Tenacity

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is mere tenacity.” ~ Amelia Earhart

Are you a procrastinator? Sometimes I am. It has taken me at least 20 minutes to type this far, because I’ve been distracted both by situations out of my control and some completely of my choosing. I suspect that we’ve all been plagued by procrastination at one point or another, likely many times, and I think that is perfectly okay once in a while. The real problem arises when procrastination becomes our standard setting rather than a temporary delay. The more we delay doing, the more difficult it is to even begin. Society provides plenty of opportunity to postpone tasks that might be tedious, difficult, or menial. Society is a big fan of instant gratification, magic pills, and a lackadaisical attitude towards personal integrity.

I know how tough it can be to take the first step, to determine that change is worth the effort. I know what it feels like to have the desire to achieve a goal or make a change in my life only to remain stuck in the same rut I had always been in. I have felt the sting of failure more times than I can count. I know it isn’t easy, but I also know that it can be done! You can take that first step. You can make a change in your life regardless of whether it be big or small. Goals can be reached. I won’t promise that the task will be easy or without pitfalls; however, I can say that the benefits of striving for what lies ahead far outweigh the regrets that come on the heels of procrastination.

Unless you are a freak of nature, you simply will not lose weight by eating a boatload of fast food and sitting on your butt all day. For a long time I felt that losing weight and getting into shape was something for other people, people who were blessed with better genetics or will-power or athleticism. When I started this journey I wasn’t sure that I would get very far, because the vicious cycle of start-stall-quit was what I was most familiar with. Sometimes I feel as if there are some people who look at me as being on a high pedestal of perfection that they could never hope to reach for themselves. It quite often comes with statements like, “I don’t know how you can do that!” or “I could never do that!” or “I wish I could do what you do!”

It’s not easy to know what to say in the face of such statements. Part of me wants to say that they are completely capable, that they can do that and more if they only make the effort. But then I usually don’t say much of anything. I don’t want to come across as cold or uncaring, when the truth is that I am definitely not either of those things. I just don’t always know what to say or how to say it in the moment…the joys of being an introvert who needs to think before speaking. Perhaps Jane Doe cannot do everything that I have done or will yet do, but that doesn’t mean that Jane Doe cannot do amazing things for herself!

There has been a quote floating around that I quite like but have failed to write down in my little notebook of quotes, which loosely remembered says that you cannot compare your story to someone else’s because you both are not on the same chapter. My story isn’t finished and neither is yours. I don’t know where you are in your story; I only know my own. We each have to live our own lives, and yet, I can tell you that every journal begins with a single step and continues by the act of putting one foot in front of the other. ClichĂ©? Of course, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true! The most difficult thing is deciding to act, truly act, not just the good intention that comes with wishful thinking, but honest-to-goodness action with purpose. Once you make the decision that you want to seriously act, then the rest falls into place by the act of continuing on in similar fashion. That’s called tenacity.

Perhaps great results are more about determination and tenacity than about ability or genetics. I happen to think so.

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