Every now and then we all come across situations we feel are hopeless. A project is due with too soon a deadline. A work task is just beyond our realm of comfortable effort. An important appointment is endlessly rescheduled. Our finances never seem to balance income versus expenses.
It can be exasperating to keep going.
Yet we still endure. We persevere. We keep going despite our fears and reservations.
My old Scoutmaster used to call this “sticktoitiveness” 1 He, and other leaders of my youth, reminded me frequently that a mark of good character was to keep going when you felt like you could go on no longer. Even if you need to ask for help, sticking with a task is important.
So yesterday, I asked some of my Facebook friends what kept them going when they felt like giving up:
I don’t have much of a choice. Either I go on, or those who are counting on me to go on are let down.
Life doesnt stop just because you want it to. The tides are still going to change. Its a good opportunity to clean the slate and change direction.
Some of the responses from Twitter were even better:
@ericmann remembering how great it feels afterwards. I hate swimming, but love having swam. Makes no sense.:(
— Christine Rondeau (@bluelimemedia) August 31, 2011
— Edward Caissie (@JellyBeen) August 31, 2011
All of these reminded me of advice my dad gave me years ago: “Remember, it won’t last forever. No matter how hard it gets, it will eventually be over.”
Hard to remember when you’re neck deep in a difficult situation, but if you can remember that it will eventually be in the past, and that you’ll be better for having done it, continuing to go on makes all the difference.
And there might be bacon when you’re finished. 2
Perseverance demands faith. Faith that whatever challenge you face will pass. Faith that you will never be given a challenge that’s beyond impossible. And faith that, even in times of trouble, you are not alone.