Perseverance Pays Off

“Just Do It” was coined during an advertising agency meeting at Nike in 1988.  The campaign allowed Nike to further increase its share of the North American domestic sport-shoe business from 18% to 43%.  That’s a ton!!  So, what does ‘Just Do It’ mean?  I’m not talking about where the inspiration came from while these executives were sitting around a conference table.  But, what does it mean to me.

It’s inspiration to keep going.  It’s three simple words that compel me to persevere.  It’s being steadfast in doing something despite the difficulty of the task or the delay in success.  Perseverance means you put aside your desires to drown yourself in self pity.  Perseverance means you put yourself in a strict frame of mind and push forward.  It means you may fail or fall while getting to the finish line, but you finish.  It means you just keep going, and hopefully you do it with a good attitude.  Please, for the sake of family and friends around you, have a good attitude or keep it to yourself, baby!

My son has Down Syndrome.  He doesn’t often get things right the first time….or second…or fourth…or fifth time.  He is slow at everything, but hardly gives up.  He hardly gives a half-assed effort to anything.  He has been wearing shoes for almost 5 years now and still has trouble getting them on his feet.  No matter what kind of shoe.  No…actually, he can get the cowboy boots on by himself, but they are backwards every single time.   Sneakers take him forever to get onto his foot.  He sits there, manipulating the shoe and his little pudgy hands back and forth, stands up, and sits down and just keeps trying.  I am not exaggerating when I say one shoe can take more than 10 minutes!  Typically, I will ask him if he needs help.  Typically his response is,  “No, I do it.”  And I wait about 20 seconds longer and then dive in to help him.  Generally, he just lets me help.  My point is, Steven perseveres.  He keeps on the task no matter the difficulty, no matter the time it takes and no matter the rate of success.  He’s a good example for me.
Many times my delay in starting a daunting task or finishing a boring task is my own willful desire to give in to the easy.  I crash and burn.  I become broken.  I become unwilling to fight for the success.  My faith tells me that I should look to the past when God’s promises were manifest in those times previous.  Past successes could be inspiration for me.  Sometimes that works, but sometimes, there’s just not time to reminisce. I rarely have the time to sit and think about my past successes.  I don’t always have time to call up a friend for encouragement.
What do I do when I need instant inspiration to push ahead?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing less than… I Just Do It.  Seems pithy.  Tru dat.  Pithy and shallow maybe.
But, I have come through some fairly traumatic stuff by simply persevering.  Sure, some things require more push than others.  Some things require more patience than others.  What each task, or project or attitude has in common is that everything requires my perseverance.  If I get lazy, or fall, or fail or make mistakes, it’s ok.  It’s a step in the right direction.  If I don’t push ahead, then I will fall behind.
I hope I’ve inspired you to persevere…I’m going to slip into my Nikes and finish well.  How bout you?

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