Yesterday Lois and I delivered our first joint ’talk’ to a school in Sussex. The key theme to come out was one of the schools values, perseverance, a word that also sits as one of our charities values. More commonly you probably hear the word resilience and although similar, they are not the same. Resilience is defined as “An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” and Perseverance is defined as “The continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” For me Resilience is more about recovery and perseverance is more about growth. So to make a meaningful change or to bounce back and then succeed it’s not good enough to just be resilient, you then need the ability to persevere.
In my experience nothing truly rewarding in life comes easy, in fact the reward is actually often in the struggle of the process but thats another conversation… No one ever won an Olympic medal, became an astronaut or sold their successful business without going through some seriously tough and not very fun shit in the process. Sticking at something is one of the most powerful tools we have because it is completely within our control. I’m not saying it’s easy but it doesn’t take skill or talent, it just requires will and a bit of belief.
More often than not the people leading the aspirational lives aren’t the most gifted or special, they’re the ones that stuck it out when shit hit the fan, the ones that brushed themselves off and carried on down the path of resistance rather than taking the easy option, in fact, thinking about it, perseverance might just be the most important key to success. The good news is that it’s also a compounding trait and therefore something we can practice. The more times we persevere the deeper it entrenches itself as a core value and therefore the more automatic it becomes in the future. So stop telling yourself you’re not good enough or you can’t do it, stay in the fight and prove to yourself that you are and you can.