Average people use fatigue as an excuse to give up. Don’t be average!

Perhaps you’ve set a goal and it seems so out of reach, it is impossible to conceive of achieving anymore. Your attempts to reach your goal started bad, got worse, and now you just want a fresh start. Maybe it started of great but soured. Maybe, for you, the effort just seems to drag on and there is no end in sight. You are ready to quit on it.

childlike persistence
When we were children, failure was not an option. We had already seen others do what we wanted to do.
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But if you quit on that one goal, if you quit on what is right in front of you, you are quitting on everything in your future.

If you want to be great, fatigue comes with the territory. Exhaustion is a normal part of a life of greatness. Exhaustion is a sign that you are pushing all of your limits and that a breakthrough is nearing.

Children seem to know this instinctively. Or perhaps they just haven’t learned to quit yet.

Children know that human beings were meant to walk on two legs. It never occurs to them that anything else is acceptable. Going through life crawling on all fours is not an option.

So they keep trying…and falling. They keep getting bruised, sometimes bloodied, and end the day exhausted.

And they wake up the next day and do it all over again.

Success is all around them in the form of their parents and others. They never doubt that they will achieve their goal, so they fight every day to get there. And the child lays her head down exhausted at night and dreams of walking.

If children quit as easily as most business owners do, most of us would still be crawling.

If children quit as easily as most husbands and wives do on their marriages today, most of us would still be in diapers.

If children quit as easily as so many people do on their exercise regimens, few of us would know basic math.

When we were children, failure was not an option. We had seen others do everything we wanted to do already. It never entered our minds that we would not walk or one day go to the bathroom by ourselves.

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In the same way, we see examples of successful business leaders all around us, who have made it through adversity. They have made it through bankruptcy, high employee turnover, stressed-induced health problems, and sleepless nights.

We have seen marriages overcome disasters such as a child’s death, cancer, and even spousal infidelity.

We have seen obese people stick with their exercise for two years and develop a lifetime habit of healthy living.

And yet we quit so easily…OK, I quit so easily.

What happened to that childlike persistence, when failure was not an option? What happened to the bliss of not knowing what it was like to give up? When did fatigue become an excuse to give up on our dreams?

We can get that back!

We can focus on the many people who are doing exactly what we want to do. We can choose to banish quitting from our options. We can choose to fight through fatigue and view it as a sign of progress, not a reason to quit.

We can declare with childlike faith and determination that we will keep pushing, that we will embrace exhaustion, that we will look to others who have done what we want to accomplish, and that we will never, never, never quit, never give up, and never be average.

What have you been tempted to give up on but have fought through or are fighting through?

Complete this sentence: No matter what, I will ___________________________.

10 thoughts on “Childlike Persistence

  1. Todd Liles says:

    Be a great husband and father.

  2. Jon Stolpe says:

    No matter what, I will find time to exercise each week.

    1. Dan Black says:

      I’m still working on that area Jon. It’s an important area.

      1. Jon Stolpe says:

        Yes, it is, Dan. I’ve learned over an over again that my life easily gets off balance when I don’t exercise.

  3. Wade Thorson says:

    Going with your last blog of Thank You Note Thursday,
    No Matter what, I will send out Thank You notes every Thursday. I started this while ago when I first heard about it, and then stopped quickly. I always tell myself to start up again, but I am still crawling.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      That is a good one Wade! No matter what!

  4. Dan Black says:

    Great illustration and points. I have a 13 month old son so this post hit home for me.

    At time I have been tempted to stop writing and blogging. Whenever I do consider it I always get some type of positive feedback or someone tells me how much I impacted and helped them through the words I wrote. Hearing I have added value to someone always inspires me to keep persevering.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      I am with you there Dan.

      Knowing what has happened with @jonstolpe:disqus and many others (some publicly and more privately) inspires me.

      I recently got a thank you note in the mail that means I am never stopping this. Even if I only impact 10 people through this, it’s 10 more than I will impact NOT doing it.

      1. Dan Black says:

        Great perspective man. I try and remember it’s not about the numbers but how many people I’m positively impacting. I have a lot of people who inspire me through their gifted writing ability.

      2. Jon Stolpe says:

        Thanks for the mention. It’s encouraging to know that a simple note can have such an impact.

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