EDUCATION PLUS

Focus and stay right on top

RIGHT ATTITUDE: Concentration makes the difference. Photo: Murali Kumar K.

RIGHT ATTITUDE: Concentration makes the difference. Photo: Murali Kumar K.  



BINDU GOPAL RAO

What makes for the extraordinary? You have the talent, energy, and the means, but what will take you to the top? Read on.

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. — Henry Ward Beecher Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. — Newt GingrichYou may have noticed that some people always seem to do well in anything they choose to. More often than not, their secret mantra is their dogged determination that overcomes difficulties that appear insurmountable. So, what is perseverance?Perseverance is a combination of commitment, hard work, patience and endurance without complaining. No matter who you are — student, homemaker or working professional — this is the quality that can get you what you want from life. It is this very quality that made great successes of people who are idolised today. Would you believe that Beethoven was actually deaf or that Thomas Edison had a learning problem? Or that musician Stevie Wonder is blind and author Helen Keller was deaf and blind? Hard to believe but true. It was through grit and perseverance that these people made their mark. Perseverance involves inculcating some specific behavioural traits. One such essential behaviour is to be patient. Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. As Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "victory belongs to the most persevering." This also means that you should not be deterred by failure and keep trying till you reach your goal. Also, it is vital that you do not lose your temper when something upsets you. Another thing to remember is that you must always finish what you start. Work harder on tasks that you feel are difficult by investing extra time and resources. A related aspect here is that you should be ready to face and accept what happens as well as be able to express your feelings. At the end, it is the experience that counts that will also make you a stronger individual.At the outset, take your time to think how you will go about the task on hand. A good deal of introspection in the initial stage will augur well for you. You can also set aside deadlines for each sub-task at this stage as you evaluate what you can do and how much time you will need. The final step is to go through each of the projects you have listed and decide whether or not you want to complete them. You need to set up certain yardsticks or measures to know whether you have succeeded and up to what level. This also implies that you need to stay on top of things, and make additional improvements based on the current situation. Perseverance is also required when everything is going well so that you do not become complacent. This is the time for introspection and looking ahead for the goals to be achieved. Remember the words of Walter Elliott: "Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." So, keep this in mind and achieve your tasks.





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