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334 Days ’til 40: Perseverance

24 Mar

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement and impossibilities:  It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. – Thomas Carlyle

Life is not easy for any of us.  But what of that?  We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.  We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. – Marie Curie

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. – John Quincy Adams

Perseverance.  A reality so many of us face in today’s world.  Perseverance – a personality trait and skill so many of us NEED in today’s world.  Perseverance is a term that often seems connected to hard work and diligence, but I personally believe that perseverance is something that is often applied to many life circumstances – from employment to living situations, to emotional challenges.

Every person I know has had to endure life circumstances that tested their ability to sustain.  Perhaps they struggled to maintain a positive attitude or perhaps they struggled to find a reason to keep on keeping on.  Life’s circumstances can get in the way of our willingness to carry on.  Sometimes we wrestle with our desire to give in, to throw in the towel, to stop fighting.  How is it that some individuals find it easier to persevere than others?

I believe there are many obstacles to perseverance that individuals wrestle with – these are things that get in the way of our ability to prolong our determination.

  • Trauma (as it causes emotional responses that can be deeper than our ability to sustain and often require intervention)
  • Substance abuse (when abusing substances, we are not in a space where we have the intellectual capacity to sustain)
  • Physical exhaustion (when we are overworked, often we do not have the physical energy to be able to be persistent)
  • Emotional exhaustion (if we are experience circumstances that deplete us emotionally, we may not have the mental strength to maintain)

When you are able to remove these obstacles it is more likely that you will be able to persevere through the rough circumstances life throws at you.  I find the when the following things are in place, perseverance is much easier:

  • A strong support system
  • Loving family and friends
  • The ability to take breaks
  • Being in touch with your feelings and allowing yourself to say “I am overwhelmed” – simply acknowledging your feelings empowers you to continue to persevere
  • Physical rest – tackling challenges is exhausting and it is so important to get the sleep we need in order to rejuvenate
  • Emotional rest – when coping with tough situations it is critical to take emotional breaks – read a book, surf the internet (read blogs!), watch TV, take a walk, go bowling, eat Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby Ice Cream – do whatever it takes to be able to turn your brain off for a few moments – mentally perseverating on a given situation can often exacerbate exhaustion, which is not a good thing
  • Acknowledge your hard work, stress, and congratulate yourself for your hard work – it is SOOO important to be able to celebrate your victories, no matter how small

Whether we have lost our jobs, need to move, have a crumbling relationship, struggle with addiction, endured a traumatic experience, are cursed with ill-health, or  are enduring something else, perseverance is not easy.  Yet, we do find that when we are able to fight, to keep on keeping on, to sustain – we learn that we can find our way out of our dark circumstances to better tomorrows.

I realize it is beyond cliché to say, “don’t give up” – but I am going to say it anyway.  “Don’t give up.  Don’t EVER give up.”  You will live through today, tomorrow is another day and eventually things will turn around.  They may not turn around immediately, you could be forced to live through weeks of physical or emotional h*ll, but EVENTUALLY the dark clouds will lift and circumstances in your life will shift – if you work hard to commit yourself to sustained pursuit of these changes.  Julie Andrews said:

Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.

Today, 344 days ’til 40, I am conscious of my need to persevere through whatever challenges life may throw my way.  I know that, no matter how challenging it may be to stay the course and keep my attitude positive and healthy, I am better off when I have the courage to fight through my circumstances and work to better myself for myself, my children and all of the individuals in my life.

My wish for you is that you too will find the courage and strength to keep on keeping on in your life.

~400daystil40

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59 responses to “334 Days ’til 40: Perseverance

  1. Stuart Otway-Smith

    March 24, 2012 at 00:04

    Reblogged this on Stuart Otway-Smith.

     
  2. ruthcatchen

    March 24, 2012 at 00:07

    Great thoughts- You have to believe that dreams really do come true and failure will lead to success. There is always a reason or lessons learned from the trials of life. One needs to be open enough to acknowledge the lessons. I believe it! Thank you.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:19

      Yes, definitely! I agree with you completely! I certainly learn more from my failures than my successes – I think most of us do… and when we have a willing attitude and are open to learning we grow so much. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you come again.

       
  3. lujat71

    March 24, 2012 at 00:13

    More wise words, thank you.

     
  4. heartmama

    March 24, 2012 at 00:35

    Reblogged this on Dear To Me and commented:
    I have never reblogged before. However, I think this post is well written and very apropos for the topic of adoption. The process of adoption is not an easy one. There are many, many trials along the way (both before and after the adoption is finalized), but as parents (adoptive or otherwise) it is our responsibility to persevere. To find what we need to pick ourselves up when we fall and keep going. To never give up.

