Posts Tagged 'persistence'

Brew Grit


Times get tough.

Daunting challenges bring forth the essence of our character.

Impossible odds force us to ask ourselves very serious questions about our beliefs, habits and commitment.

One could argue these situations arise to test our will, to answer a simple question:

Can we keep our eyes on the prize?

The expression of deep truth requires focus, tenacity and determination. The pursuit is long and arduous, each phase of the journey is replete with obstacles. Effort and energy must be expended in preparation, let alone in overcoming the roadblocks themselves.

The ability to persevere is, at times, all we taste of victory.

Demonstrating persistence and drive — if only to ourselves — prepares us for the slings and arrows we’ll face upon reaching our destination. We must fight tooth and nail to the end, it is the only way we can be sure to value what we have gained. It’s fair to say that, without a struggle, we could hardly be trusted with such a responsibility.

To have what we desire, we have to battle through.

Sometimes it demands quiet resolve.

Other occasions beg for seething discontent.

Either way, we can give up or brew grit.


The Monk’s Prayer


“Joy cometh in the morning.”


Persistence moves mountains.

Walking around Yosemite Valley, one grasps the power of consistency. Throughout the park, water moves along with quiet insistence on having its way. Snowmelt becomes the streams and waterfalls shaping future magnificence with tiny, constant force.

Pushing on is a requirement to create a masterpiece.

Battles are won by inches over miles, both within and without.

It’s not easy.

I struggle with it all the time.

It took me more than two years–and more heartache than I care to mention–to engineer a move into new surroundings.

I’ve toiled.

I’ve cried.

I’ve shaken my fists at the sky.

My heart was relentless when my brain was fed up.

I just knew.

The smallest details intrigue me. I welcome the kiss of a cool ocean breeze and stare with gratitude at the trees stretching into the sky above.

Along challenging roads and through desperate hours, I have dreamed of a time I would call this place home.

I strained.

I pushed.

I clawed the ground with my fingernails.

I can’t believe I made it so far.

“Joy cometh in the morning.”

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalm 30:5, King James Version

The most challenging book I’ve ever completed is Zen and the Brain by neurologist James H. Austin, MD. As a meditator and student of neurophysiology interested in religious practices of all kinds, I turned every last one of the 697 pages of text. I sought to really grasp the mechanisms underlying my experiences in quiet concentration.

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you: I read an entire medical-level textbook.

Yes, I am a nerd.

My curiosity about many things extends far below the surface, as I prefer to grasp deeper concepts in the event I encounter a discussion on a topic. I’ve always strived to provide educated opinions when asked and this is why I continue to learn the varied subjects of history, philosophy, physics and anatomy.

I believe exposing the links between these disparate disciplines shines a spotlight on universal truth.

As such, this piece of Scripture came to mind when composing the two-part series I posted earlier this week. You see, down through the ages and all across the spectrum of faith, people have found deep pain precedes bright happiness.

On the road to triumph, everyone encounters life-altering low moments.

St. John of the Cross found people passed “a dark night of the soul” when reaching for the fullness of communion with God. In Buddhism, a similar unsettled mental and physical state arises before aspirants break through into the first dalliance with enlightenment. When the struggle between “have been” and “wishing to be” nears overwhelming proportions, how can you keep going?

Clinging to the value of your life spurs you onward.

Steady belief in your purpose is the driving force on winding roads through dangerous valleys. Your capacity to maintain–or impose, when necessary–a state of easy calm while enduring blinding blackness promotes the realization of your dreams. Focused certainty when faced with crushing trials and unending tribulations is the highest form of belief.

And only conviction can warm your heart until rejoicing sunshine kisses your face again.


Looking at Life from the Threshold of Death

Staring Death in the Face

The Power of Nothing

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