The recent movie about aviation pioneer, Amelia Earhart, failed at the box office, but her spirit continues to be legendary. Earhart said:
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure – the process – is its own reward.”
Interestingly, Earhart died trying. Do you consider her death a failure – a winning of the battle, but a losing of the war? Should we romanticize her vanishing during an attempted circumnavigation of the globe in 1937 as tenacity and perseverance, or is her will power to be ascribed to something else?
If one dies trying – and ascribes it all to tenacity – is tenacity all that it is cracked up to be?
Dig deep to challenge the thinking of the collective mind – especially that part that wants to candy-coat and make it “all better.” Where does tenacity end and recklessness begin?
One of my long-time clients and friends arranged a presentation of a new venture for five people last night, and tenacity was on my mind. It’s not every day that one is sufficiently fortunate and honored to have dinner with a world-class scientist and inventor. This man has invented a technology that was heretofore considered completely unattainable.
Think about the persistence and drive that is required to solve problems that had been considered unsolvable. Inventing the impossible: how does that come about? Most obviously, one suspends disbelief about the impossibility – and simultaneously cultivates elements which could be part of a solution.
Thomas Edison famously said, “We now know 1000 ways not to invent a light bulb” – a statement of extreme tenacity.
Are you inclined to be tenacious in the face of conventional wisdom and / or being told that you can’t do something? What are the emotional drivers of your tenacity? Conversely, who are the role models who have taught you to go along with the status quo?
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the graduation ceremony of my nephew, Jody Myers, from Fireman’s Academy in Wilmington, N.C. Eight people graduated from a beginning class of 60, and Jody was an amazing number 3.
The graduation program included a recounting of the hundreds of hours of training that spanned many different disciplines including water rescue, ropes and ladders, CPR, hazards, pump and mechanical – and there were certifications in each of these to maintain the Fire Department’s standards.
What was required to be certified were long 16 to 18-hour days and the tenacity and commitment to complete. One of the speakers said, “The bad news is you’ll never become rich being a fireman, but the good news is that you’ll never live a day without purpose.”
As we contemplate our lives and the kinds of contributions each of us makes to the world in our own ways, it’s worthwhile to engage the spirit of perseverance in a solid, everyday way – not flag-waving chest-beating, but the commitment to be there no matter what.
How does your life reflect tenacity? Where do you refuse to give up? What motivates you to move forward? What price are you willing to pay?
Congratulations, Jody! We could not be more proud of you!! Thank you for your incredible example!!