Perseverance: the mark of an extraordinary warrior

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-9365086-2-402Perseverance is what turns ordinary people into warriors for change.

It compels regular folks to follow through with their own audacious goals, despite their circumstances or their resources. They become drivers of transformation; resolute in their determination to see something new and better happen.

In some cases, these extraordinary warriors can bear the burden of a generation’s destiny on their backs.

Today we observe the birthday of one such extraordinary warrior. He met fire hoses, billy clubs and vicious dogs with courage, optimism and self-restraint. A college graduate at 19, a Nobel peace prize winner at 35, he succeeded in driving change throughout his short life, enabling the slow transformation of our country.

Dr. King would have been 84 years old on January 15th. Had he lived to see 84 candles atop his birthday cake, he would have lived to see a different country from the one he was born into. Thanks in large part, to his tenacious efforts.

Each year when Dr. King’s birthday comes around, I am reminded that goals are not worth having if they are not challenging. I use it as a day to ask myself the following questions about my goals:

Does this goal matter?

What am I willing to do to see my goal through?

What happens if I fail?

And that last one is usually the one that keeps us from keeping up the fight. But like Dr. King, we must meet each storm with a deep-seeded belief that difficult moments will pass. Perseverance becomes the cloak we wear when the weather gets rough. It shields us from the elements and protects the investment we have made in reaching our goal.

So, I hope you use today to think about Dr. King’s life and all that he accomplished. Despite the conditions around him or his resources, he found the way to overcome as much as was humanly possible. Then I hope you take a look at your goals and what you are willing to do to achieve them.

hang in thereAre you focusing on the right priorities?

Does your level of sacrifice merit the objective you’ve set forth?

Do you have time set aside to regroup emotionally and physically from the toll the goal may be taking on your life?

Hopefully these are all questions that you can answer in the affirmative and with a little luck and a lost of hard work, your perseverance will pay off.

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