Writers are known for having periods of time when they suffer from writer’s block. It is to be expected. Just have patience and believe in yourself and your abilities. It’s all rooted in the power of mind over matter. Our brains have the fascinating capacity to achieve expectations beyond our imagination. We must have an enduring perseverance for our quests and never ever give up hope!
In 1853, the Costa Rican President, embarrassingly enough, realized that their nation had no national anthem. To make it even worse, the envoys from the United States and Great Britain were headed their way. In desperation, the president requested that Manuel Maria Gutierrez, the most well-known musician, compose a national anthem…in five days or less! Gutierrez explained that he had always played by ear and did not even know how to write music. He lost his cool and, in exasperation, the president threw him in prison telling him that he must produce an anthem. Now, here is where the proof of how pressure and mind over matter worked its creative magic. Gutierrez was able to create a beautiful march tune. It is still Costa Rica’s national anthem to this day.
A research team from Harvard concluded that if one can find the kind of work that is enjoyable and intriguing, then rising to the occasion to produce good work is a reasonable possibility. We can learn a lot about perseverance and work ethic from ants. Some ants can carry fifty times their weight marathon distances. If we could match this strength, it would be equivalent to a hundred pound person carrying a small car several miles.
Abraham Lincoln was a failure as a business man and a farmer. He had a nervous breakdown and then went on to fail at his attempt at political office. When he was elected to the legislature, he failed when he ran for the office of speaker. He failed in his first attempt at Congress and the United States Senate. He did not get the nomination for the Vice-Presidency in 1856. He was defeated for the U.S. Senate once again. At long last, he was finally elected to the presidency in 1860. Lincoln is considered to be one of our country’s greatest and most humane presidents—pretty good for a man with a biography of failures. It’s perseverance at its best.
Michael Jordan is quoted as having said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Sometimes we find ourselves in the position of needing to rise to the occasion, even if it is not a particular talent we possess. As a former Camp Cheerio camper, I signed up for a course in riflery (yes…that would be the shooting of a long, loaded gun) The course was designed to test our endurance levels. We had to lie on our stomachs for one solid hour a day for two weeks and shoot at a target that consisted of a large, black dot. Or as we marksmen prefer to call it the “bull’s eye.” I probably fired the rifle a hundred times in a session. We were not allowed to see how many times we hit the black dot, however, I was certain that I would be the next Annie Oakley, as I shot with confidence each day. The instructor presented us with our targets at the end of the two week session. Much to my surprise, it seems I had only hit the target two times total! That’s once a week! Pardon the pun, but at least I gave it a “shot” or many, many, many shots. The more pertinent question would have been: Would I have continued to persevere, if I had known that I was a failure?
Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” He attempted and failed thousands of times to make the electric light bulb illuminate. He said, “I haven’t failed. I’ve identified 10,000 ways this doesn’t work.” Humor combined with perseverance is even more profound.
Hunter Darden-personalized copies of my books may be ordered by scrolling to the top of this site and clicking on the link or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.