Saturday, 6 August 2011
Sailing through life
I have often wondered as to how it is that marathoners keep going on for hours just running!!! What keeps them pepped up for the entire journey! While for others even contemplating running for few hundred meters appears to be a daunting task.
After repeated discussions with avid runners on what makes them persevere, the answer appears to be not so much in physical endurance than in mental PERSEVERANCE. In other words, commonly known as grit and self-determination!
From childhood we have heard inspirational stories on people who have overcome all hardships and achieved their dreams in life. The latest movie King is Speech reflected the story of Prince Albert who had a stuttering problem whenever he faced an audience and who went on to overcome his problems with the help of a speech therapist and sheer determination! He suffered setbacks and even gave up after getting frustrated due to repeated failures but still he came around and went on to publicly address Britain and the World as King Henry IV without any speech impediments!
My understanding of perseverance is that it is the ability to steadfastly hold on to one is dreams and not letting go of them regardless of what comes in one is way. Here I am not referring to obstinacy which is just pointless and continuous banging of one is head on the wall and eventually collapsing. Rather, perseverance involves common sense and creativity i.e. the ability to look at other possibilities to help one keep going in the face of roadblocks.
So what can we do to develop this amazing ingredient for success?! Nobody can deny the importance of a positive attitude to help one sail through their low phases. And this attitude develops only through positive self-dialogue and affirmations that one has to constantly make and develop as a habit. There are enough inspirational quotes and stories to fall back on which would help us develop a strong character in the face of adversity.
We can study people around us for inspiration. We have real life examples of people like Mahendra Singh Dhoni to motivate us. He rose from being a humble ticket collector to the most sought after cricketer who brought so much fame to our country. So whenever we falter we just need to pause and look around for such role models, pick ourselves up and just get going!
Let me share some simple techniques, which when practiced can help a long way in developing this key trait:
- Post visual reminders of positive dialogues in your home or office desks
- Break down your goals and reward yourself after achieving each small goal
- Keep patting yourself on your back and push yourself to achieve the next target
- Repeatedly visualize yourself overcoming all the obstacles, reaching the target and experiencing the joys of success
Be aware of these negatives, which may break you apart:
- Avoid self blame and stop wallowing in self pity as this would pull you down further
- Procrastination is another evil that can interfere with your determination, hence be cautious about not postponing the important priorities in life
Right from sustaining a marriage to adopting a healthy lifestyle, perseverance plays a great role in keeping our life going. It is required to maintain positive health behaviors and to diligently follow an active lifestyle which should be based on healthy eating habits, regular exercise and a positive mental attitude. The repercussion of not pursuing the same eventually leads to sickness of the body and mind and impairs the quality of one is life.
Hence get going and keep in mind this quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt - When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.