Perseverance: Sometimes “Winning” is just “Not Quitting”

Sometimes it is just facing the direction you need to go and taking one more step.

Sometimes it is just standing back up…again.

Sometimes it is just knowing you will stand up again;. or knowing you will attempt to.

When you face a tough season it is easy to think “When I get through this things will be better.” How you react when one serious blow is replaced by another and then another and then another is the key.

Hoping, Praying for relief, rescue and resolution can be destructive when relief, rescue or redemption don’t show up in a form you recognize.

Studies of Prisoners of War seem to show that those who pinned their hope on intervention or external events to end their suffering through peace talks, rescue missions or escape attempts suffered the most psychologically when events eventually “didn’t pan out” the way they hoped.

Prisoners who were determined to “survive, no matter what” weathered the storm better. While they worked for better outcomes and situations, maintained a positive outlook and strove to improve or maintain their condition; they did not rely on external forces to determine their fate. They “Embraced the suck”. they did not like it, but realized they did not need to. They took on the attitude that “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional”.

It is not enough to tell yourself (or your team) that “things will get better”. Focusing on surviving the moment and preparing for the next storm seems to enable survival better than hoping for relief. This is especially true when you find yourself in an environment when challenges roll in one after another and sometimes pile on top of each other.

Like it often does in life.

This is another reason it is more important to know how far you have come than to focus on how far you have to go.

See you on the mat.

What goes Down, Must Come up (sometimes)

Recently, in a great post on the Leadership Freak Blog ,Dan Rockwell shared: Leadership’s Most Neglected Virtue

As a Martial Arts instructor, Loyalty is a subtext that revolves frequently around Students and Instructors (especially as they advance). As a business owner, I see it time and again revolving through business relationships (especially as they “become comfortable”)

Loyalty, Like Respect is earned from receptive individuals and (when present) can flow, like Water from leaders to those receptive folks. And, Like Water, can build a reservoir which, when subjected to pressure (challenging circumstances or abundant supply), can, like an Artesian Well, spring forth; sharing it with others, nourishing the entire organization.

Like Respect and Love, Loyalty is earned by investments in the relationship…by the leader (who is that again?).

So…How does one do this? Like a handful of seeds, one cannot usually determine a viable seed (receptive individual) from from a non-viable one. Therefore, as a matter of habit, one invests in team members.

Unfortunately, like the Biblical “Parable of the Sower”, Seeds land in different places (individuals are products of their upbringing) developing differently before one has the opportunity to work together. One may also neglect “the field”, depriving it of nourishment leaving the organization to suffer; withering as a crop deprived of water.

Fortunately, unlike the aforementioned parable (after all, it’s not “the parable of the transplanter”), one gets to place these sprouts in a prepared field (organizational culture) where those individuals with an adequate “root structure” can thrive and grow.

Properly (and persistently) tended, loyalty shown “in the field” can be returned by the internally planted leaders, instilling the cultural element of Loyalty to the entire organization.