“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
– John Quincy Adams
Ever notice that sometimes when you are about to give up – when you’ve tried too hard or too long and the obstacles seem too great, when you just don’t have it in you to keep going – as if by magic, you have a breakthrough. I see this in my own life, when the prospects with whom I have been following up with for years finally bring us in for a project. I witness it in the lives of my clients, when the proposal they’ve put before their boss, which has seemingly disappeared, is brought back as a topic of discussion…and then funded. I notice it in the life of my son, who has literally cried his way through homework because handwriting is so difficult for him, and then one day he found himself easily putting pencil to paper and capturing his thoughts without struggling. In each one of these instances, frustration has been high and we’ve all been at the “breaking point,” but when we’ve been patient, when we’ve persevered, it has been magical.
There is a time for realizing, and admitting, that all of our effort may have been for naught. There is a time for admitting retreat, if not defeat, and choosing another goal, or at least another approach. And just as insanity is “doing the same thing and expecting different results,” there is a time when our steadfast adherence to what we want and how we want to get it can appear, at least in some ways, insane.
Yet, there is a time for giving it one more chance, persevering against all odds, and simply being patient. Trusting that it will work out if we just keep showing up and trying. Or at least just showing up. The challenge is to know which of these choices is the “right” one, at least for the moment. The leadership challenge is to walk this fine balance, to be patient and persevere, and to look for the magical results.
Where do you need more patience? More perseverance? How can you get it?
The next time you feel like giving up, give it one more chance instead.
Source: Lisa Kohn of the Chatsworth Consulting Group. Based in New York and Pennsylvania, the Chatsworth Consulting Group helps individuals and organizations articulate and realize their goals. By taking a holistic approach to consulting and coaching, CCG uncovers the often-hidden opportunities for success so that clients move forward with greater focus and purpose. For more information, you can email them.