What is perseverance?

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What is perseverance? When put into words, it is the steady persistence in the course of action, often despite obstacles or difficulties. But the real definition of perseverance can’t be put into words. The true meaning of perseverance is a single mother working three jobs to put food on the table for her children, or a wounded, legless human trying to walk again.

When one looks at success, perseverance applies directly. Where would our nation be without determination in war and economic struggles? Perseverance also plays a central part in individual success. Two examples of this would be the stories of major sports figures Lance Armstrong and Michael Jordan.

In 1996, Lance Armstrong, a well known road cyclist, was diagnosed with testicular cancer. His chances of living were poor. But, Armstrong fought and eventually won his battle with cancer. Then, from 1999 to 2005 he won seven straight Tour de Frances, the biggest cycling race all year. This feat was unheard of. When asked about his perseverance Armstrong said, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”

Another inspirational story is that of Michael Jordan. In high school, Jordan failed to start on the varsity team, but he did not let this hold him back. He said later, “If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Using these types of mental thoughts, Jordan transformed himself into arguably the best basketball player of all time.

Perseverance doesn’t just apply to sports; it applies to schoolwork, jobs, and life. I have yet to meet a successful person who has not had to go through toil and strife. Accomplishment and achievement isn’t just thrown into our laps, we have to go get it. This is why perseverance is such an important characteristic of mankind.





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