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by Denise DeJulio, KCSAE Ex-Officio Board Member

“Perseverance pays off” is a phrase I heard constantly when I was growing up and when I think about the last couple of years, all I can think about is the word perseverance.

As defined in the dictionary –

Perseverance:  continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. 

I think we have all had a big dose of perseverance and it has been fully tested now!  Did you know that individuals that demonstrate perseverance are more likely to succeed in life?  It makes you step out of your comfort zone and stay focused.  It keeps you in a growth mode – we all know people who changed careers or developed new hobbies/interests over the last two years because they stepped out of their comfort zone and they set new goals for themselves.

Perseverance will make you become focused on solutions instead of problems.  Don’t you feel like that has been the norm for the last couple of years?  What use to be a problem – doesn’t even seem like a problem any longer.  It is so much easier to look at the bigger picture.

It teaches you to look at the “why” – I am sure you can think of examples in your own work or personal life.  Doesn’t it feel good that you no longer have to do something because it has always been done that way?  We found ways to do things differently and in many cases – those changes will continue in a post covid world.

Successful people persevere because they know how to learn from their mistakes and overcome setbacks.  Instead of giving up, they keep forging ahead and ask for help.  They are not afraid of being vulnerable and connecting with others in times of need.  How many times did you call a colleague or friend to ask for guidance, share ideas or maybe just listen to you as you vented during the pandemic?

20 plus years ago, my sweet mother in law had sent us a letter (long before email was a thing) and in the corner of her stationary was a poem – I tore it out and hung it on the bulletin board in my laundry room and over the years it was behind soccer schedules, football and baseball schedules, restaurant menus and was long forgotten.  But the other day the little piece of 2” x 3” paper caught my eye and I read the poem - it was entitled “Don’t Quit”.  The last sentence says “It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit”.    20 years ago I probably thought it had something to do with the laundry piled up – but after the last 2 years it takes on a whole new meaning!

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