Perseverance – Catalyst for Total Transformation…

You make a New Year resolution with all enthusiasm, follow it for a week or 10 days… You end up making the same resolution the next New Year.

You resolve to develop a particular skill… take a few steps… suddenly the enthusiasm drops, the effort fades out.

Does this sound familiar? Do you identify with such experiences?

What stops you from pursuing through the effort? What helps you stay focussed and follow through?

Did you ever observed the ants build an anthill? An ant makes tireless efforts to build an anthill and store the food to survive through the bad times.

A bird takes consistent and continuous effort to build the perfect nest so that it can lay and hatch its eggs safely.

A honeybee builds a geometrically perfect beehive which acts as a store house of the nectar it collects and where their community thrives.

An ant, a bird or a honeybee takes constant and long-term effort to accomplish what they have set out for. They are programmed so… for survival.

Even humans demonstrate the quality of perseverance, when survival is at stake. Is that all a human being is capable of? What differentiates humans from other animals… A point to ponder…

The caterpillar undergoes transformation and emerges as a vibrant butterfly overcoming all challenges.

Turning Point

Small steps taken over a long period help achieve great heights braving all odds.

What motivates us to follow through the process? What helps us to persevere?

  • Survival – is a prime motivating factor for perseverance. One draws immense strength to persevere when survival is at stake.
  • Right knowledge – is the food for perseverance for achieving greater things in life. Success in any field requires perseverance. When one is aware of the likely outcome of their perseverance; when there is a role model who has tread the path and succeeded; when the passion for the goal is intense… perseverance becomes a joyful activity. All challenges coming along the way would become learning experiences to grow, to evolve. Perseverance can then be a catalyst for total transformation.

The caterpillar need not know that by going through the hard pupa stage it can transform into a beautiful butterfly.

A child need not know what he can achieve in life by learning to talk or walk. He is instinctively driven; the very act of seeing people around him walk or talk is the best motivating factor for him to take consistent efforts to walk or talk.

As we grow up the intellect develops. Thanks to the modern education system, one is not motivated to take a step forward until one has a clear scientific answer about the likely benefits of the effort taken.

We are also loaded with personal experiences and information from around about… why and how people fail; at the first stroke of failure we tend to let go of the effort.

Right knowledge from the right source helps one to overcome the mental barriers that are built over time. For example, if you are learning to play a musical instrument on your own, after a few efforts you may drop it if you are not able to play correctly. An experienced teacher, however can guide you through a series of steps… correct mistakes, motivate and help you persevere to bring perfection to your skill.

  • Guna balance – is the third ingredient influencing perseverance. We are all a combination of three basic gunas – Sattva (thinking, contemplative, etc.,), Rajas (active and on the move kind of attitude), and Tamas (dull and lazy). Rajas peps up energy and keeps us on the move. However appropriate proportion of Sattva and Tamas is required to direct our rajasic actions on the right path.

Rajas is a quality and driving force behind all actions. However, when Rajas is in excess, one loses the ability to follow through, would like to experience many things, gets easily bored with the same action, always in search of variety. This is a big hindrance to perseverance which is characterised by consistent efforts over a long time period.

Rajasic quality can be controlled through right food, being creative (as this will quench the thirst for variety) in following-through efforts, etc.,

While tamasic quality gives stability and firmness to our goals, excessive tamas makes one dull. After the initial efforts one may drop the effort to follow through.  When tamasic quality is high, right knowledge will also not work as one is not receptive to inputs. Taking care of the diet, small consistent efforts to overcome tamas, going an extra mile with the help of push from well-wishers, sankalpa during yoga nidra, practice of dynamic asanas, etc., are some of the ways which can help overcome dullness and laziness.

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