Updated: Aug 21, 2019
I studied the greatest professional athletes, entrepreneurs, inventors, doctors, and many more and found the 50 common characteristics each of them shared.
Perseverance is a tough one. Perseverance is a word not used very much when describing someone or a group of people. When I hear the word perseverance, it is this quality that is hard to describe and very hard to articulate but, when you see it expressed, you fully know it and are very aware and encouraged by it. Perseverance is the relentless pursuit, the embracing of a process, the getting up and trying to be better than I was last time, last shot, last meeting, or yesterday! It is a toughness but, it is so much more than that…perseverance is conquering….perseverance is slaying that giant…perseverance is stepping into the arena and taking the shot even if you had failed over and over again.
Perseverance is very real to me. Perseverance is very close to me. Perseverance is my defined by my daughter Sarah James. When I think about perseverance, I think about her and tears fill my eyes instantly because when I think about perseverance, I think about her story intersecting with epilepsy and fully thinking she was going to die in a hospital room at Vanderbilt Children’s Emergency Room on May 28, 2007. Sarah James began to experience seizures as a toddler in 2007. She had 22 seizures between January and May of that year. Every seizure she had ever had lasted 3-5 minutes and we would call an ambulance, visit the ER, and rest and recover and come home that night. She had been mis-diagnosed with the types of seizures and location of the seizures in her brain, so the many types of meds we were using to prevent them from happening were not working and caused much confusion amongst our doctors. On this Memorial Day holiday on May 28, Sarah James had a seizure that morning in our living room. We called 911 as we had each of the 21 times before and the ambulance came and picked us up. We got to the hospital expecting the day to be the same as it was before but, on this day something very different happened. Sarah James that afternoon broke into a second seizure for the first time ever and this was not some normal seizure that was like the others…this seizure lasted over 40 minutes and had the staff so worried as they tried to get it to stop, that over 8 -10 medical professionals were in our room attempting to care for this lifeless little girl. I looked at my wife as tears streamed down her face and we began to think one of 2 things was happening-first things first, was Sarah James going to live? Secondly, if she did make it and survived, what would life be like for her? Would she be able to live a normal life?
Sarah James did survive that day and I am happy to say we found the best medical staff in the world for pediatric epilepsy and got her on meds that have to this day prevented any seizure activity. She is a walking miracle, literally, as she is experiencing life and enjoying being a student. The reason I think about her when I hear the word perseverance is every single day we have no idea how difficult life is. She has learning difficulties, social unknowns, and other emotional trauma that have occurred yet, she wakes up every day and tries to attack the day and what is in front of her better than the day before. She is an overcomer, she is a champion, she is uniquely and wonderfully made and every day she wakes up and displays perseverance to those that know her! Learning is difficult, understanding is difficult but, she chooses with a great attitude to not allow those things to keep her down. She chooses to rise up, embrace what is in front of her, and overcome the odds time after time after time.
You are an OVERCOMER, you are a CHAMPION, you are uniquely and wonderfully made!