A few weeks ago, a friend messaged me. I had not heard from them in months since leaving the department we both worked. They let me know they had failed an exam that was necessary to moving to the next level of their career. They were upset to say the least and I knew what was also going through their mind. I did not have to even ask. Was their health condition holding them back in being able to remember the material to pass the exam. I knew that was the question and more than likely the root of their anger more than the exam. They reached out because they knew I would listen. They also knew I understood the brain fatigue that can happen with an incurable illness. We understood our commonalities without having to voice them. I told them that not everyone passes the exam the first time. Step back. Reflect. Study. Do not give up.
I reached out to them again the other day to check on how they were doing. They immediately messaged back to let me know they passed the exam. They knew more than what they thought they did was their response. I told them that I knew they would pass the test and that I was proud of them.
Perseverance, a supreme effort
I have not always been a good listener. Listening can take perseverance even listening to ourselves.
Endurance vs Perseverance
Everyone can endure when tested, but not everyone can persevere. Endurance is not a choice. Perseverance is supreme effort. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance is letting go of the fear of failing while endurance is hanging on to what we are currently doing.
Is the goal worth the perseverance?
I have learned in my own experiences that there is no shame in enduring and persevering does not always make a winner. The stepping back for 24 hours, a few weeks or years to reflect is a critical step in the process of achievement of any goal. The adage, timing is everything is only the half of it. Just like another truth – we cannot conclusively time the market. If we could do that then we would all be rich. The point is we know more than we think we do, but we do not always execute at the right time.
Is the grass greener, the air more refreshing, the sky bluer on the other side?
I am not advocating procrastination, wringing of the hands, and wondering whether to move here or there, do this or that. It is about evaluating risk.
Step back – ask the question why? Why do I want …?
Reflect – ask the question what? What happens after …?
Study – ask the question when? When is the right time or ever for…?
How to pass the test is letting go of the fear to hear the answers. Harmony in mind, body, and spirit may be in the enduring or in the persevering. We know more than what we think we do. We just have to trust our answers.
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