It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. – Confucius
What does that mean?
Keep on keeping on! Go the distance. It isn’t over until I win. However you want to word it, you keep moving in the direction of your goal. Some goals come easily. Others take weeks, years, even a lifetime (or more). Don’t stop. Don’t let any setback, no matter how trivial or how severe, stop you.
If you find a mountain in your way, go over it or around it. If you find a ravine in your way, build a bridge or climb down & back out. You might not make much forward progress during the time you are surmounting your obstacle, but you are still moving towards the goal.
Why is perseverance important?
Without it, only the easy things would ever get done. Would you ever have learned to walk? How about talking, how frustrating was that? Or learning to read? How about learning to learn, all the years you spent in school being taught all sorts of semi-useful stuff? That didn’t happen quickly.
You have to learn your letters and sounds, then the ways they go together, then spelling and pronunciation. Then build your vocabulary, add in verb tenses, adjectives & adverbs, compound sentences and rhyming, and you’re ready for poetry. Learn to think a little farther ahead and you can do short stories, then books, then novels. Add science and math and you’re getting ready for High School!
Then, if you’re really a glutton for punishment, off to college or university. Perhaps, if you’re truly a masochist, graduate school! With a little luck and a lot of money, you can stay in college most of your life! Keep going until you achieve your goal. For some, that’s getting through High School and getting out into the workforce.
Whatever the goal, keep after it. Want to own your own company? Start at the bottom, learn all the jobs (you’re going to be the boss – you need to know when someone is doing it the proper way, right?) and keep saving your money.
Perhaps you buy out someone who is ready to retire and pursue another goal, or you get started on your own. Perhaps you fall flat a time or two or three. Keep going, but adjust your course, learn from each time things don’t go according to plan.
Where can I apply this in my life?
What are you working towards? What are some of your near term goals (a year or less), and some longer term goals (1-5 years)? Think of something, perhaps reshaping your body? How many pounds do you want to loose? How many inches do you want to add to your arms? Do you have an exact time frame (perhaps a reunion is coming soon, or is it almost beach time)?
Divide the goal into chunks. Thirty pounds in six months would be 5 pounds a month, and that’s a little over a pound a week. Get some feedback, and get started. Will you reduce calories coming in, increase calories going out, or both? Plan menus (or at least determine that you’re not having donuts for breakfast anymore, and cut out the afternoon snack).
What else are you going to do? Set exercise plans (walking an hour 3 days a week, lifting/yoga/spinning/etc 3 days a week, or however often it might be). Get baseline measurements and write it down in a prominent place. Take measurements daily (get feedback to help gauge your progress).
Don’t despair that you have a blip in the wrong direction (that quart of Hagan Das Chocolate Ice Cream won’t make things any easier tomorrow). Setbacks are part of the journey. Instead, redouble your resolve to get the task done, to reach the goal. Perhaps you hit a plateau, and can’t get anything to go your way for a week or two. Evaluate what you are doing, get smart, and keep pressing on.
Perhaps you need to change your eating habits. More of one thing, less of another. Perhaps you need to mix up your exercise routine. More reps with lighter weight this week, and failure loads next week. Perhaps it takes 9 months to achieve your goal, perhaps a year. Just don’t quit, keep going, learning, adjusting and doing it over and over again.
The only way to fail is to give up. Keep the faith and keep working it. Eventually, you will find a way. As Winston Churchill said “Never, never, never give up!”
From: Twitter, undocumented feed (my bad)
confirmed at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius140908.html
Photo by stu_spivack