My entire year of 12th grade was excited about my upcoming independence. Graduating high school meant that I was a full-fledged adult. I was of legal age and completed my education requirements.
I would finally be in a place where I could begin to be my own person, take control of my life.
It might be the result of my zodiac sign (I'm an Aquarius) or my upbringing but independence was important to me.
Being able to do things on my own was my ultimate goal. I didn't want to be an adult who leaned on mom and dad. I wanted to be the kind that could help them later, if they needed it.
After graduation I purchased my first car. I had some money that I saved up from working and financed the rest. Now, you might be thinking a car loan is a little heavy for a teenager. But maybe it didn't sink in yet, I was an adult.
I didn't want to get some $500 clunker because my employer was very strict about missing work and being late. I needed something reliable, not something I would end up restoring.
Plus, I wanted to be self-sufficient not a self-taught mechanic or relying on friends and family to pick me up from the side of the highway.
For a while everything was great. I had the car I wanted, gaining the independence I needed and was saving money.
After about a year and half of that, my job restructured some things at work which affected my hours. This would impact how much money I made and my ability to support myself.
Thankfully, this announcement was made with advance notice and I was financially savvy enough to put some money away. I had a bit of time to figure things out and a safety net.
Even though I enjoyed my job, with the change I had to find a replacement. I was in college full time so I didn't see how a second job would fit in.
After looking for a while, the change taking affect and not finding anything suitable, I started to panic a little. I was afraid I was going to run through my savings and then lose everything I had earned so far.
I even started think about Plan B's, like asking my family for help, but I wanted that to be my last resort.
It came to the point where I almost wanted to give up. Just throw my hands in the air, quit my job (since it was pretty much pointless now) and allow myself to become one of those kids who never leaves home. My vision of independence was getting cloudy.
But How Do You Stay in the Game
Everyone experiences setbacks. No road to success has been evenly paved. I could either use this opportunity to throw everything away or recalculate my route.
I decided this would be a stepping stone. It would be the contributing factor to my comeback story. That's when perseverance kicked in.
I was determined to make this work. To prove people wrong (some thought I couldn't handle the small loan), even though it wasn't about them. For the first time as an adult I was about to see what I was made of.
Independence is a part of my lifelong dream. It's the common thread in all of my goals. I wanted it bad and if I couldn't overcome this little snafu, how would the rest of my life play out?
Then I began to think, when I signed the loan documents I agreed to pay for a number of years to clear my debt. But did I really see myself working at that job the entire time? No. I always imagined I'd move on.
So maybe this whole thing really wasn't a paralyzing setback but a reminder that I was becoming complacent, that I needed to take action to continue living my destiny.
Perseverance fueled the motivation I needed to stay on track. I knew what I wanted, but up to that point I didn't know how to keep going.
P + M = Success
There are going to come times throughout your life when you find it hard to get going. It'll seem like getting motivated just isn't possible. You'll want what you're working toward, but you just can't get your head in the game.
But if you persevere, push thru the obstacles, you'll hit another achievement and the feeling of motivation will come naturally.
In addition to obvious setbacks, not feeling like doing it is an obstacle itself. Overcoming that is an achievement you should recognize.
But if you didn’t accomplish that you wouldn’t have come as far as you did. You wouldn't be that much closer. So acknowledge it and appreciate it.
It's like a car, perseverance fuels motivation which ignites action and gets your engine up and running towards your goals.
Getting things going can get difficult but there are ways to handle it. Here are a few ways to develop your perseverance and encourage motivation:
- Reflect on where you started and where you are now. Acknowledge how far you've come.
- Jot down the achievements and obstacles you've overcome in a notebook. Even make notes of how you succeeded, it could be useful later.
- Keep going, shake off any fear and think about the setbacks you've lived through.
- Accept that mistakes happen, they don't equal failure but they do require attention for success.
- Be sure to engage with supportive and motivating people.
- Review your dreams and goals. Create a clear picture of your desired outcome.
Reviewing your goals and achievements keeps you connected to the journey. It reminds you of why you're going it and that you can do it. This makes it harder to give up because you know you can get it done.
And Just Like That It Was Over
Shortly after discovering and exercising perseverance, I found a new job. One that paid more and offered more hours, all before putting a dent in my savings. I was relieved to say the least. I didn't have to ask anyone for help.
In fact, the issue was so short lived nearly no one knew about it. It seemed like a lifetime in my mind, from the old job restructure to the new job, but only a short time of dipping into my savings.
But most importantly, again, I did it myself. My independence was restored and success was achieved.
Your imagination is no bigger than your ability. If you can dream it you can achieve it. Even if you don't see it now, if you want it bad enough, you'll figure out a way.
And the same goes for life's obstacles, it might take some creative engineering but you can come up with a way to get around it if you just persevere.
That simple trait is more impactful than any skill. After all, any skill can be learned, a trait is indicative of the type of person you are.
When you put your mind and actions in alignment with success, it becomes the only option. And any goal can become your reality.
What obstacles have you overcome to achieve something? How did you persevere?