Friday, December 04, 2015

The value of persistence

The fans chanting "six-and-0" at the beginning of the season were eerily silent when the Green Bay Packers went one-for-five in the next five games. Cheeseheads were turning bleu and stinking up the place.

Last night's game looked to be yet another stinker, with the Pack behind twenty to nothing at one point. Surely they would be Lion fodder.

But they didn't give up. They came within a touchdown's reach of winning, when time ran out. A penalty call on the final play gave the Packers an untimed, single, final chance to change what seemed to be the inevitable outcome.

Aaron Rodgers scrambled, then launched a sixty-one yard "hail Mary" pass, amazingly caught by Richard Rodgers (no relation) in the end zone for the Packer win. If you haven't seen it, the video is here.

It's true these guys are elite athletes, training for years (and being paid big bucks) to perform in exactly this manner. But there is one quality the Packers demonstrated in this game that any couch potato can emulate: persistence.

They simply never gave up.

Adjust your thinking. Try different paths to a solution. Ask for advice. Review your process, double checking assumptions and calculations. Walk away for a while if need be. Come back with fresh eyes. Brainstorm.

Stick with it.

The more often you can work through something you didn't think you could, just by not giving up on your efforts, the more confident you'll be when faced with the next challenge. There is nothing quite like the euphoria of solving a problem or conquering a challenge by sheer persistence.

If you fail? At least you have the satisfaction of having given it your all.

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