I’m a middle school teacher. For the last five years I have watched the movie Rudy during our Olympics week. The movie is about Rudy Ruettiger who wants to play football at The University of Notre Dame. However, he was faced with several challenges. He was an average football player, he was not a student at Notre Dame, and the school only allowed the top players in the nation a spot on the team. The movie shows how he slowly overcomes each obstacle, and keeps fighting until he gets to play in one Notre Dame home football game. What makes the movie so much fun is that it is a true story. Rudy had the perseverance to overcome great odds, and play for Notre Dame.
Almost every day I listen to the podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. Each day the host, John Lee Dumas interviews successful entrepreneurs and asks the same question to each of his one thousand guests, “what has been your worst entrepreneur moment?” Everyone one of his guests shares a time in their life in which they wanted to quit on their dream, but didn’t. Every worthwhile goal will take some degree of perseverance.
My oldest son loves soccer. When he was in 6th grade he started dreaming about playing soccer in high school. The school he would attend had a very competitive team and playing time would be hard to come by. Each morning he would get up before school and work on his ball skills. He attended camps, played year round, and kept thinking of playing in high school. His freshman year he tried out, made the team, but never played. The same thing happened his sophomore year. Finally it looked like he would get some playing time his junior year, but during the second game he had a compound fracture to his arm while playing in a game. Three years on the high school team, and hardly any playing time. He was discouraged, and we had a long talk about him just quitting soccer.
The next day he packed his soccer bag and returned to practice. The only difference was that he couldn’t do anything but watch. For the rest of the season he attended every practice and game, and just stood and watched. As a parent it was painful to go to his game and know he couldn’t play. He persevered through the season and the next year as a senior he finally got playing time, and his team made it to the semifinals of the state championship. At the end of the season he was so glad that he didn’t quit, and said it was the high light of his high school career. Even now three years removed from high school he says his senior soccer season was the most fun he had in high school. If you want to learn more about perseverance you will enjoy the following articles.