I’ve always thought of myself as a person possessing a great amount of perseverance…being able to work at something long enough to master it. Persistence, on the other hand, has been a word I’ve associated with nagging willfulness. I haven’t given it the same high marks as perseverance. Given that the past couple of week we’ve been studying persistence in MKMMA, I thought I’d look into the differences and similarities of the two and see what I could come up with.
According to Virtues Project Reflections Cards perseverance is defined as [bold added]…
“The will to carry on. Once we discern our true direction, we stay the course for however long it takes, regardless of obstacles that arise. When creativity inspires us, we do the work required to bring it to fruition. We patiently pursue our goals, remaining steadfast and focused. We persist with a task until it is completed. People can trust us to finish what we start. When our relationships are tested, we have the commitment to work things through. We are determined to succeed.”
WOW! That describes and defines the MKMMA intention exactly! So what then is persistence?
We learned in week 13 that persistence is not a character trait but actually the indoctrination (hard work) of four simple habits into our way of being…
DMP – Defining a direction and life’s purpose. You first need to know the path you wish to pursue or all your efforts will be lost in the shiny penny syndrome…chasing someone else’s dream.
PMA – Practicing daily habits that lead to your life’s purpose. Rendering continuous action without excuses. This to me is the heart and soul of persistence. It is the daily action of taking the next step, without letting excuses derail our decision to follow through.
POA – Service = love = growth. Defined as…putting into action a continuous life-long pursuit of service-oriented actions that inspire others and contribute to planet well-being. The by-product of these actions is spiritual growth, wealth, and happiness.
MMA – Master minding with like-minded individuals on a regular basis. To me this means to associate with those who recognize greatness and acknowledge it in themselves and others. It is also being around people who push you to excel.
I recently watched the movie “Wild”, a true story of a woman named Cheryl Strayed (played by one of my favorite actresses Reese Witherspoon). She makes all the wrong choices after her mother, and best friend, dies suddenly of a fatal disease. She is lost, lonely, and takes out her anger in ways that are harmful spiritually, emotionally, and physically. In her quest to find herself she decides to solo hike the Pacific Crest Trail. A 1,100-mile trek that changes her DNA forever.
The lesson in this movie is the purposeful pursuit to find herself one step at a time. She did not give up…even when fellow trail mates did. She pushed forward, single and a woman in the wild in compromising situations. She relied on her mother’s memory and ideals to keep her on a steady path through rain, snow, dehydration, inadequate gear, and many more trail mishaps.
I believe this movie demonstrates Cheryl’s persistence and perseverance. I was inspired to keep going towards my dreams even though I feel inadequate at times and don’t know how I will get there. What I do know is that one step forward and then another and then another will eventually get me there.
Being in MKMMA is teaching me the true meaning of persistence. To wake up, exercise, eat right, meditate, give service, etc. Every day…without excuses. It takes discipline to be persistent. It takes perseverance, hard work, and 1,000+ mile trail to realize your dreams.
Keep going…persevere in persistence.
“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ~ Ella Fitzgerald