When the going gets tough
Have you ever had that feeling like you should have already reached your goal or destination by now? Kind of like the child in the back seat of the car asking, “Are we there yet?”You know how it goes. We set goals or make plans, and we develop this sense of urgency or immediacy and want to see the results before we actually do the work necessary or make the journey. We become impatient and want the changes to happen now.In some cases and with certain types of near-term goals, we may in fact see early results or changes, but in most circumstances we need to exercise patience. And then we need to couple our patience with a committed perseverance. Too often when we do not see immediate results, we tend to quit on ourselves and our dreams. We must remember that the pursuit of a worthy dream or goal requires our complete dedication and willingness to run the full race.There is a delicate balance between patience and perseverance. Some might confuse persistence with aggressiveness, even bordering on obnoxiousness. But if they were to see the deeply committed person behind the endurance and willingness to pursue the goal or dream, they would recognize it as someone dedicated to accomplishment and not just someone with overaggressive or obnoxious behavior.Likewise, some might confuse patience with a lack of effort, disinterest or even maybe laziness. But patience is a virtue and sign of strength and confidence. Patience allows us to recognize that we must stay the course and understand where we are in relation to our goals. Patience is what differentiates between choosing to give up or having the stamina to go the distance. A salesperson or business owner that learns the balance between patience and persistence will win more customers and build deeper customer loyalty every time.Anyone currently in a loving relationship looks back with appreciation on the pursuit of that relationship, knowing both the patience and the perseverance that it took to make it stick in the long run.When it comes to parenting, patience and persistence are two of the most critical character traits that will help us avoid dysfunctional relationships with our children. We must be patient enough to allow them to grow and make mistakes while staying the course when it comes to discipline, instruction, and guidance.It would be so very easy to give in and quit on our kids, especially in this age of entitlement. But if we get the ratio between patience and persistence right, we can survive the parenting years.There is that saying about when the going gets tough, the tough get going. We have to be tough enough to have the strength to be patient. And we have to get going enough to make sure that we persevere in every endeavor, every initiative, and in each and every relationship that is important to us. I would love to hear all about how you deal with patience and perseverance at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will say with absolute certainty that if you can get better at both, it will be a better-than-good week.Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.
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