THE SECRET TO PERSEVERANCE
Life can be very distracting. A recent statistic indicates that kids’ attention span is a mere 6 seconds. With a mind that bounces around constantly, we can tend to be very reactive to our emotions and experiences. This can send us swirling with conflicting emotions, and it becomes very challenging to find our inner compass to help us navigate our daily lives.
The question becomes, “How do we balance opposing emotions?” For example:
- – Contentment and motivation
- – Dissonance and peace
- – Being and doing
How can we feel content and grateful for an experience, but still want more? Once we decide we want more, we experience the feelings that what we have isn’t enough. While wanting can be motivating, wanting also makes it difficult to appreciate the gift of the present moment. In the sports world, an athlete may qualify for a National event and feel fortunate to be there. Yet, inevitably the competitiveness creeps in, expectations immediately grow, and the gratitude for simply being there can turn to disappointment if the new expectations are not met. We must persevere, but where is the wellspring that encourages us to get back up and continue. How do we avoid spiraling into that disappointment? We know we need to dig deep, but where do we go when we are digging deep? Where is the secret door we are unlocking inside of us to help us move between frustration and elation?
Motivation to achieve something more requires us to persevere, strive, reach, stretch, take chances, and change. These are the essential ingredients for growth. To reach new goals, we are required to brave the vulnerability and doubts that fear of failure can evoke. Our ability to rise up and keep trying is what makes us great. This process can churn up dissonance, and the way we process this mental dissonance can become one of life’s most important skills.
When we live fully – challenging ourselves, succeeding, failing, rising, and repeating the cycle – our mind, body and heart are constantly recalibrating and rebooting. Subconsciously, we are changing, reorganizing ourselves with things that we are learning. Every success and failure changes us. Mistakenly, we believe that we can go back to the way it was; to ski, run, or play like we did at a race or game last month. However, we cannot erase what has happened and go back to the past. We have learned, reconfigured systemically – energetically we are different. We’ve got to show up in the present moment with our new “re calibrations.” Our minds seek the steady ground of the familiar past, but regardless, our new moments will be experienced differently. We cannot hit rewind, yet we waste a lot of energy trying to do just that. Life is non-linear. Our lives have many dimensions, but we seem to seek a linear journey. Actually, our purpose is what that keeps us stable, not the experiences we’re having.
We must fortify our heart, core, even our bones and visceral body, with our fundamental convictions, purpose, and values. Our state of being will burn so strongly with our purpose that it becomes the non-negotiable, the fixed asset part of our lives. As we manage chaos, vulnerability, disappointment, and even success, our safe house of core beliefs prevents us from reacting too deeply to our experiences in a way that could cause us to quit, or get too frustrated, or too attached to fear or success. Armed with purpose, we are able to maintain perspective and gratitude in the big picture of our lives. At the same time, we can keep striving, creating, and taking chances to achieve our goals. When life gets messy and disordered, and we find ourselves struggling, we can let the power of our purpose burn a light through the doubts, fears, and conflicts. We are powered from within; nothing, and no one, can take it from us.
A deep sense of purpose is what helps athletes bounce back with resilience after a bad race or season. Musicians, writers, firefighters, mothers, fathers, military personnel, doctors, teachers… The list is endless, because we all have the ability to identify what it is we believe in and let it guide us. We can be at peace and content with our purpose while simultaneously seeking improvement and managing chaos
Our purpose helps us persevere through it all.