Go the Extra Mile: Optimism & Perseverance

“Success or failure … treat those two impostors the same.”

I don’t know who is responsible for that quotation, but it is one of my favourites. I found it especially useful when coaching. But … what is the “same“ treatment? It’s optimism.

The power of positive thinking has been extolled for centuries.
Whenever your child believes the chances of achieving his or her goals appear doubtful make sure you focus on the positives.

A positive and optimistic attitude is an asset to yourself and others; anything else is a burden to yourself and others. The optimistic child:

  • sees and focuses on the good in all situations, actions, and events;
  • at worst, looks for the most favourable viewpoint when confronted with negative situations, actions, and events;
  • anticipates the best possible outcome, even when things look dark;
  • is always hopeful;
  • does not waste time and effort on self-pity, complaining or blaming; and
  • considers mistakes as learning opportunities, a chance to become even better.

When your child looks at the road ahead and it looks bumpy and full of difficult challenges, or at the road behind and its failures, mistakes and lack of success, make sure you encourage him or her to keep trying.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela

When things are too easy, the sense of accomplishment wanes in comparison to when we have persevered and overcome huge obstacles. The persevering and persistent child:

  • is determined and carries on with a plan even when obstacles are encountered;
  • endures resolutely like the best athletes and keeps going when the going gets tough;
  • is diligent and responsible, always applying herself to achieving the goal;
  • does not waste time or procrastinate;
  • is resilient: when knocked down or experiences failure, picks self up to try again;
  • is stubbornly steadfast and persists in spite of counterinfluences, opposition, or discouragement;and
  • does not give up or quit; instead persistently tries and tries again.

Like most other virtues, persistence and perseverance cannot operate for good in the world in isolation from practical intelligence. A person who is merely persistent may be a carping, pestering, irksome annoyance, leaving no salutary effect whatever. But given the right context, occurring in the right combination with other virtues, perseverance is an essential ingredient in human progress.

This entry was posted in character, parenting, virtue and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Go the Extra Mile: Optimism & Perseverance

  1. Pingback: Leadership Thought #224 – Anything Is Possible « Ed Robinson's Blog

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