Hard Work and Perseverance

One mistake people often make is estimating how long it will take to get something done.  Have you ever misjudged the time required to build a house, save enough for a car, achieve a goal at work, or even educate your own children?
Of course, some people look at the time they think it will take to achieve something and they feel overwhelmed.  They see years of work ahead so they make another mistake; they never get started.
Obviously people would have more success if they simply got started, even if they never completed their goal. I also think that we would have a lot more success if we kept things going for just a little while longer.  We live in a world of instant gratification and it is harder than ever to keep plugging along for something that will not produce rewards until much later.   
Think about those things in our everyday life.  People want to lose weight but find it hard to start that diet.  If they start, most find it hard to stay on the diet.  The pounds seem to drop slowly, if at all.  If success doesn’t come quickly and visibly, then many will give up and try something else.  Now they carry the pounds along with an extra feeling of failure.
Most successful people I have met have a different definition of failure.   Their first business fails but they are okay and resolve to do better next time.  This doesn’t mean the failure doesn’t hurt but these people will learn from it and then they will try again.
I hiked over 1,000 miles of the Appalachian Trail, but never reached the end.  Was that a failure or a success?  What if I had never started in the first place?  Then I would have not experienced one of the most empowering and positive experiences of my entire life.
It isn’t just the personal things we want to achieve that take time and persistence.  Our collective goals as a community take that same kind of dedication and planning.  The accomplishments of almost everything we are proud of in Southwest Georgia took time and effort.  Somebody had to start and then somebody had to keep it going.   Finally, somebody had to finish.
I look around and see the challenges facing rural communities in our part of the state.   There are no silver bullets and the road is indeed long.  The naysayers are vocal with all the reasons why something can’t be done.  Just getting something started is often the hardest part.
I am blessed to be a part of an area that has people who see the prize.  Citizens who don’t take the failures of the past as an indicator of the future.  People who flesh out ideas and then nurture and nudge until something starts.  
There are a lot of good things happening in our communities.  Support those who try to get things started.  Encourage those who keep plugging away when it seems like the goal is so distant.  Celebrate the successes when they occur, and occur they will.  Hard work and perseverance is how successful people and successful communities make things happen.
Besides, it is easier than a diet.  
o0o
Dan Ponder can be reached at [email protected]

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