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PERSEVERANCE!

March 13, 2018

There are no fast tracks. Lasting achievement takes time. You can never get there by the shortest road. The harder it gets, the stronger you become.” – Rabbi Sacks

Torah Parsha (Portion) Vayikra in a Nutshell from http://www.chabad.org

G‑d calls to Moses from the Tent of Meeting, and communicates to him the laws of the korbanot, the animal and meal offerings brought in the Sanctuary. These include:

  • The “ascending offering” (olah) that is wholly raised to G‑d by the fire atop the altar;
  • Five varieties of “meal offering” (minchah) prepared with fine flour, olive oil and frankincense;
  • The “peace offering” (shelamim), whose meat was eaten by the one bringing the offering, after parts are burned on the altar and parts are given to the kohanim (priests);
  • The different types of “sin offering” (chatat) brought to atone for transgressions committed erroneously by the high priest, the entire community, the king or the ordinary Jew;
  • The “guilt offering” (asham) brought by one who has misappropriated property of the Sanctuary, who is in doubt as to whether he transgressed a divine prohibition, or who has committed a “betrayal against G‑d” by swearing falsely to defraud a fellow man

The ideas for this Blog have been formed over the holiday period where I had time to relax, spend time with my wife Loren, discuss things with her, read, watch movies and listen to Podcasts. The ideas apply to all aspects of our lives.

In Antonia Garcia’s biography of Elon Musk, he talks about Musk’s perseverance “…the harder it gets, the better he gets. I’ve never seen anything like his ability to take pain.[1]

Twice over the holidays, I questioned whether I should persevere with something:

The first was a movie that Loren and I watched called Mother[2]. We decided to give it a go as it had a very good cast, as the movie got weirder, we considered stopping, but continued… WHY? To make matters worse, the next day we tried to discuss what the movie was actually about. After our discussion, I decided to look for a write-up on the internet and found a post that said the movie had these biblical themes and compared the movie to the creation and the characters, to Adam and Eve. Loren and I both said – really? There are definitely times when it is not worth persevering with something… You just need to know when to stop or give up.

The second was listening to a Podacst[3] with Shaman Durek. Shamans[4] typically work with the spirit or the soul. Shaman means, one who know or sees. After a few minutes, I thought this guy is wacky, and I am going to give the Podcast a miss, but he had such a gentle, calming voice, that I decided to persevere. This perseverance was very worthwhile as he shared many great lessons. He does not like words that keep you in limbo and he says you should try to avoid them. This state of limbo is an intermediate or transitional state. He talks about two types of Limbo. The limbo, where you stop to either observe or to stop to make better decisions. The other limbo is where you are, what he calls, desecrating yourself, by thinking of all the bad things that may occur and you get stuck. He says that there are words that we use that keep us stuck in limbo. These include: – Maybe (Rather be honest, you need to commit), Hope, I think So, I don’t know (Means we don’t have power. Rather say that I will go find out! He spoke about religion and shared some general thoughts on religion. He asks the following overriding questions about Religion – Does it lead to love? Do you have more connection to people? Do you feel more devotion or service? Interesting thoughts to consider.

In an article[5] on cricketer Glenn Maxwell he said that he had to focus on being the cricketer he wanted to be “… with a concerted effort to not just train hard, but also maintain the path regardless of the roadblocks

I love to do endurance events. Normally after doing an event, I do a post-event Blog on some of the lessons that I have learnt from the event. During the holiday period, I did two very tough events, that needed lots of perseverance to get through.

In January I did a 56 km trail run called The Two Bays Trail Run. It is a run from Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula to Dromana and back. I have to say this was one of the hardest runs that I have ever done. Besides being very long, I did not have that much trail experience and some of the hills, climbs and steps were very tough. It really took grit and determination to get through this. I am not one who likes to walk on a run, but I just had to walk at times. Doing these events really gives you time to think and reflect.

You need to smell the roses and enjoy the views, enjoy the atmosphere and acknowledge the support on the route. I could never have done the training on my own and I most definitely could not have done the event without my training Buddy, Aubrey. Without Aub’s support, I am not sure I would have got through this. In an excellent Article in the Age in January 2018, Caroline Wozniackis, fiancé, the ex NBA basketballer, David Lee questions these individual sports, like tennis “…you know, it’s gotta be a lonely feeling out there…” He goes on to say that in a team sport, you can say, “…my coach didn’t do this, or my teammate didn’t do that, so it’s a little bit of a different situation in a team sport.”[6]

 “Perseverance is also key to success in any endeavour, but without perseverance in combat, there can be no victory.” –  Jocko Willink

Earlier this month, I joined a group of fellow cyclists from Sydney and Melbourne to ride in the mountains near Bright in Victoria. Bright is a really beautiful part of the world. Day 1 included a climb up to the top of Falls Creek. The 30km climb from Mt. Beauty to Falls Creek is one of the longest in the Victorian Alps and also one of the most picturesque. While there are several downhill sections and plenty of opportunities to rest in the middle section of the climb, the overall length means you need good endurance to get through this climb. Yip, it took looks of endurance and soul searching to stay with the group to the top. The final 6 km was the real killer. If you stop peddling, you will not get to the top and if you keep peddling, then you will keep moving. You need to turn the big goal into small steps. I read an article titled “6 lessons one CEO learned from biking with Richard Branson”[7], it highlights the following:

  • Focus on yourself – “…you have to trust your own instincts about the right plan for you…
  • Get advice from others – “Listen to people who have done it…” or in my case, just stay on their tail and hold on for dear life.
  • Focus on the present – “Looking over your shoulder or dwelling on the past doesn’t get you anywhere”
  • Smile – “For whatever reason, just smiling and having a sense of humour about an outrageous endeavour works” or in my case, just trying to be talkative as it numbs the pain.

So, what does perseverance mean to you?

It is defined as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

“The effort you put into something does not just change the object: it changes you. The greater the labour, the greater the love for what you have made.” – Rabbi Sacks

[1] The Saturday Herald Sun – 10 February 2018

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother!

[3] https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/mindbodygreen-podcast-motivational-interviews-covering/id1246494475?mt=2

[4] Shamans work with the spirit or the soul

[5] The Saturday Herald Sun – 10 February 2018

[6] http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/2018-australian-open-caroline-wozniackis-fiance-david-lee-talks-about-individual-pressure-20180126-h0ou1d.html

[7] https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/14/6-lessons-one-ceo-learned-from-biking-with-richard-branson.html

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One Comment
  1. Mom permalink

    Interesting topic and blog – thanks. Particularly appreciated Rabbi Sacks end quote which summed ‘perseverance’ up! Well done.

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