There are many qualities that are nice to have: good looks, talent, sense of humor…
Having them certainly makes life more pleasant, and our path forward easier.
But as far as achieving success in reaching our life goals,
there is one quality that trumps them all—
and that is tenacity.
The tenacious individual will overcome all obstacles in their way.
Revive and rebound each time they bite the dust (even when others give up on them.)
Outlast the competition, and ultimately win.
We read stories about people whose tenacity inspires us—
athletes, singers, soldiers, leaders.
The beautiful singer Nightbirde who recently won the golden buzzer
on America’s Got Talent says that during her prior cancer treatment
she kept repeating:
“Don’t you want to see what happens if you don’t give up?”
Who knows what will happen for YOU–if YOU don’t give up!
Are you game to find out, by building your tenacity?
Let’s DO this!
In the trenches
In graduate school, those of us who were “sojourning in the desert”
(as we used to call working on our PhD thesis, also known as a dissertation)
would repeat this saying to each other:
“As long as you don’t quit, you’ll finish.”
Frankly, we felt like zombies.
Ghosts and empties, as Paul Simon calls the people going to Graceland.
But none of us wanted to wear on our foreheads
the dread initials ABD (all but dissertation.)
We all knew a few lifelong ABD’s
and we viewed is it as a sentence worse than death.
Well, it took me eleven years to achieve my PhD, but I finished.
In the midst of those years, I remember one of my fellow sojourners saying to me:
“Deborah, you have the tenacity of a Louisiana snapping turtle.”
What is tenacity?
Tenacity is steel in the mind.
Unbendable ego strength that simply will not allow us to quit.
There is a certain look in the eyes of a tenacious person.
It says: “Don’t bother betting against me.”
The look is a mixture of confidence and bravado.
But it is based in accurate self knowledge.
We get that knowledge by proving to ourselves,
time and time again,
that we will make it through anything and everything
and achieve our goal.
We prove to ourselves that whatever we DECIDE to do, we will do.
The decision is the crucial step
We may have been told that the follow through is the most important thing
in achieving a goal.
It’s the decision.
Without an ironclad decision to achieve that goal, there will BE no follow through.
To develop our tenacity, we must realize that everything depends on
the strength and commitment of the decision itself.
Therefore, it must be a wise decision,
aimed at achieving a worthy and attainable goal.
We carefully make our decision.
But once we have decided, it’s a done deal.
I decided in April 2021 that I was going to race a triathlon that September.
I trained hard six days a week, and September 1st I did it.
Yes, you could say that’s when I achieved my goal.
But that isn’t actually how it works.
I HAD IT WHEN I DECIDED IT.
Everything since that moment flowed naturally.
Once we have made our decision
we don’t even consider the possibility of defeat.
We harbor no pessimism.
We never, ever bet against ourselves.
How it feels to be unstoppable
It is wonderful to know from experience
that even if we take major blows,
we will just spit out the blood, and keep going.
Let others make fools of themselves by betting against us!
We expect things to go well
and we make sure they do.
What goal do you have, that your tenacious self will accomplish?
Write and tell me!