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Samuel Butler, Image by Wikipedia

“The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance.” ~ Samuel Butler

Everyone living in this challenging economy knows that now, more than ever, is a time for perseverance. Perseverance is different for each of us, yet its essence is known as we dig deep and push further than we perhaps even believed was possible. Perseverance is a precious quality of character that is common to every successful person I know.

If you’ve ever been told that you could never achieve such-and-such based on your limitations or if your circumstances constrict to the point that you feel that another ounce of pressure will put you over the edge, then you know the starting line for perseverance.

A friend recently forwarded me a story that bolstered my faith in humanity and in the value of the persevering spirit. The first was Maya, a 12 year old girl who was born with congenital band syndrome. Maya was featured on the Rachel Ray Show the day before yesterday. Maya’s left arm did not develop beyond her elbow, though she never lets that stop her physically, mentally or emotionally. She had a limitation but she did not let herself be overcome by it.

Maya’s inspiration was fueled in part by Matt and Amy Roloff’s popular reality show, Little People, Big World. Maya said “They show that they can do what anybody else can do…Just because they’re little doesn’t mean anything, and that inspires me to do what I do.” The Roloffs were also on the show and it was wonderful to see the delight in their eyes as this lovely 12 year old told them how much they had inspired her over the years.

Speaking of limitations, I like to think of them in two broad categories. The first are natural and unavoidable, such as a physical or mental disability, while the second are typically self-generated and avoidable. Most of the limitations people experience fall in the latter category. It’s a sad thing, really, as millions of people suffer under the weight of self-imposed limitations, many of which are simply bad habits that tend to appear when the pressure is on.

Mr. Butler provides four excellent starting points that could easily serve as a guideline for how to respond to pressure. Put simply, they are

  • circumspection
  • deliberation
  • fortitude
  • perseverance

Put these four qualities of character to practice in your life and there will be little room left for the qualities of expression that tend to fill their void:

  • carelessness – “I didn’t mean to”
  • negligence – “I forgot to”
  • cowardice – “I’m afraid to”
  • apathy – “I can’t be bothered to”

Uncommon unpredictability calls for a steadiness and a willingness to go the extra mile to get the job done. Those who do have a better chance of making it through in one piece. Those who don’t are more likely to be torn apart by the winds of a stormy economy. Most limitations are nothing more than an illusion maintained by carelessness, negligence cowardice or apathy. Some are simply the child of ignorance. Whatever their provenance, persevere in bold, thoughtful action and you will surely overcome.

How will you meet what comes your way in the days to come?

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