Posts Tagged ‘persistence’

June 6 Quote of the Day

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
Nido Qubein


Don’t allow circumstances to keep you from believing in your goals and pressing toward them.

Always keep your goals firmly in mind. Put pictures of them on your walls and in your heart.  Remind yourself of where you are going when the tough times try to get you down or the rat race tries to discourage you.

You may not get where you want to go tomorrow or even next week. But keep taking one step at a time. You WILL get there.

May 27 Quote of the Day`

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.
Gilbert K. Chesterton


Competitions can’t be won by everyone.  Those who do win are the ones who lost and learned why they lost so that the next time they would win.

It works with us in individual endeavors as well.  Learning to ride a bike can be painful. But each time you come back for another try, you typically use what you have learned the previous ride to keep from falling.  If, instead of coming back and trying again, you say ‘I’ll never get this right so I’m just going to quit’, then you  never  will learn to ride that bike.  Pay attention to how you think when working toward a goal.  Know that, each time you fail, you gain a little expertise.  The old ‘practice makes perfect’ applies here.   You can and will finally succeed if you keep getting up and trying again.


March 21 Daily Quote

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.
Jon Bon Jovi

We adults need to take a few lessons from the boy down the street learning to ride his bike. He can’t have training wheels. That’s for sissy’s. He falls down a lot but he keeps getting up. Each time, he goes a little farther. He is proving to himself and to us that he can be a success. When we’re faced with the tough tasks life has to offer – and life hasn’t given us any training wheels – we just have to remember that boy. Keep getting up. Each time you’ll go farther. Eventually, you’ll be a success.

March 14 Daily Quote

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
Albert Einstein

Even Albert Einstein recognized that his intelligence would have been of little use to him if he had not had perseverance to solve a problem. Problems are problems whether your IQ is up in the 180’s or down in the low 90’s. It’s how you face them that determines whether or not you will find the solution. Quit and you won’t. Stick with it and you will.

March 15 Quote of the Dy

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.
Gustave Flaubert

Maybe just looking at the sky won’t give us wings but working toward our goals, struggling over each obstacle, following each path, believing that the goal is attainable will certainly bring us close. It may even bring us all the way there.

Childhood Tenacity Can Cause Parental Insanity

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Tenacity was something my mother tried to drill into my head throughout my childhood. She used to say things like ‘you can do anything you want to do if you just try hard enough’ (nice thought but not necessarily true). Another one of her favorites was the one about the drop of water that just wouldn’t stop dripping until it made it’s impression in the rock. I don’t need to use those phrases to teach our little one tenacity. Grandpa and I are doing our teaching in a little different (not exactly better) way. We teach her in the way we respond to requests she makes.

She dearly loves riding her bike but she’s only 6-years-old so she’s not allowed to do it without supervision. The rest of the neighborhood children range in age from 5 to 10 years old and are allowed outside without an adult present. It annoys her that Grandma and Grandpa are old fuddy-duddies who insist on safety. We don’t have sidewalks in our neighborhood so the kids have to ride bikes in the street. It’s not a busy street. We live in a nice quiet neighborhood but we do get our fair share of traffic. Someone has to be outside with them to yell ‘car!’ every time one goes by since the kids don’t seem to feel the need to get to the side of the road unless they hear that warning. So how does this involve teaching her tenacity? Let me explain how the bike riding discussion usually goes.

Normally the little one will go to Grandpa first. Mostly because Grandpa will say “no” to the first request. The second request will come about two minutes later and Grandpa will say, “give me a few minutes.” The third request will come less than five minutes later and Grandpa will say again (less patiently), “Just give me a few minutes.” The fourth or fifth or sixth request will follow closely on the heals of the previous request until Grandpa gives up with a sigh and says, “All right. We’ll go.” Grandpa has taught her persistence in the face of failure. I wouldn’t recommend this way of teaching. Now she understands that all she has to do is keep asking and asking and asking and asking until finally he gets sick of hearing it and gives it to her whether it’s good for her or not.

If she comes to Grandma, the conversation is a little different.

Little One: Can I ride my bike?
Me:      No
Little One: Can I ride my bike?
Me:     I said no
Little One: Can I ride my bike?
Me:    What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?
Little One: Can I ride my bike?
Me:    How many times to I have to say ‘no’?
Little One: Can I ride my bike?

