Persistence and Perseverance: Are you prepared to go the distance?

Mount Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, is tremendously difficult to climb. Those who try and attempt it must carry only the bare essentials.

One man who climbed this peak started off carrying what he thought to be his “bare essentials”: notebooks, wine, delicacies, his favorite ball cap, a colorful blanket and his camera. As he climbed these “essentials” became a burden on his journey and one by one he had to relinquish these items along the way. He finally reached the top, his destination, but only after giving up those things that he thought were essential but truly were not. His interpretation of “essential” had drastically changed.

When we start out on our journey of life sometimes we think certain lifestyles, records of our accomplishments, prestigious positions and titles, the opinions of others and even the acquiring of “things” are important. But as we grow older and more mature we begin to realize what really is important. But instead, and hopefully, we realize that it’s not about those things at all.

Many people, realizing the cumbersomeness of their “essentials,” decide to forego the peak and settle for a lesser place where they can become comfortable with their plans and their accessories. But as the man in the story continued to pursue “the end result” and persevered, so must we be willing to drop those things that really don’t matter to fully accomplish that which is set before us.

There are times when I feel like abandoning my mission. Times when I feel I can’t go one more mile. Times I don’t feel like I have the time, energy and discipline to continue. Nevertheless, I choose to press on. I choose to forgo some of the “essentials” and personal pleasures to finish my climb and reach the top. And then I realize how unimportant those other things really were.

Let’s face it: Life is often NOT what we signed up for or what we thought would happen but simply “accepting those things we cannot change” and deciding to go the distance changes our mindset and keeps us on track.

Often, it is simply the discipline of persistence that makes the difference.

I remember hearing this song from Michael Bolton from the movie “Hercules” that has become one of my favorites. It’s entitled “Going the Distance.” I hope it will encourage you as it does me.

About Sue Salach

Sue has a Master's degree in Gerontology and has worked with the elderly and their families for over 30 years and is the Author of "Along Comes Grandpa", a caregiving resource guide, and the novel "If I Walked in Her Shoes". As an ElderCare Expert and Keynote Speaker, Sue employs her comprehensive experience and passion, to educate and promote self-care values to family caregivers and the community at large.
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