaching your goal, you won’t be able to finish any project you have set out to accomplish. All you’ll have are a number of unfinished businesses. You need to remember that in a race, it doesn’t matter how you start. Its how you end that is most important.
One of the best movies I’ve seen that shows persistence at its best is the original Rocky. This was the first of six movies that came out of the franchise where the focus was more on the story than the action scenes.
In the movie, Rocky Balboa was supposedly a debt collector for a loan shark in the morning and a club boxer by night. He was an average fighter and not really a top-caliber, championship material boxer.
One day, after his upcoming opponent dropped out of the match because of injury, a bored, arrogant world champion named Apollo Creed issued an unusual challenge to the city of Philadelphia. He wanted to give a no-name, Philadelphia native boxer a chance to step in the ring with him for his world championship belt. In the process, he picked Rocky from a bunch of prospects because he liked his moniker, The Italian Stallion.
Realizing that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Rocky trained hard for the match. He was doing it not only for himself but also for the love of his life, Adrian.
Long story short, what was supposed to be a walk-in-the-park exhibition match for the champion turned into an absolute slug fest because Rocky just won’t give up. He was knocked down so many times but he always found a way to get up. They went the distance and after 15 grueling rounds, Creed was announced as the winner by split decision. Not bad for an unknown club boxer.
What is the point?
Life is like a boxing match with adversity as our opponent. It can be bigger, stronger, and tougher than us but it is not impossible to defeat it. The same goes with our dreams and ambitions. There will be setbacks that will come our way in our quest to reach for our dreams but these struggles should never stop us from trying.
If you tried putting up a business and it doesn’t seem to meet your expectations, don’t quit just yet. Find ways to make it work. If you’re gunning for a promotion but failed to get it this year, it’s fine. You can try shooting for it again next year. If you’re applying for a job and did not get short-listed for the position you applied for, no worries. There are other jobs waiting for you. Don’t get easily discouraged.
Just look at your common house ants that you see crawling in your walls. They’re small but they can carry food particles bigger than them travelling a long distance from the ground to the ceiling. If you can be as persistent as these little creatures, your dreams will become a reality soon enough.
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