Persistence, the Daughter of Success!
Each week I get a great e-letter from Rob Hatch, partner with Chris Brogan at Owner Media. This week was exceptional and got me to thinking about the importance of persistence and perseverance in achieving what we are most passionate about. Whether the passion is personal, professional or spiritual.
Rob wrote about his admiration for young people and gave a number of examples from those he knows, including his own. Each of the youth he highlighted were pursuing their passions with vigor and accomplishing extraordinary things given their young age.
What struck me was the perseverance and persistence displayed as they sought to make each step of the journey count toward their ultimate life goals. It reminded me of another young person with whom I’m intimately acquainted.
“I Want To Be A Veterinarian!”
I can’t remember a time when my oldest biological granddaughter did not want to be a vet. She had numerous pets and adored each one from the time she could toddle. Many young people change their minds about a life pursuit as they grow older; but not our Jessica. She wanted to be a veterinarian and nothing would dissuade her.
High school years behind her, she set out to become a veterinarian. We all knew it was a grueling grind, but also knew her tenacity. Born in the middle of the night by emergency C-section and not breathing upon exit from her Momma’s womb, Jessica was a fighter. She rarely took no for an answer, moved all the color cards the 1st week of first grade because of her sociability and drove her parents to distraction with her precocious ways. It was a God-send when I suggested she be tested which resulted in a move to gifted classes for elementary students of the same ‘stripe’ as my granddaughter! She loved to talk and socialize whether in class or out!
I Will Be A Veterinarian!!!
Bachelor of Science under her belt, the next logical step was Vet school. That is unless the powers that be for vet school think you need something else. And they did. It seemed Jessica needed a Master’s Degree which would surely result in admittance to vet school once the MS was in her hands.
A year later, Jessica graduated with honors from a 2-year Master’s program completed in just 12 months. Surely now vet school was in her sights. She could smell it and taste it! However. . .
Will I Ever Be A Veterinarian?
It seemed a 2 year program completed in just 12 months with honor cords on her gown was still not enough for the PU College of Veterinary Medicine powers-that-be. No, Ms. Jessica had to have work experience. At least a year of work experience in a related field is what the folks said. The disappointment was palpable. And I suspect anger lurked just below the surface. But notwithstanding disappointment and anger, Jessica went to work in a related field and toughed it out for a year while wondering if her dream of being a veterinarian would come to pass. . .
May, 2018 ~ I Am A Veterinarian!
Four years earlier, granddaughter was admitted to the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine In fact, she was one of the first state candidates to be admitted which in itself was a fait accompli.
Each year, she inched closer to the fulfillment of her dream. There was the white coat ceremony. Then came graduation and the hooding ceremony. I watched online and the tears flowed as my granddaughter became Dr. Jessica Squires, Veterinarian!
The rest of the story is still being written, but she practices in a multi-location clinic group in Indianapolis and slowly recognizes folks want to talk to her when they ask for “Dr. Squires”!
Success is About Grit and Grind. . .
I share Jessica’s story because without a fierce determination to pursue the passion with which I believe she was born to fulfill; May 2018 would not have come. Dr. Squires would be known by another name and the passion she so desired to fulfill would have died on the vine.
Perhaps it was the critical nature of her birth and the fight to breathe after hours of attempting to break free from 9 months of confinement. Whatever, it festered with disappointment but never failed to reignite when the goal appeared at the top of the rise in the road.
How many of us would be willing to pursue our dreams when those who held it in their hands pushed us off time and time again? I’m not sure I would have been so willing. Do we really think God promised us a rose garden when thorns adorn our way? Would I continue to put one foot in front of the other when I’d been doing so month after month after month; and the end was nowhere in sight. . .?
Persistence, Perseverance and Patience. . .
Persistence, perseverance and patience are the triumphant threesome. Without them we will never reach the destination we desire. We will wander in the fields of futility and wonder why success eludes us. Is it wearying? Absolutely! Is it worth it? Absolutely, in spades!
No one can give us patience (and don’t dare pray for it as you won’t like the answer). No one can open our gullet and pour in persistence and perseverance. But we can follow a few rules that will help us hold on when the road to our dreams is strewn with obstacles, challenges and set backs not of our own design.
And that my dear friends, will be the subject of next week’s Friday post. So be patient. And while the week wears on, persist and persevere in applying grit and grind to the path you’ve chosen to pursue!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
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