April 17, 2012 at 6:40 am, by Carl

Do you have courage?  What about perseverance?  Can you stick it out when things get tough, or do you fold quickly at the first sign of trouble?  So often in life, whether in business or in education or in relationships, the magic ingredient for success comes down to a dogged determination to stay in the game.  In 1802, a future President, John Quincy Adams, made this point by extolling the virtues of the Pilgrims.


If ever a man was raised to be in politics, it would be John Quincy Adams, the eldest son of our second President, John Adams.  John Quincy made the arduous trip with his father to France when he was but 10, in 1778.  He traveled to several European nations at a time when most Americans never visited any neighboring state.  Eventually, he would serve as the Secretary of State under President Monroe, and then be elected President himself in 1824.


In 1802, he was asked to give an address commemorating the landing of the Pilgrims.  Adams made the clear point that their effort was not easy.  In the speech, he hammered home the point that neither their voyage nor their first days in the New World were easy.  Most would have quit, given up, grown weary of the effort.   To this, Adams brings this statement:


Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air. These qualities have ever been displayed in their mightiest perfection, as attendants in the retinue of strong passions.

“difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”  Wow!


How?  Through Courage and perseverance.  Yes!  Adams added that such courage had not just been the Pilgrims alone, but rather everyone who had made the effort to come from the Old World to the New World.  He said,  “the various adventurers from the ancient world had exhibited upon innumerable occasions that ardor of enterprise and that stubbornness of pursuit which set all danger at defiance, and chained the violence of nature at their feet.”


I like that–chained the violence of nature at their feet.


Next time you face a tough exam while also needing to prepare for 3 other classes and still go to work and also meet the expectations of your boyfriend….decide that you plan on chaining the violence of nature to your feet by simply being courageous and bringing perseverance to bear.  Simply refuse to quit!   Have that “stubbornness of pursuit.”


You can do it.  Go for it!!