This past week we saw an amazing performance of Peter Pan here at Academia Cotopaxi. This play was put on by a mixed cast of Middle School students, Elementary School students, and staff members of both AC and the One Institute (we even had a local home-schooled student participate.) One of the most amazing parts about this show was not the success it achieved but how they (the cast, directors, and everyone who helped) got there. It was a long and winding road but by persevering through countless obstacles the cast and crew of Peter Pan were able to stand tall and rejoice after their successful performances.
Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Our cast and crew of Peter Pan demonstrated some amazing perseverance from the first day of tryouts until show time. Cast members dropping out, main characters being replaced with only weeks to go, cast members missing rehearsals, forgotten lines and scene changes – the struggles continued right up until show time. However, if you attended the full dress rehearsal on Thursday like I did, you wouldn’t have known that any of these issues had existed. It was a brilliant performance, the energy in the auditorium was at an all time high, and the cast and crew nailed it!
When faced with obstacles many people tend to shy away and often times they give up completely. Following through, overcoming obstacles, and achieving the final goal in the face of adversity are not feelings that many people experience. Why do we give up though? Why is perseverance so difficult? I wish the answer was simple enough for me to understand, I could make a lot of money! However, what it comes down to is practice and patience. There is no switch or magic pill, perseverance isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. We do know, however, that those who practice perseverance become stronger in the long run.
Grit: Passion plus perseverance over the very long term.
As we grow and practice perseverance we begin to build our gritiness. We become better at handling short term struggles for the long term gain. It’s a skill/character strength that has been studied in recent years by Angela Duckworth. Her work is more than fascinating and has tremendous amounts of application for educational settings.
Whether you persevere, show grit, or just work really hard to achieve your goals, the successful result and feelings of pride that come with it are enough to keep you driving forward toward your next goal. Commit, work hard, fight through the obstacles and succeed.
If you’ve never heard of Nick Vujicic…watch this!
Once you’ve watched that, you’ll want to see this one…his TED talk. He is inspiring!
And, finally, a few famous people who persevered to reach great heights.