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Stories About Perseverance - Rise Up Don't Give Up

Audrey has written for Hub Pages for twelve years. Her articles are featured and on the way to being viewed 5 million times..

When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.

Eloise Ristad

The Ingredients of Perseverance

Persistence, tenacity, determination, and staying power are the ingredients of perseverance.

Persistence, tenacity, determination, and staying power are the ingredients of perseverance.

Be Persistent. Keep Trying For as Long as it Takes

Persistence is defined as "the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people." Perseverance is "Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Being persistent is a skill that anyone can develop. Do you give up too soon? If so, where's your determination? Why quit? Try again and if you fail, try once more. Keep trying as many times as it takes.

A baby doesn't give up every time he falls when he's learning how to walk. He pulls himself up and tries again. He never stops trying to walk. He keeps trying for as long as it takes. It never occurs to him that he might fail. So he repeats the process despite the bruises and bumps along the way.

Now, what about you? Do you give up too soon and too often? How many times have you pulled yourself back up when you've been bumped and bruised? Maybe, you even set yourself up for failure? This is known as self-sabotage. Most of us are guilty of this at one time or the other. It all starts with our thinking. Thoughts of fear, doubt, and failure begin to invade our thinking - just like the enemy.

Most successful people have failed at one time or the other, and some have failed many times. The difference between those who die and those who succeed is that they learn from their failed attempts and persist anyhow. They realize that failure is the road to achievement.

Failure is simply a price we pay to succeed.

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.

Max DePree

Proud Marine Surviving Incredible Odds.

Author's grandson Brandon Hunt.  His story is about overcoming unimaginable obstacles.  He never gave up.

Author's grandson Brandon Hunt. His story is about overcoming unimaginable obstacles. He never gave up.

Adversity in Your Life? Be Better - Not Bitter

His name is Brandon Hunt. He is my grandson. Brandon lost his beloved father to cancer at the age of 7. His mother had abandoned the family long before the death of his dad. With his dear father gone, Brandon and his siblings were without parents and a home. Relatives did their best to help out. An aunt eventually managed to take them in. After a few years, he moved in with his mother, hoping that he could have a relationship with his mother. But at age 15, Brandon was left homeless. His mother threw him out with nowhere to go. A school friend took pity on him and gave him a place to sleep.

Despite his painful, lonely life, he persisted day after day. He graduated with honors and was made the captain of his football team. He would not give up. He wanted to make his father proud of him. He joined the United States Marines and found a skill in which he excelled. Today, that skill provides him with a job he loves, plus an endless supply of friends.

What an example of perseverance. I'm proud of this young man. Brandon is my hero. I know that his father (my son) is immensely proud of his boy for making the right choices in his life through insurmountable challenges.

Brandon could have easily given up on life, but he chose to rise above every obstacle despite everything. What about you? Do you want to give up when life deals you a lousy hand? Or do you pick yourself up, take a deep breath, and move upward.

You Must Persist - Not Resist

What is perseverance? It is persistent determination. Even by reading the word or hearing the word perseverance, will give you energy and packs a powerful punch.

Perseverance is the foundation of great achievers. It is the cornerstone of talent. It's the brother to determination. This determination can be found in every walk of life and every age. We succeed because we are determined to succeed, not destined to succeed.

I think many of us are determined, people. We keep practicing our craft, over and over again. We want to become better writers, singers, teachers, mechanics, parents. The greatest achievers don't simply sit back and wait for success to come along. These achievers keep moving forward and persevering because they are determined. There's just no getting around it, persistence is the key to success.

When we persevere there is nothing, not one thing, that will stop us.

The Sweetness of Overcoming Troubles

One of my favorite writers, John C. Maxwell, has this to say about perseverance. "Perseverance draws sweetness out of adversity." He continues, "The trials and pressures of life and how we face them often define us. Confronted by adversity, many people give up while others rise. How do those who succeed do it? They persevere.

They find the benefit to them personally that comes from any trial. And they recognize that the best thing about adversity is coming out on the other side of it. There is a sweetness to overcoming your troubles and finding something good in the process, however small it may be."

It's been my experience that to make changes in my life; I first must make changes in myself. The greater the challenges I've faced in the past, the harder I've had to work to overcome, proving me capable.

Obstacles, placed before us, allow us to develop our character. I want people to sense the depth of my character. When my son died, I wanted to give up on life. But, I knew he wouldn't want me to give up. I knew that he would like me to continue, day after day, and become all that I could despite my loss.

I know, in my heart, he wants me to be strong and mentally capable of being here for his children. It's been a bitter-sweet journey and one I try not to question.

A Head On Collision Nearly Took Their Lives

My parents, thrown from their car, lay helplessly on the ground unable to move their broken bodies.