    In that light, I offer these verses:

    “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

    “But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.” – 2 Chronicles 15:7

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

    “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:11-12

    “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

    “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It it more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35

    “Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” – Psalm 37:24

    “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58

    ****************************************************************************************************************************************

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 00:40

      Thank you so much! :)

       
    • Denise Browning

      March 24, 2012 at 05:47

      Thank you so much for such a great message. I had a hard week…l really needed to listen to these encouraging words. Keep writting… Loved it! Thanks to Heartmama too for the nice comment which added God’s powerful words to this beautiful text. May He bless you both!

       
      • 400daystil40

        March 24, 2012 at 15:47

        Thanks, Denise – I also really appreciated Heartmama’s comment! :)

         
        • Denise Browning

          March 24, 2012 at 16:30

          you’re welcome! I love your blog. I am already following it.

           
  5. maudestandard

    March 24, 2012 at 01:16

    I start the day with I don’t want to do anything. That ends at about 45 minutes after I’m awake.
    To quit is betraying yourself. If there’s a chance of success, go for it. I don’t always know how to accomplish something and nothing at the time makes sense. I let the back of my mind lead the way and it works.
    The I am overwhelmed is a positive statement. Everything is hitting at one and no priorities can be set. A lie down is in order. Even if it is 10 minutes with eyes closed, it helps.
    I love to rant. I gives me a real sense of joy to rant and get it out of my system. I do this silently and write it down.
    Life is hard for most people. I feel sorry, or maybe I don’t, for those who have no initiative and allow events to wash over them like waves.
    I have this really stubborn attitude that I won’t give up.
    A bad phase feels like forever.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:54

      What a great comment, Maudestandard! Yes, a bad phase can feel like forever, and that is where a stubbornness can come in handy! (i.e.: I will NOT let this phase get the best of me, no matter what!!!) I also agree that acknowledging being overwhelmed can be okay – it allows you to regroup and then move on from there.

       
  6. Clip Snark

    March 24, 2012 at 01:30

    I have also heard of a Japanese proverb that I love: “Fall seven times, stand up eight”. There may be other wordings of this but this is the one I have seen. :-)

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:52

      I LOVE that proverb, thank you so much Clip Snark for sharing it with me and the readers! :)

       
  7. michelle gd

    March 24, 2012 at 01:58

    love that marie curie quote…

     
  8. Alicea Jones

    March 24, 2012 at 04:11

    I think about people who have done great things. On the outside, it may seem as if they are lucky or highly favored. But when we dig deeper, we find that successful people have often endured great failure yet persevered despite the discouragement. The constant for me is having God in my life because I know that whatever trial or failure I face, he will work it for my good.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:49

      Yes, Alicea, you are soo right – you know, Whitney Houston is a very good current example – someone who appeared to have it all and yet struggled so much and in the end lost her struggle. I have learned that people who appear happy and picture perfect are often the ones who have struggled the most…… so I refrain from judgement about anyones circumstances unless I have spent time with them to learn what their walk in life was really life. Thanks for your great comment!

       
  9. buckwheatsrisk

    March 24, 2012 at 06:53

    what more is there to say! you said! love it!

     
  10. Spider42

    March 24, 2012 at 09:46

    Thanks, hope the same for you.
    The thing that I also wish people would have more of in the world at large though, is patience.
    Cheers.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:43

      Yes, so many people (myself included) need more patience – can I have it right now?????? :)

       
      • Spider42

        March 24, 2012 at 16:10

        Maybe… I had some thoughts on the matter inspired by your post in fact that I just posted about ;)

         
  11. Inga

    March 24, 2012 at 12:18

    Wise words. Thanks for sharing!

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:38

      Thank you so much, Inga – please visit again! :)

       
  12. muonsoup

    March 24, 2012 at 12:35

    Fantastic post and brilliant blog. I am fifty and it’s been a struggle at times. Mainly because I couldn’t understand the lesson being presented. Experience can be a firm tutor, even more so when lessons are learn’t through stinging hindsight. Your blog is savlon for the soul. :-D

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:37

      Thank you muonsoup! Yes, I think experience ends up being the best tutor for so many of us (not necessarily the easiest or the least painful, but the best). Thank you for your comment and I hope you visit again. :)

       
  13. viveka

    March 24, 2012 at 12:56

    Great post again!!! – and I have to go back to my cancer. Just what you wrote here – that people tell you to be brave – not to give up .. can on fighting. There is nothing what so ever to be brave about when having cancer and in the middle of the package it comes in. There is only two options – go through it or die. Pretty bad options and the choice isn’t difficult. In the end I was so feed up with this “be brave” thing – I understood that people didn’t know what to say to me and they wanted to be supporting. There wasn’t a day during my 34 days none stop treatment that I didn’t give up for maybe up to 12 hours – then I was back on the track again. So this with “don’t give up” it’s totally a personal choice. I’m a great believer in that we have total right to do what we want with our own life’s. If we want to give up for good or for only a couple of hours – we should have the right to do so.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:36

