On Perseverance

There are steps you take when you have the thought of eating a homemade meal, and when it happens. You comb through your pantry and refrigerator and make a list of items you need. Then you drive up to the supermarket and grab a cart. You pick up your groceries, one by one, as dictated by the list you made earlier that day. Then you stand in line, while you go through your social media apps and emails in a matter of seconds. After promptly paying for what is in your cart, you drive back home and place everything neatly in its right place.

The recipe is readily available online for you to follow along. In less than an hour, you are eating a healthy meal. Before you take the first bite though, someone else chewed it up for you. Someone else made your dish a thousand times until they created the perfect balance of flavours to put in a recipe. The ingredients were raised, killed, snapped off the ground and packaged for your convenience. The banks figured out a way for you to have credit cards in your pockets. Teams of engineers got together for countless sleepless nights to produce your car. Oil was taken out of the ground so that you could go faster. The city paved the roads and provided electricity so that the food does not spoil.

Furthermore, an indication of your progress lit your way from idea to meal. The green traffic lights. The big signs on the supermarket aisles. The total illuminated price at the checkout counter. All an indication that the goal was at reach. Then the oven lets you know the temperature was right, and 30 minutes later, the timer let you know that it was time to plate your dish.

On your way to your desired life, there are no such indications. It is quite easy to wake up one morning with full motivation and finish the day back at square zero. Being in an entitled society, we abandon any action that does not produce an immediate result or reward. 

It is easier to maintain a job where your pyramid father gives you orders on your most productive eight hours of your day. Conformity is the weighted blanket of closeted depressives. Why change the status quo, if it allows us to buy the next subscription or video game? The answer: because of the feeling you get when your favorite artist gets their reverence from the emotional crowd. The grumbling on your stomach as you drive by the “rich” part of town and your wife gives out a squeal when you drive by their houses. Because deep down inside, we are all Michael Jordans, but only a small few work at it every day until it becomes a reality.

That is the secret path to success every single person talks about when they answer questions about their life. They never gave up, even when it seemed all was lost. They knew inside of them that there was no plan B. If you are a writer, the first time you become published is not an indicator that you are on the right track, but a sign that you passed the test of time. You stuck around long enough to put in your 10,000 hours and become an expert. You took the hundreds of rejections as a challenge, and not as an excuse to turn back around. 

The actor John Krasinski (Jim from The Office, director of A Quiet Place) has the perfect anecdote to prove my point. He tells the story of him trying to make it as an actor. For two and a half years, he was going to auditions and attempting to make it. Two and a half years of not getting the recognition he was seeking. Just as he was about to call it quits, he got his breakthrough role in The Office.

If you are venturing into something new, let me tell you right now, you are not good at it. At least not as good as the competition. To be great is to be disciplined. The test of time is something we must all pass if we want the pot of gold at the other side. Most people get distracted by the various gold chocolates lying on the floor. 

I don’t know who will read this, or what you are trying to do with your life. But if you love it, stick with it.

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