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I am reminded of the role of tenacity this week.
Many kinds of dogged persistence crossed my path. In my business, I worked with several clients working through tough business problems. Despite the distraction of the holiday season, each is determined to make headway on each particular challenge. There have been some “stall points” along the way, thanks to old processes colliding with newer, better informed efforts. Nonetheless, each is steadfast in their desire to get the older processes and mindsets either altered to the newer ones, or discard them. This is not easy (particularly when older process are personified and actuated by existing team members who have “always done it that way, and it works kinda OK…”), but the little successes along the way are proving the value of the work, and provide the fuel for the tenacious spirit they display.
In my family, I was privileged to take part in my daughter’s RN (Registered Nurse school) pinning ceremony and graduation banquet. I got to speak with a few of her instructors who remarked on her persistence to succeed during the whole academic process. She had several starts and gaps, thanks to “life.” However, the end result is success and a new, valuable career. I also spoke with a number of other attending parents and significant others….they all had stories of tenacity, about how their newly minted RN had to “keep at it” through some hard times to get to this day.
In my personal life, there are health challenges and the “usual” speed bumps of life. Most of the health challenges are of the sort where you learn to live with and through them. I still feel blessed about my health, regardless of them. Things could be (and used to be…) much worse. Plus, I get to do what I love doing for businesses and others: I get to do good. As to my efforts to be a positive force in my community, I work to balance the hands-on nature of working locally with lending my voice to the voices of others who endeavor to create a safe, inclusive and loving world and nation. The good done is usually incremental and I will likely never seen the results, but that’s not the point…
It is important to balance vision with action. Vision without action is a lot of hot air and magical thinking. Action without vision has no direction and cannot reach the “city on the hill“, sometimes showing up as “SQUIRREL!” in day-to-day life (too easily distracted and no focus…).
Tenacity is a foundational component to a healthy life. There is a level of recognition that has to take place, discerning the difference between resolute goals and lost causes. Still, there is, I believe, a Zen koan about the stream and the rock: the constancy of the stream will wear down the rock in its own gentle way.
Whatever the form your personal and professional persistence takes, note that it is part of your “long game”, and don’t give up.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!