      Thank you so much for your reply, and you again bring up such a critical point. I see perseverance and knowing when it is time to say “enough” as two separate things. In fact, for those who are terminally ill and hit the point of acceptance and being ready to die, for them that IS perseverance…. they are eloquently fighting their battle as they see fit. This is such an important point you brought up and I am so glad that you did…. in fact, I think this may just inspire another post from me! :)

       
  14. saymber

    March 24, 2012 at 14:39

    This is the second post now I’ve just had to share with family and friends because it’s so timely. This is a great reminder to never surrender!

    Winston Churchill: http://www.winstonchurchill.org/
    “You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.

     
  15. saymber

    March 24, 2012 at 14:44

    http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/speeches-of-winston-churchill/1941-1945-war-leader/103-never-give-in :
    You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 15:32

      Thank you for sharing this!!! :)

       
      • saymber

        March 24, 2012 at 17:48

        Your welcome – for some reason reading your article Winston’s words came to mind. Your article was inspiring that way.

         
  16. balancethroughthelens

    March 24, 2012 at 15:59

    I needed to hear this today- thank you! Perseverance can be hard to hold on to when life has one of its fits of throwing road blocks at you. Pushing on… we all face it, but its nice to get a kick in the pants and reminder to keep persevering. I especially loved the Curie and Adams quotes :)
    -Susie

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 23:33

      You are welcome, Susie! It is so wonderful when words that encourage me on my own journey are valuable to others as well! :) Yes, the quotes are great, aren’t they??? :)

       
  17. living4bliss

    March 24, 2012 at 16:38

    Congratulations. I have nominated this blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can claim your award at http://living4bliss.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/versatile-and-inspiring-more-awards/

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 17:49

      Thank you!!! ;)

       
      • living4bliss

        March 24, 2012 at 17:50

        You are Very Welcome. I just got done tweeting out your award, too.

        Enjoy.

         
  18. MixerUpper

    March 24, 2012 at 17:54

    Thanks for liking my amaranth crêpes recipe!

    I’ve been thinking about this – you should be like Jack Benny and just stay 39 forever. ;-)

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 17:56

      I love it!!! Great idea!!! Looking forward to trying those crepes!!! ;)

       
      • MixerUpper

        March 24, 2012 at 18:46

        Please let me know if you do – I’d love to know what you think!

         
  19. Melanie Guerra

    March 24, 2012 at 21:39

    such an important message…thanks for the reminder!
    oh and ps – i just turned 40 last week. i made a conscious decision a few months ago not to see 40 as a deadline, but rather to use my entire 40th year as an opportunity to accomplish some of those things i’ve been putting off, my “somedays”, my “i really want tos”…it made me look forward to my birthday and i’m excited about the year ahead! that said, i’m enjoying your posts and appreciate your enormous goal of figuring out life by 40! :)

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 21:53

      Thanks, Melanie, for your great comment! It seems you are looking at doing similar things to me, only right after 40 instead of before (Happy Birthday!!!) I am not sure I will figure it all out, but I hope to be a little closer! ;) Thank you os much for visiting my blog and I hope you stop by again sometime.

       
  20. nelle

    March 24, 2012 at 21:53

    Aye yee yee, how true.

     
  21. kyllingsara

    March 24, 2012 at 21:54

    “Being in touch with your feelings and allowing yourself to say “I am overwhelmed” – simply acknowledging your feelings empowers you to continue to persevere”. Great wisdom in this sentence. I’ve found great solace in allowing myself to say “Life SUCKS” and instead of just brushing it aside like something I’m not supposed to feel, I savor it for a while. Really feeling the “suckiness” for a while, and then it passes.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 24, 2012 at 22:28

      Thanks, Sara – your real life example is so very true! When we allow ourselves to feel those feelings it is then easier for use to move past them (once they are truly acknowledged!)

       
  22. Amy

    March 24, 2012 at 21:58

    Great post! The test of our ability may be a way to build our endurance. Thank you for liking my post!

     
  23. agsawan

    March 24, 2012 at 22:58

    I am enjoying your posts! Thanks!

     
  24. Anya

    March 25, 2012 at 20:39

    Thank you for sharing this blog and your insight about the topic.

     
    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:05

      You are welcome :)

       
      • Anya

        March 25, 2012 at 21:40

        I hope you don’t mind, I also -re-blogged. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!

         
        • 400daystil40

          March 25, 2012 at 21:47

          I do not mind at all, in fact, I consider that such a huge compliment – thank you so much! :)

           

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