I would describe endurance as stretching yourself as far as you can in order for everything that you’ve worked hard for to come back together again in harmony. Similar to when you stretch a rubber band and allow it to expand. When you stop stretching it, the rubber band is again at its normal state. It’s funny how everything comes together as if you were not stretched at all. However, if you stretch a rubber band too much, of course, it will break. As for spiritual people, we stretch ourselves daily and experience life at its breaking points, yet we still endure!
Endurance can, also, be compared to the term “elasticity” in economics defining how changes in supply and demand are relative to the pricing of goods and income of individuals. Pricing of goods and services have shaped of our economy. For example, consumers compete with their peers and have stretched their pockets with expensive weddings, fancy cars, homes they may not can afford, the latest technologies and a celebrity-like wardrobe. Therefore, businesses are capitalizing on consumer’s emotional spending, giving some of them a false sense of purchasing power. On the other hand, as consumers we’ve even tricked businesses into thinking we can afford their goods and services which has affected their balance sheets. These examples are just a small fragment of what type of money manipulation strategies are used on a day-to-day basis by individuals and businesses that make it difficult for everyone to economically endure. For centuries, we’ve experienced inflation, deflation, economic booms, and watched economic bubbles burst. Individuals, businesses, and governments have endured recessions as well as depressions trying to achieve financial recovery along with economic prosperity. From pyramid schemes, predatory lending, embezzlement, debt ceilings, bankruptcy, economic wars, to colonizing central banking systems; we the human race, have fallen victim of the bulls and the bears of Wall Street, yet we still endure and want more!
Personally, we even can share a few stories about the relationships we’ve endured. For example, endurance can be a description of the patience that is applied while parenting when you allow your child chance after chance to follow your rules for success. Sometimes you may not see the results of your hard work as a parent immediately, but your endurance should give you some assurance that your child will become a responsible adult one day. We endure parenting obstacles just to witness our children become triumphant and productive citizens. Furthermore, relationships at home and work can take us to our peak or to an all time low, but for some reason we all decide everyday to get up and go – continuing to endure life’s journey!
Endurance can be applied to people, situations, and life events by experiencing a variety of personal and professional challenges. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in the past year or even the past hour? I have to be brutally honest, life challenges will make you want to give up, rethink your purpose, and walk away, right? Just think about how many people you wanted to give up on? How many circumstances you wanted to eliminate from your life? How many life events you wanted to quit because it seemed so unbearable? How many times you didn’t want to endure because you felt like you weren’t loved enough or treated fairly? Yes, we’ve all wanted to quit in the beginning, middle, or even when we were at the end of these situational events in our lives. However, commitment is the foundational factor that determines whether or not we will win each situation with endurance. Commitment will determine whether we are victims or victors of our daily challenges! Therefore, winning is not necessarily focused on coming in first, reaping rewards, or gaining recognition, but coming out of a situation better than you were at the beginning of the challenge. So what efforts are you making?
We can all agree that life can be extremely competitive so I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my workbook, “Can I Inspire You With My Imagination?”. This is the written conclusion from the first section entitled, The Human Race. Now this will be the last excerpt I will share publically because I have to leave some of the content in the book so you can support it. (smile)
“I believe the human race is all about everyone achieving together for one common purpose. However, the race, during our lifetime has become so materialistic, political, greedy, volatile, and immoral. Now based on my view of the human race and after watching the world around us, it appears that we are defeated on a global scale. It’s not easy hearing the truth about our current state, but the human race is at war spiritually, mentally, physically, fiscally, racially and socially. One simple word, “race”, represents multiple people that were originated by one power. If we were one race in the beginning of time, then why did we run away from our origin in the first place? I guess it’s the evil forces of being materialistic, political, greedy, volatile, and immoral. So how can we change the direction of the human race?
First, I would like to reflect on the human race by making a connection with running track and field. If you want to analyze the human race on a global scale, then let’s take our imaginations to the purpose of an Olympic runner. Typically, we have competitors running for different reasons. If I could put them in categories, some examples would be:
- A few runners may be striving to come in first place,
- Some are running just to make someone else happy,
- Others are running to help their countries economy or reputation;
- Believe it or not, there is one runner in the race who can actually win, but their purpose was to push others to do their best,
- There is a runner, also, who is just content with running a faster time than his or her previous race.
With that said, everyone has a different purpose and I hope that we all compete with purpose. However, we cannot run from the truth. The truth is that we are all on the same team. Team members compete, yet win when they collaborate. Team members succeed when the strong help the weak, when no one feels alone, and each individual is awakened by the powerful potential that is discovered during the human race. We all have what it takes to build an infrastructure that supports diverse learners, teachers, support staff, partners, and leaders. The education system needs this interdisciplinary approach that involves everyone’s input empowering and enlightening each other to exceed education’s traditional standardized competition. We must live on purpose, with a passion, which in turn, will provide education with a promising future!”