At this point I will usually lose my temper. This involves either (1) sending her to her room; or (2) me shouting “Fine! Ride your bike! Do whatever you want just stop bugging me!”

My response is really no better than Grandpa’s. You see, children are gamblers at heart so they will continue inserting quarters in the parental slot machine until they get the pay-off they desire. If they never get the pay-off they desire, they will finally learn to accept the rules and live by them. But if they get the pay-off they want even one time out of ten, that’s good enough for them. They’ll be back for more next time! We have taught her tenacity but at the expense of our sanity.

There is a saying that if you can’t be an example, be a warning. I’m being a warning. Parents, decide what is important and stick to your guns when dealing with your children. Let your ‘yay be yay and your nay nay’. Doing so will bring harmony to your home. Not doing so will cause you to need therapy. Trust me on this!

You Can’t Do It For Them

Monday, August 1st, 2011

One of the greatest joys of childhood is the feeling of success that comes from finally learning to ride a bike – that moment when the training wheels are gone, Mom or Dad have let go and you are riding solo. All the tears and bleeding from scrapes and bruises is forgotten in that moment. You’re free and you’re sailing. Life is good! Seeing that grin of accomplishment on the face of your son or daughter can bring back the joy for you. Gotta love it. Not only does it bring joy but it brings pride as well. Your child has succeeded at a task that requires effort. It requires perseverance. It requires a determination to work past pain and disappointment to reach their goal. It’s something you can’t do for them. You can encourage, you can applaud but you can’t do it for them. They have just shown in this task of childhood that they have what it takes to succeed. Hold tight to that memory because you’re going to need to be reminded of it often throughout their lives. Every time they face a difficult task that causes them pain and tears, you are going to be tempted to step in and fix it for them. May I suggest that the sense of pride and accomplishment that they felt in learning to ride the bike would not have been as great had you been able to do it for them – even partially. They had to do it for themselves. I believe that the more we allow our children to push through the hard times, the greater their chances of success as adults will be. There will be tasks that are causing them tears and pain that will seem inconsequential to you. You won’t see any reason you can’t just step in and do it for them. The task itself probably is inconsequential. It’s the learning to persevere in the face of difficulty that is important. The better that lesson is learned, the more capable adults they will be. Encourage them as they struggle, cheer when they succeed, control yourself in the face of tears. Don’t do it for them!

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

I was thinking about that Itsy Bitsy spider. The one that keeps trying to get to the top of the waterspout. People say that we could learn a lot from that spider. Mainly they think we can learn about persistence in the face of adversity. But I’m thinking persistence is a bad thing on the part of that spider. What’s the point in getting to the top of the spout? Next time it rains, he’s going to get washed out again. Rain is inevitable. It comes. But then again, he’s made it to the top. So we should hail him as a success. Right? What’s up there, though? He’s made it to the top. He can build a nest there. But is his family secure? It’s a pretty precarious spot to be. The rain keeps coming and he and his family are going to get washed down again. Maybe some of them will be injured or even killed. Certainly they will all be on a constant roller coaster dependent on the whims of the weather. I think the persistence of that spider could have been used in the pursuit of a better goal. Maybe he should have looked first and said ‘do I really want to get to the top of this spout? Is that really the best location for me?’ I think we can extrapolate that to any number of areas in our lives. You can start with looking at the home on the top of that hill with the really nice view that can strap you financially for years. So is it really what you want? Or that on-again, off-again relationship that you keep trying to make work. Do you really want that type of relationship to become permanent? What about that career choice you’ve made? It gives you a nice six figure income but is it really worth it when you consider that 50 or 60 hours a week are being spent at the office leaving you so little time with your spouse, your children and other loved ones. These aren’t all the issues we face in life but I think you can see my point. Persistence is a good thing usually. Persistence is necessary when we face difficulties in reaching the goals we’ve set for ourselves. And setting goals is necessary so that we can succeed – so that we can have the life we’ve always dreamed of. All I’m saying is, if you’re that itsy bitsy spider on your way to the top, be sure the top is where you really want to be.


February 19 Quote of the Day

Sunday, February 20th, 2000

You miss 100% of the shots you never take. Wayne Gretsky

A simple philosophy and yet a singularly impressive one from one of hockey’s greatest players. If you never take the shot, you will never score the goal. If you never try, you can’t succeed. Take the shot!