“There’s light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s NOT an oncoming train!” In life, these words ring true more often than not. Just when it seems like you’re not making any progress, you suddenly look up and there seems to be some hope, some inkling that you’re almost there, that light at the end of the tunnel! What is the light at the end of the tunnel? The end goal. And only you know what that goal looks like.
To me, perseverance is an attitude. If you just commit to completing, running the race, seeing it through, etc., then you have the right attitude and that’s 90% of the battle! And the attitude is all part of achieving the end goal.
Let’s talk a bit about goals though. Goals have a way of changing as we go through life. At first, your goal might be to get rich or live in a certain house or have a certain job/career. As we age, our goals change to more practical things like raising great kids or having enough to live comfortably or building a retirement plan. Finally our goals might be to enjoy life or to be healthy…or to make a difference and leave a legacy. My point is that we should be willing to understand that the original goals we set might not be the real goals we pursue. Think of this. When driving down a highway, we may see a landmark that is our “goal”. We come up with an idea of what it looks like. While the landmark doesn’t change, it’s appearance to us does and our idea of what it looks like changes as we get closer. Get my point? Goals can change as we travel.
If you’ve been working at something for some time that you’re passionate about, that you are committed to, that you truly believe in, then it must be something that is noteworthy or life-changing. And if it is but you don’t think you can carry-on, persevere! You are in it for the long haul!! And you will see that light at the end of the tunnel!
In this economy, as fragile as it is, you could be in that dark tunnel for completely different reasons. You might be out of work, struggling with financial, emotional, physical pain, sickness, or who knows what. Again I say to persevere, aim for the goal. Remember, the goal might not be exactly what you think it is right now. Be willing to embrace a different version of the same goal.
As easy as it is to throw in the towel, that would mean that you gave up. And that is the easy way out. Yet we know that when we come out the other side of whatever difficulties we endure, we come out stronger, smarter, and better than ever!
There’s a friend of mine that, over a year ago, was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and was given 3-5 months. Could he have just given up? Yes. God knows I probably would have! But, he didn’t. He took the attitude that he doesn’t have cancer, the cancer has him. He set goals for himself. He made commitments to complete projects and tasks. And now, over a year later, he is still waging the battle. His chemo was changed, his meds were re-formulated. And it’s all working. Some of the spots where the cancer has spread to have all but disappeared. His doctors are amazed. He is persevering! While his goal was to get cured, it changed to live the best life he could while he has it. Which goal do you think was better??
Run the race with all you’ve got with your eye on the prize. The appearance may change, but it is a prize…YOUR goal!!