My parents, thrown from their car, lay helplessly on the ground unable to move their broken bodies.

"I Will Walk Again. You Just Watch Me".

Jim and Audrey Kerr (author's parents) lay on the bloody highway, bodies broken and bleeding. Their car, beyond repair, was the result of a head-on collision in Kearney, Nebraska. They were heading home to California after a business trip and eager to reunite with their children.

The ambulance was on its way. Meanwhile, Jim tried to crawl to his wife to comfort her screams of agony; he was in unimaginable pain. It was a lonely stretch of highway, pitch black and cold.

Audrey's purse, thrown from the car during the collision, lay next to her on the ground; inside the bag lay all the cash from Jim's hard labor. Audrey heard a woman's voice and cried out, "Please help us"! The woman gazed at Audrey, grabbed the purse, ran to her car, and drove off.

Jim and Audrey were hospitalized side-by-side in hospital beds for weeks. Audrey's back was severely broken. Jim's ankle was broken, and a steel plate took the place of bone in his right arm.

I remember the day they came home by ambulance; both were on stretchers. The doctor told Audrey, "You'll never walk again, and I'm sorry." My mother looked directly at the Doctor and announced, "Oh yes, I will. You just watch me".

For the next 11 months, I learned the meaning of perseverance. I watched in amazement as my mother took one step and then another despite the pain. She vowed to move her body again, and after months of sheer persistence, she finally walked.

She would live with pain for the rest of her life, but she kept her promise and achieved the impossible.

Determination is about not giving up, no matter how hard things get.

Don't Look Back, Look Forward


Excerpt From Winston Churchill's Speech Of Oct. 29, 1941

“Never, never, never, never give up.” Winston Churchill

These famous words, in my opinion, are words to live by. Here is an excerpt from Churchill's inspiring speech delivered Oct 29, 1941. I have provided a link to the entire speech at the conclusion of this excerpt.

"You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination, not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly, many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination."

"Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

Tom Hanks A Prince of Perseverance

Tom Hanks - Kennedy Center Awards

Tom Hanks - Kennedy Center Awards

Tom Hanks - Example of Perseverance

Actor Tom Hanks is an example of perseverance. He took a difficult and challenging childhood and turned himself into a storyteller as a way of coping with the lonely days and nights.

He has been called a modern-day Jimmy Stewart. Not only is he an award-winning actor, but he also expanded his efforts into writing, directing and producing.

You might be thinking that he was destined to succeed but that wasn’t the case. In his early years, he wanted to act in commercials but could not break-in. He auditioned for television shows repeatedly but was constantly rejected. He never gave up. He had a dream and he would keep trying to reach that dream no matter what.

Finally, in 1980, he landed a steady job on a sitcom called "Bosom Buddies." He was only paid $5,000 per episode and the sitcom only lasted two years. But the exposure finally led to his first big break which was a starring role in the movie "Splash."

Tom never let rejection keep him from his goals. He persevered. He just kept right on going, accepting small parts in movies, doing what he had to do. Today he has made over sixty movies earning millions of dollars per film. Was his success his destiny? No.

Tom Hanks had determination and that is what brought him success.

Never Give In, Never Give Up


Richard Kiley Shares His Life Quest as Man of La Mancha

Final Thoughts - Never Quit

When you fail, see your experience as instruction and not destruction. Seek to learn and grow and above all, be better, not bitter.

It's not what happens to us in life that determines our happiness so much as the way we react to what happens. Abraham Lincoln left us with this thought, "Most people are about as happy as they make up their mind to be."

Mistakes do not define failure. They're merely the price of achievement on the journey toward success. If your perception of failure means it's time to quit, look at it this way: the true perception of failure should be seen as feedback from the universe.

I leave you with the poem, " Don't Quit".

When things go wrong as they sometimes will;
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high;
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit -
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Success is failure turned inside out;
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt;
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar.
So, stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things go wrong that you mustn't quit. Author Unknown

He Proved Them Wrong


Questions & Answers

Question: What does "perseverance" mean?

Answer: Perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. In other words, we never stop trying. We never give up.

Question: When do we tell someone to persevere?

Answer: We don't! We can only be an example of perseverance.

Question: How exactly does one keep on "persevering"?

Answer: To persevere, you never give up, no matter what. Set realistic goals and complete one goal at a time. Don't let anything or anyone stop you. Reward yourself each time you complete an important step. Focus, focus, focus and remove all distractions and obstacles.

Question: What's the meaning of perseverance?

Answer: Perseverance is essential to success. To persevere is to never give up! Regardless of the difficulty involved or how many times we fail, we continue to keep on trying. It may take 10 times or even 100 times to finally achieve our purpose. To persist, we must have determination. Perseverance leads to greatness.

© 2010 Audrey Hunt

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