Showing posts with label Henry Ward Beecher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Henry Ward Beecher. Show all posts

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Perseverance vs. Obstinacy

The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't.  

What good is a strong will if you are fighting for or against the wrong thing? I wonder that sometimes. Getting caught up in the mechanics of life, I noticed there are times when simply plowing ahead toward a goal becomes counterproductive. At that point, re-evaluation of the method, tactics, and even the very goal need to take place. All the effort in the world fails to help if the goal you work for holds no merit. So, where perseverance assists in forging ahead through the hard times, obstinacy blinds you to wrong, ineffective, and destructive behaviors that hinder success. 

Coming to this realization is difficult and sometimes painful; it can also be very hard. Admitting that you spend all that time and effort on a goal that proved unattainable is heartbreaking. But think about it this way, would you rather admit a change is needed today and start fresh, or soldier on for another month, year, or decade before that epiphany occurs? In ten years’ time you’ll be no better off, and ten years behind. Making the change now can cause grief, pain, sorrow; any number of negative emotions really. However, you might just realize after re-evaluating your current course that a new path will make things better. You might, dare I say, experience relief, joy, or even excitement at the prospect of trying something new. 

Not every problem or situation needs to be attacked with mindless obstinacy. Obstacles in life should be looked at as challenges to overcome and something to learn from, not barriers to destroy or annoyances to avoid. Life takes a lot of work. It reminds me of a very old saying: 

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. 

Everything worth the effort takes time; just make sure you are putting your energies in the right place.

Thanks for reading. Questions and comments are welcome. 

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