Stay Persistent Stay Hungry
“Keep Going. Your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life. Keep going. Tough situations build strong people in the end.” ― Roy T. Bennett
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this, you haven’t.” ― Thomas Edison
“They key of persistence opens all door closed by resistance.” ― John Di Lemme
Stuff happens but those who are resistant will keep on plodding ahead. Events will always occur in nature but how you choose to react to them determines and shapes your destiny.
I will use examples in this article to highlight what resolve and persistence can do to your life. It brings light to darkness in the worst and most challenging hours. It is the dawn that ends the night. Persistence is a virtue that lifts up souls and is courage as it’s rawest and finest form.
Fire in the Savannah
The normal seasonal weather patterns in Sub Saharan Africa are punctuated by both wet and dry seasons. In the tropics, especially in the countries that lie close to the equator, vegetation grows rapidly. Abundant rainfall coupled with sunshine throughout the year leads to lush vegetation growth.
There comes an interval when the weather turns dry. The vegetation turns from green to brown and becomes tinder dry that is ready to burn. Any small park creates a conflagration of flames and wipes out entire grass lands and all vegetation along the way.
Once these fires are over this leads to the most amazing spectacle in the grasslands, watching the new buds sprout again and their growth cycle begins again. The grasslands turn from black wasteland to lush green pastures in no short time.
The plants and animals in these grasslands display resilience. They survive through the good and bad times. They just keep doing what they were meant to do, keep on growing and persisting through the normal cycle of life. They thrive and survive despite the harshest circumstances presented to them.
If there is one animal on earth that embodies resilience it’s the dreaded and despised cockroach. This small animal is a survivor. It is said that there are few animals that can survive a nuclear blast and holocaust, the cockroach is one of these animals.
A cockroach lives to thrive. It will manage with the smallest of crumbs, hiding places and will strive to survive in the harshest of circumstances. It takes serious fumigation efforts to get rid of these animals once they infest your household or property.
Their attitude and resilience is amazing. They are persistent animals that do not give up the race easily. They multiply rapidly and ensure they give a fighting chance to future generations. I believe these are some of the species that will be eradicated last from the planet Earth if any extinction event were to occur.
The honey badger is another resilient animal. This small animal is the embodiment of the word persistence. This is an animal that raids bees hives to steal honey from bees. The African bee is a very fierce small creature that is avoided at all costs.
It has had to develop this ferocity due to the nature of the enemy it faces each and every day. The honey badger is one of these enemies. This small animal can withstand the severe pain of multiple stings to attain its objective of getting honey from the bees.
It is immune to many toxins, even bites from deadly snakes will not deter this creature. Snakes are also part of its daily menu. It just goes on and on like the advert of the energizer rabbit. Even the top predator, the Lion, in the African plains avoids encounters with this animal.
Its natural attitude and game is tenacity and persistence. It does not understand the word defeat. It’s not in it’s vocabulary. The animal is tenacious and always strives to live another day.
A child is one of the most interesting subjects to watch and learn from in the planet. They are fascinating in their own right. Children don’t give up. They have a never say die attitude that is compelling to see and watch.
Children are the best marketeers in the world. Once they have set their sights on a desire or goal they don’t relinquish this goal or desire until they attain it. They can pester their parents and all immediate relatives to attain this goal.
We usually learn faster when we are younger because we are not embarrassed to fail. We get up, pick ourselves up and go for the prize again and again. We cannot be stopped and do not have the normal baggage adults carry like ego and pride to hamper our efforts
Even though the worst misfortunes befall a child, they are usually the ones who adapt to these misfortunes in record time and get moving. Accident victims who have had devastating injuries that lead to amputations normally give up on life.
Children who suffer these calamities often pick themselves up and carry on with life in the best way they can. I visited a facility for mentally impaired children some time back. The children had smiles and were not at all bothered about the handicaps they faced
This is persistence displayed at its true form and nature
All martial arts proponents are graded from beginner level to the master level. You cannot skip the process of climbing up the rungs or you will get punished along the way.
There are plateaus you will encounter as you climb each rung. This is where persistence pays off the true masters always know they will encounter plateaus and frustration where their ability seems to be moored and stuck.
The key is that they persist until they master that level. They don’t give up easily but keep hammering away until they truly absorb the lessons and can display them in the fighting dojo.
The Greatest Comebacks and Triumphs
Mohammed Ali ‘Rumble in the Jungle’
Cassius Clay also known as Mohammad Ali was one of the greatest boxers who ever lived. One of his greatest fights was the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ played out in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He fought against one of the best heavy weight boxers in the era George Foreman.
This fight captured the world’s attention. Mohammed Ali knew he could not go against George Foreman in a straight slug fest as George Foreman had more knock out and punching ability than he did. He decided to dodge and absorb punishment in the first 6 rounds.
This strategy tired out George Foreman as he had to chase Mohammed Ali all over the ring. When Mohammed Ali sensed that his opponent was weary he then turned the tables on George Foreman. He knocked him out in the later rounds.
Persistence and tenacity saved the fight for Mohammed Ali. He had to endure some of the most brutal punishment he had ever received in his boxing career to see him through to the end. Many pundits claim the injuries he sustained in this famous fight are what led to the decline in his health.
Stanligrad Battle - 2nd World War
Germany and its Axis allies were ascendant in the battle field from 1939 to 1942. The Germans had laid waste and devastation across Europe, Russia and North Africa in this four-year period. The evacuation at Dunkirk was the most humiliating spectacle and episode for the Allies.
The tide turned around for the Allies in 1943 when decisive victories in Stalingrad in Russia and North Africa brought about the beginning of the end of the German Campaign. The Stalingrad Campaign was the most bitter and hard-fought battle in the entire war.
This battle broke the will and morale of the German Army. It was a war of attrition that cost almost 2 million lives at the end of the day. Persistence and tenacity is what saved humanity from the horrors of the Nazi regime.
That battle was fought in true hand combat from room to room, floor to floor, house to house. It still stands out as the most brutal phase of warfare in the second world war. The tenacity of the Russians in this brutal battle was the real turning point in the war.
Nature and these epic events I have highlighted serve to teach us that it’s usually those who are most persistent and tenacious who prevail at the end of the day.
The moral is to never give up. Endure and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life – Daymond John
Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Mastery – George Leonard