By David Coy
Ancient dictionaries define perseverance as “steadfastness, persistency, or perseverance.” Webster defines it as “to persist in a state, enterprise, or understanding in spite of counter influences, opposition, or discouragement.” To one degree or another, we all have faced obstacles and challenges and sometimes have been knocked down on our knees. Whether this happens once, twice or times too numerous to easily endure, it can be daunting and discouraging. There is a Japanese proverb that roughly says that if circumstances of life knocks you down seven times, get up eight.
Persist in spite of discouragement, opposition or counter influences. No one said life would be easy, fair or impossible, just doable. When traumatic loss brings us to our knees, we get up, and this will require endurance and persistence. The good news is we do not have to take the journey alone. Through it all, whatever life deals us, we must show persistent free, fearless confidence in ourselves. A confidence in ourselves that no matter what occurs we will rise one more time. We must commit ourselves to life. That does not mean our plans will not need to be changed or tweaked along the way. Flexibility is key to success in life along with confidence and endurance.
Beyond confidence and endurance is devotion. Devotion means to attend constantly, to show oneself courageous for, and be constantly diligent. Sometimes we may have to reinvent ourselves with the support of God, family, friends and neighbors, but with perseverance and confidence in ourselves with flexibility of spirit, we can rise again if we have become discouraged and fallen.
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