You can have all the talent in the world but that’s not enough. You can be incredibly strong, but that’s not enough. Perseverance is the key.
Perseverance is the commitment to keep going when things get hard or you lose your focus. It means not giving up until you get the result you were after.
Sometimes what we want comes easy. But more often it takes hard work, lots of it. Of course, our ability to use perseverance, to stay the course when it gets tough, is a greater factor in our success than our talent or knowledge. The ability to battle through the hard times is what sets successful people apart. Anyone can get lucky. But what do you do when challenges come your way?
Everybody knows someone who said they wanted something, but gave up when it got too hard or too uncomfortable. Maybe it leaves them with regrets: “I really wish I could have gotten my Black Sash.” Maybe they offer excuses: “I didn’t get the promotion because the boss doesn’t like me.” In both cases, however, a little perseverance may have made a great deal of difference.
This ability is something that is taught in martial arts. For most students, the first three sash levels – white, yellow, and orange – flow quickly. But as the education gets larger and the moves more complex, students are faced with a choice: become discouraged and give up, or stick to it and become better.
I have had students that admitted that the thought of quitting did cross their mind. Through sickness, plateaus, life’s challenges, with family and work commitments, as well as fatigue and doubts. But their determination is what keeps them going. Perseverance through the tough times. Trusting your own ability, the process, your peers and hard work.
Take a look around our academy. Any of the higher ranks you see are people who have embraced learning and growing. They’re people who put aside their egos, learned to be humble and adopted a “beginner’s mind”. They know that every single day there is always more to discover about martial arts.
You’ll meet more and more people like this the more you rise through the ranks. In fact, I would argue that you can’t make it to black sash without great humility as well as believing “there is always more to learn”. You should never put a wall up to learning, we can always improve ourselves.
Your higher ranks are an incredible resource for you, some of them have been training and experienced the emotions you are feeling right now. Talk to any of them to share your concerns and discuss your challenges. Ask for their advice and find out how they broke through their own barriers. What did they do to take it to the next level? How have they managed to use perseverance and stay the course for 1, 2, 3, 5 , 10 years?
Whenever you feel discouraged, it’s usually because you’re focused on the present moment or the immediate challenge at hand. But when you step back and realize your current obstacle is only a tiny mound on the path to a bigger goal, it puts things into focus.
It’s always important that you concentrate on the big picture. You then gain something very important. perspective. When you step back from your challenge and see it from a better point of view, it builds your perseverance because you can see the big picture, the forest, not just the trees.
The decision to persevere even when challenged says a great deal about someone’s character. People who use perseverance show mental toughness, commitment, focus, reliability and integrity to follow through with what they said they would do. Perseverance is a very important trait of a leader and a goal-setter.
You’ve heard the old “Tortoise and Hare” story, haven’t you? The Hare rushes through the race, sees the Tortoise way behind him and takes a “breather” midway through the race. But not the Tortoise. He knows he’s not as fast as the hare. So he stays focused and moves at his own pace. And to everybody’s surprise, he wins. That is the essence of “perseverance”.
I always try to encourage my students to recognize the value of sticking with it when things get tough. If one is working towards a goal and doesn’t get it right the first time, don’t give up! It’s cliché, but most certainly true. “I’ve given up on some of my personal goals and I always ended up disappointed in myself for it or have felt regret.”
We’ve all heard the phrase “A black sash is just a white sash who never quit”. How true this is. A lot comes down to your attitude. It’s a fact that those who are positive live longer, enjoy better relationships with others, have fewer health problems and enjoy more successful careers.
This is one of the big reasons we help instill a “black sash attitude” in all our students. It’s a critical ingredient in developing perseverance. After all, what is a winning attitude anyway? Self-talk is a big part of it. When your internal voice is positive, it leads to greater action. On the other hand, when your self-talk is negative, you become your own worst enemy. Those with negative attitudes defeat themselves before they even get out of the gate.
The good news is that we can all learn perseverance. All it takes is practice. “Perseverance can be accomplished on many levels. I think setting realistic goals is paramount in achieving success. Believing in yourself is key to perseverance. Having confidence in yourself is key to perseverance. Never compromising your principles is key to perseverance.
One of the virtues of Nai Xin is “perseverance.”
All our training at the Ontario Self Defence Centre will aim to help our students understand what it means to never quit, and to stick with your goals until they are achieved.
Below are some great quotes on Perseverance.
“Consider the postage stamp; its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.”
“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”
“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other.”
“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
John D. Rockefeller
If you or your child are interested in enrolling in martial arts classes, the Whitby Martial Arts Academy has the classes and teachers to help your child succeed. We will do our best to help you achieve your martial arts goals. Come on down to the Ontario Self Defence Centre.
Whether it’s Safety. Self-protection. Confidence. Martial Arts Training. Yi Quan Kung Fu. Fitness. Health. Speed or Strength we got you covered. We offer classes for Men, Women and Children.
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