Perseverance – continuous growth through challenges
Take a close look at the center of the picture. Notice the trees that are growing on the rock? How can a tree successfully find footing on solid rock and actually thrive too? To me this is the perfect analogy to our own lives and how we are always invited to ponder the question how far we can and perhaps have to push ourselves. Just because life throws challenges at us, does not mean it is impossible. Think about it. How many challenges during your life’s journey have you not been able to master in some way shape or form? We are made to grow with our challenges. Sometimes, it is the challenges that actually made us the better for it in the long run.
“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Marie Curie
The very first time my body and mind had been challenged beyond what I thought my mind and body could handle was during my stint at the German Army. Back then young men were drafted to serve their country in the military or also in other non-military functions. During the first three months we needed to go through boot camp. That meant many forced marches with full gear and at times lasting for more than half marathon distances. When comrades could no longer go on, we had to carry them and their gear. I sustained many a blister and not to burden my friends, I kept on going. During athletic exercises I sometimes thought that my lung would come through my throat. Jumping, push-ups, crawling, running, walking – you name it and we did this in any weather that you could imagine.
Pain, lack of sleep and constant drilling by the superiors continually stretched my mind to the maximum and just when I thought it could not get any worse it usually did. After a while my brain realized that this state of being could not only be endured, it was actually a sustainable process. There was an externally influenced push and the mind and body adapted. The amount of adaptability and flexibility still amazes me to this day.
Do not relent. Be like the tree and dig in your roots as deep and best as you can. Perseverance does pay off. It anchors you for any storm that may come.