So I would like to conclude my blog with sharing 5 components that supports endurance, which happen to support education’s framework for 21st century skills. I believe each will help us all endure life’s challenges:
1. Commitment – Your commitment changes over time. You can be committed to yourself, a person, a cause, or a lifestyle. However, being committed to a service is extremely rewarding and it feels great to contribute to something that is greater than you! Here are a few questions about commitment: Are you committed to love because leading with compassion in your personal and professional life allows you to see others just as valuable as you? Are you committed to your health, family, community, economic empowerment, education, career, and the future generation? What ever category you choose to focus on, commitment helps you to endure because your efforts will not only assist your growth but others to improve along with you. Even if you do not feel up to it, a person who endures, will strive to stay connected to his or her goals, family, partners, employer, employees, clients, or community. So strive to be loyal!
2. Time – You have to be willing to put the time into personally and professionally developing. As a result, you will see yourself improve and become stronger based on the amount of hours you put into a particular task or cause. Therefore, sometimes you endure challenging times because you know that people are counting on you or people need you to be courageous on behalf of the community. So you begin to strategize with your time by maximizing it with exciting projects that keep you connected with your overall purpose. More importantly, not only is it productive to help others while being purposeful, but to make time for what is important to you personally so that you can be inspired everyday to stay on your path serving others during your life’s journey. Therefore, managing your time effectively helps you to endure because it develops your mental stability, discipline, strength, longevity, and creative spirit.
3. Adaptability – The first analogy that comes to mind about adaptability is how trees endure the changes of each season. Trees are the perfect example of endurance. They’ve endured countless years of rainy spring time weather, scorching summers, winter storms, and unexpected twisters. So if we individuals take our minds off the seasons and focus on the outcome of our seasonal storms, we can welcome adversity more openly. Furthermore, if you observe trees, especially now during the fall, the most beautiful shades of success are on the leaves that endured the year. Simply put, when we endure the turbulent times that life presents to us, we have to stand firm like a tree and get to the root of the problem applying all that we’ve learned in order to survive life’s seasons. On a lighter note, after some of life’s extreme weather, just like the leaves in autumn, you may want to fall onto the ground and disappear during the winter. (laugh) However, adapting to changes is not the only option for endurance because you may want to consider creating seasons of your own. Just because it’s a cold winter or someone is treating you cold doesn’t mean you cannot bring the heat when it is necessary or demonstrate a warm and compassionate attitude when trying to adapt to people’s seasonable behavior. Lastly, adaptability helps with endurance because it allows you to become flexible to any situation, circumstances, or relationships. Sounds like a breeze, huh? (laugh again)
4. Relationships – There is a common saying that you can get far by yourself, but further with people supporting you along the way. A “supporting cast” who are willing to help you adapt to change and willing to take the time to assist you with what you are committed to accomplishing is the best feeling in the world. Sometimes you do not have to ask and people who believe in your vision or mission just fall into place just when you need them to. Thus, understanding that you cannot accomplish every goal by yourself is the humbling attitude which will allow you to achieve more than you could have imagine when your goal was just a bright idea. A relationship with an accountability partner or partners for each unique goal you have personally or professionally definitely helps with endurance and allows you to have longevity in the game of life! So with that said, everyone needs some relations every now and then. (look serious, now laugh out loud)
5. Self-Direction – Spending time with yourself, setting goals and mapping out the outcomes of each is necessary for enduring life. There are so many obstacles as well as adversity waiting to test you so if you do not have self-direction, you will have difficulty dealing with life’s challenges. Therefore, time in solitude – thinking, meditating, and envisioning what it is you want to accomplish is definitely necessary for ordering your steps. Even when you are in the midst of a problem or problems, solitude will give your inner voice a chance to encourage you to get to the finish line or create a new lane that will lead you to unexpected winning opportunities. So you may have to start off with small steps, experience several trials and errors, but your determination will cause you to stay on path towards your final destination. Thus, self-direction helps with your endurance when you are the only person that is left to ensure your life’s strategy is being carried out. So stay motivated and keep your eyes on the prize!
In closing, when you accomplish a goal, endurance calls you to continue to create new opportunities for yourself in order to become a stronger, wiser, more courageous, and a more successful person. It takes practice, perseverance, patience, passion, purpose, and inner peace to endure life’s journey! You have to push yourself even when your mind, body, and emotions are totally exhausted! Yes, my competitors, when you are experiencing the blood, sweat, tears, and fears; it is the spirit of endurance and the power of love that keeps you going!
So what makes you want get up and go? Is there something you are so passionate about that you are willing to commit to it for life through the peaks and valleys? Is there someone or something that is so inspiring that it will keep your thoughts racing throughout the day and your body moving from one task to another to accomplish your goals? What personal cause makes you want to get up and reach out to others each day spreading your winning spirit? What makes you want to initiate or become a part of a movement? There are several personal projects and social causes we can participate in for our own personal development. Now is the time to strategize how you want to build your lasting legacy. So I encourage you to go after your goals with commitment, time management, adaptability, solid relationships, and self-direction because the world needs your endurance!
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