The Payoff of Persistence

December 4, 2018

The Payoff of Persistence

By: Hina Khan

It all came down to that letter in the mail.

Our boys, ages 8 and 10 at the time, were at overnight camp. Now they weren’t gone for just a week or two. They were staying an entire month. That’s a long time to be away from your family and home. But we knew that they would love it, this being their third time at the camp.

The first few letters from our oldest, Yusef, were enthusiastic missives full of drawings and run downs of games played, friends made and activities done. It was a resounding success…until we got that last letter.

“Come get me. I am so stressed. I hate it here. I don’t care how much money I owe you, just come and get me.” Our hearts sank when we read it.

His next letter clarified things a bit more – he was stressed about his canoeing tests. He felt that they were very strict and he was struggling to hit the marks. He was getting frustrated and it was starting to taint the overall camp experience. And as parents, we wondered what we should do, but we knew deep down that the best thing for him was to stay. And outside of a quick call to the camp to follow up with him, we let it be. It was for the best.

Why We Need The Struggle

It is often said that our greatest breakthroughs happen only after the greatest resistance. When we start to come across some friction or obstacles on the path to our goals, we sometimes default to the feelings of defeat, anxiety and worry. When blocks start to get in the way, whether they be internal or external ones, we sometimes feel like giving up. Sometimes we mistakenly think that the Universe is telling us that it’s not our path, when really it’s our old thoughts and behaviours trying to keep us small and in our comfort zone. In many ways we unconsciously write our own “come get me” letter to ourselves.

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The struggle is where we get the chance to fuel our courage and not our fears. It’s where we buckle down and persist, regardless of the circumstances. It’s where we grow into the ideal version of ourselves. Even if the gains are seemingly small, we persist. As long as we move forward, we are making gains. And through that consistent persistence, we grow the armour of resilience. Napoleon Hill defines persistent as “sustained effort necessary to induce faith”. And we know faith without works is dead.

In the end, we found out later that Yusef did indeed persist through his canoeing, and passed his next two levels after that. He was proud of his accomplishment, and he can’t wait to go back to camp next year. It all comes down to bearing pushing through, especially when things are at their darkest. It’s about trusting the process and building the mental muscle to continue on until we reach our goals.

It’s all about pushing through.


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