Interesting, persevere, on dictionary.com, says “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” That sounds a tad depressing. I certainly knew that to persevere was to “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty” but never considered the prospect of not eventually succeeding. This blog was going to be about how to persevere through hard times, and my suggestions was going to be to look hopefully to the future. But what if you have no prospect of success? How do you persevere then?
I know too many people going through difficulties right now. 2020 was a chaotic year, and 2021 hasn’t been much better, yet. I do know a few people who don’t have the vision of a brighter future to look forward to. They, or a family member, are in a situation that will likely never change, no matter how hard they try to improve it. Let’s take a look at how they manage to keep going through it all.
A few people don’t do well with the never-ending struggle of persevering when every day looks the same. These folks get sad, mad, bitter, and depressed. Sometimes they choose to self-medicate with drugs and/or alcohol. Other times they simply give in to defeat and every day of their life, they are unhappy. This is a sad sight to see. You know them, they are your neighbors, family members or co-workers who show up every day with the belief that their life sucks. Kudos to them though, they get up and show up every day. That takes great effort and is a BIG deal. Love those people, even through their bad moods. Perhaps even especially through their bad moods.
There are also people who are living with horrible situations, that won’t change in their lifetime, and yet, they are able to grasp the joy in each day. I believe the difference between the two is that one group “gives in to defeat,” while the other group accepts their fate. When you give in, you let circumstances happen and kick you around a bit. When you accept, that gives you a small measure of control over how your day goes.
Let’s take a horrible example… A shared hospital room with terminal patients. In Covid conditions, neither can have visitors. One person gives up and lays in the bed sulking and quiet. The other person sits up and smiles when a nurse comes in and chats with hospital volunteers while working a Sudoku puzzle book. Neither patient has any hope of recovery, but one has accepted their fate and decided to make the best of the days they have left.
Life can be extremely difficult at times. If we are in a situation where there is hope for a brighter future, we need to grab on to that hope and let it help us through the struggle. If there is no hope for a better outcome, we need to come to terms with that and do the best with what we have. Sure, we’ll have tough days. Let them go. Each day is a new day to try and grasp a little bit of joy. I know you’ve heard this before… We cannot control the things that happen to us, but we can control the way we react to them.
Go forth, find your joy, and decide to persevere well.