“It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.”
– Confucius (551-479 BC)
As far as I can remember, I always was a perfectionist. It’s far from simple to be a perfectionist, and when things turns out to be not what was intended, the desire to abandon everything can be very easy. When something was not perfect by my standards, I was quickly putting the idea aside for ever. Now that I’m older, and certainly wiser, I became aware that perfection isn’t a tangible goal, and imperfections must be accepted and even welcomed. I learned to be patient, to forgive and correct my mistakes, to improvise, and most of all, to appreciate the hard work I did on a project. The final product may not be as perfect as I imagined it in the first place, but now I finish what I start!
The ADF Dedicant Manual defines the word ‘perseverance’ as follows:
PERSEVERANCE: Drive; the motivation to pursue goals even when that pursuit becomes difficult.
This definition seems suitable and I cannot think about something to improve it. Let’s compare it with the definition from the Oxford Dictionary, and I’ll try to find a way to combine these and make a definition that seems more complete:
PERSEVERANCE noun. – Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Both definitions look very similar to me. The major interesting differences can be found in the words ‘goals’ from ADF, and ‘success’ from the Oxford definition. A ‘goal’ is a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result while a ‘success’ is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. In the ADF definition, ‘perseverance’ is described from a point of view of someone hoping to achieve something, while in the Oxford Point-of-view, it looks like the description directly lead through assured achievement. Here is my definition:
PERSEVERANCE: The motivation and steadfastness to pursue goals despite encountering difficulty or delay.
The perfectionist in me prefers the new definition, and here is why: The ADF definition added the term ‘even’, which I find unnecessary. When you persevere it implicates that difficulties or delays are happening. The word ‘even’ suggests a possibility that these complication might not happen. On the other side, the Oxford definition tends to believe that after an act of perseverance, success is definitely obtained. I persevered many time on projects that failed anyway. In my new description, difficulty is not an option, and success is not the only end of the story!
Word Count: 375 words (excluding the introductory, the Oxford and the ADF quotes)
- Corrigan, Ian. Our Own Druidry. Tucson: ADF Publishing, 2009.
- Oxford Dictionary – “Perseverance“