Persistence has never been my strong suit. I’ve never tried developing the skill or quality of Persistence because I’ve equated it with Stubbornness, a quality that has a negative connotation. But because I haven’t understood the difference between Persistence and Stubbornness, and because I haven’t been goal-oriented, I’ve had mediocre results in most areas of my life. I’ve often wondered why, and have often felt guilty about squandering my time and talents.
Reading Scroll III of Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World has helped me see the positive value of Persistence and why I must develop that skill/quality. The paradigm shift started for me when I read this paragraph in Scroll III:
Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail
I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step
at a time is not too difficult.
The words “one step at a time” brought back a memory from when I lived in the Washington, DC area (1988-1995) and I took the metro to work. Occasionally, the up escalator wasn’t working, and everyone had to walk up what seemed like 100 steps. It wasn’t hard, but it also wasn’t easy. I learned it was easier (for me, at least), if I looked down and watch my feet taking each successive step up rather than to look up and notice how far away my short-term “goal” was. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and eventually I reached the “summit” and the outside world. It was a nice sense of accomplishment with which to start the day.
The new paradigm locked into place when I read the Lillian Whiting quote at the end of the Master Key System Part 10:
When any object or purpose is clearly held in thought,
its precipitation, in tangible and visible form, is merely
a question of time. The vision always precedes and itself
determines the realization.
This explained my consistent mediocre results, and gave me hope for more-satisfying and more-fulfilling results in the future.
I then thought about anyone I’ve seen exhibit the kind of Persistence I want to develop. I immediately thought of Annie Sullivan, the teacher who clearly held in her thoughts the purpose for teaching the manual alphabet to her young blind and deaf student Helen Keller. Annie did not know how long it would take for Helen to understand the connection between the physical objects Helen was touching and the letters Annie was forming in Helen’s hand. But yet Annie persisted. And when Helen’s paradigm shift happened, it was mammoth!
I then thought about the word “precipitation.” It can mean “water that falls to the ground (rain, snow, sleet)” or “to bring about or cause something to happen.” How interesting and “coincidental” that Annie Sullivan’s Persistence precipitated Helen Keller’s awakening, which precipitated the water/tears of joy and relief to stream from Annie’s eyes.
Interesting also that Helen Keller reached into her mother’s skirt pocket for the key to the many locked doors in her house, and gave the key to Annie, as an additional confirmation of the immense value Helen placed on this event in her life.
A clear understanding of words can unlock new worlds. I’m very grateful for persisting thus far with the MKMMA Experience, and can’t imagine finding a better way to spend my time developing Persistence.