Friday, July 30, 2010

Things moving too slowly for ya?

The other night at dinner we were talking about favorite activities when we had a "from the mouth of babes" moment. For the sake of context - my daughters are on a club swim team. The younger (almost 7) likes to tease us about how she doesn't like swimming, then we see her best Jack O' Lantern smile when she's at practice. So, we ask about the her favorite activities during this dinner conversation and she says her usual "I don't like swimming." I repeated back, "You don't like swimming!" to which she responded, "But I'm persevering."

She's persevering. Thank you Mr. Matthews (her first grade teacher.) I heard your voice in that statement. Thank you for teaching the idea that there are things that don't come quickly or easily. It takes a continuous effort, sometimes without any visible sign of progress, until - Bam! There's your improved result.

Once the breakthrough occurs it looks like it was instant, like the proverbial overnight success, but victory was not automatic. It took try after try, practice, gnashed teeth sometimes, tight stomach - but the continous application of energy, reinforced by purpose, won the day.

How many times do you try to learn to tie your shoes until you get it down? How often do you start (or restart) a self-improvement program before you transform what you have been into what you want to be? How many obstacles do you count and surmount before you reach the prize?

Even the snail is going to get there. It might take some time (and a little slime) but the snail perseveres until it reaches its destination. Water droplets expand a tiny crack in a rock over time, and eventually a plant grows there. Things happen when you apply action to the outcome you desire. But it's not part of the deal that it will be accomplished in your timeframe. It's not only about you.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "If you think you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Persevere.