Perseverance

Egyptian alabaster statuette of Alexander the ...

Perseverance requires us to change our way of looking at failure.  It requires that we adopt a scientific attitude and consider lack of success nothing more than confirmation that we need to look elsewhere and change tack – not that we should give up.

Alexander the Great inherited the throne of Macedonia when he was twenty.  By the time he died, at the age of thirty-two, he had conquered much of what was then considered the civilsed world.

Alexander is considered to be one of the greatest military strategists of all time. He destroyed the Persian empire and travelled with his men as far as modern Pakistan.  If there was one factor that contributed to Alexander’s success – even more than 13 foot lances or the army his father bequeathed him – it was, most definitely, perseverance.

Elephants, sheer rocky hide-outs, massive armies, determined opposition – Alexander faced it all – and more – throughout his campaigns. It took him nearly eight months to conquer the city of Tyre (in modern day Lebanon) – but he succeeded in spite of ingenious and determined opposition from the Tyrians.

Undeterred by failure he kept on going until he achieved his goal – whatever it might be. And while it might be better not to adopt Alexander’s attitude to world domination, we could, nevertheless, learn a lot from his application and his absolute and unwavering perseverance.

I think and think for months and years.  Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false.  The hundreth time I am right.  – Albert Einstein

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2 Comments

  1. I think the problem now, mostly, is not the lack of perseverance, but the lack of an intelligent choice where there seem to be too many good options.

    • I think that’s true and there is definite evidence that the more choices we have the harder it is to choose – but I also think in the modern day Western world we have developed a belief that life should be easy and therefore when we encounter obstacles we mistakenly believe it is always to do with us – e.g. we’ve made a wrong decision, taken a wrong action, lack something or other internally etc – and we give up as we think discomfort is a message that we’re heading in the wrong direction. And of course sometimes it is. Then, as you point out, add a multitude of choices to the belief that life should be easy and it causes a cherry-picking culture that prevents us from mining in that part of ourselves where we seem to come up with the best results. Necessity can’t beget invention if we move on immediately.

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