Sometimes, I’m amazed at where persistence leads some individuals.
It’s absurd that we think that people just happen upon certain destinations or places in life. As if they lucked their way into where they are. We are more likely to believe in random good fortune bringing them there, rather than persistence and hard work paying off.
From time to time, I think of musicians, especially young ones.
Each day, I listen to my niece and nephew play the same songs over and over again. Though they play the same songs each day. To be frank, it doesn’t always sound good. Some days it sounds rushed. Other days it sounds like they’re just prolonging it because they are not paying attention to where they are in their music sheet. Yet, when the time comes for their test with their teacher or recital in front of so many people their performance sounds like actual music!
I’m impressed each time they play something and it sounds perfect.
Honestly, I am not sure why I’m impressed. Seriously, I see them play every single day. It makes no sense why I should be impressed at their end result. If they played once a week or month, then performed amazingly, then I should be impressed. Instead, each day, they’re playing these songs. Over and over again. I should expect their persistence to bring a great job in the end.
They don’t always want to be persistent. That is most certain. Sometimes they pretend like they don’t know what they’re playing. Other times, they’ll go very slowly because they’re not paying attention to the sheet music and just lost in their imagination. Sometimes, they play at their parent’s persistence. Which is so key!
It is not always our persistence thank pushes us forward, at times its the persistence of others that pulls us forward.
Think of all the people that go to the gym alone. They work hard towards their goals, and when they persist, they achieve them. Now, think of all the people who go to the gym and get a trainer. They gain persistence, from someone keeping them accountable. That persistence helps them achieve their goal. Persistence is like that.
This reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister. I asked her if 10 years ago she foresaw herself being where she is today. Without skipping a beat she plainly said, “Yes.”
I was caught off guard and surprised by her response. Most people cannot predict the future, so I wondered how she could so confidently see herself in this position of life 10 years before it happened.
“How can you say that so matter of factly?” I asked.
“I set goals and I work on them.” She responded in yet another matter-of-fact way.
I’ll admit, between the two of us, she is more straight to the point than I. I have the more flowery speech. After some nudging, she gave an explanation of her thought process.
“I saw myself here because this is where I want to be. I set out a path for myself, my marriage, and my family years ago. I agreed with my husband on where we wanted to be, what we wanted to be doing, and set the goals to get there. I am not surprised we’re here because we were persistent on each and every one of them.”
In more than one way, she has a point. Like I shouldn’t be surprised about my niece and nephew getting better at playing the piano, she should not be surprised at the result of her persistent goal setting.
I don’t think any of us should ever be surprised at the result of someone’s persistence. The place we are all in is from some sort of previous persistence.
The student persistently studying isn’t surprised when they earn good grades. A thief isn’t surprised when they are arrested, they persistently pursued that which wasn’t theirs. The person who takes time to learn about their family and spends time with them isn’t surprised that they are close to their family.
For my personal life, I shouldn’t be surprised that I am understanding more Spanish when I practice everyday. I shouldn’t be surprised when my podcast gains more listeners when I’m constantly posting it online for people to see.
I also shouldn’t be surprised of my knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when I sit down and watch movie after movie twice or even three times.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll be posting my goals for the year. Goals that I believe will take me places.
Goals that will take me to places I want, if I am persistent with them.