Overcoming Obstacles: Perseverance

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In the childhood classic, Finding Nemo, Marlin (Nemo’s father) is challenged by sharks, strong currents, and hungry seagulls. These challenges pushed Marlin to his limits, yet he never gave up. In fact, Marlin risked everything for the sake of Nemo. The dedication and confidence he showed in his journey taught a lesson that applies to anyone in the audience: perseverance. Marlin exhibited perseverance by keeping Nemo in mind through each of the challenges he faced. Just like in the movie, this skill is essential to learn how to succeed. Setbacks are inevitable, and learning how to grow from them is a part of life. Perseverance means to be optimistic despite the obstacles you are faced with.

Many people connect perseverance with the refusal to quit. However, while dedication is important, success can’t be attained without optimism. The road to success is not a smooth one; it contains all kinds of setbacks, challenges, and failures. When faced with these obstacles, we have two choices: give up or continue in hopes of overcoming them. Attitude towards an obstacle can make a big difference in the result; therefore those who choose to tackle their problems with optimism are usually more successful in overcoming them.

There are two types of people when it comes to overcoming problems. The first can be compared to Dory in Finding Nemo. Termed a passive optimist, Dory is a character that believes something positive will always follow a challenge or unfavorable experience. Through each of Marlin’s challenges, Dory reminds him to “Just keep swimming,” in order to find Nemo in the end. On the other hand, Marlin is an example of the second type of optimist. Marlin is determined to reach Nemo, and he will go through anything to find him. This is described as an active optimist, someone who has the expectation of success and won’t let setbacks stop them from achieving it (Harsh). Both types of optimists have their own ways of facing and overcoming problems. Determining which type best fits your personality could be a useful tool when facing difficulties.

My mother’s story suggests that she is an active optimist. After a severe rollover accident, she became paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors told her that she would never be able to walk again, and was placed into physical therapy. Her experience was physically and mentally demanding, yet she worked hard to defy the odds she was given. When she first discovered she was able to feel her toes, she became even more determined to gain feeling in her legs. My mother never let her paralysis limit her, and did anything she could to regain feeling in her legs. After months of hard work and persistence, she was able to walk again. Today, you would never be able to guess that she was ever paralyzed. Her story shows that perseverance and optimism go hand in hand when tackling difficulties. This type of mindset is the key to success in anyone’s life.

Of course, the ability to persevere cannot be given or taught; it is a skill that only comes from experience. Similar to a sport or talent, optimism and perseverance can only improve if they are practiced. This doesn’t mean searching for life-changing challenges to build optimism, having a positive mindset can help solve many of your problems. Perhaps you need some motivation to get through a long day, or to finish homework that you are behind on. Perseverance is not defined by overcoming life or death situations, terrible diseases, or even sports injuries. Perseverance is the mindset that a positive result will come from a negative situation. This can easily be practiced in everyday activities; the smallest actions need optimism in some way or another. Finding optimism in minor setbacks builds the perseverance needed in times that are more urgent.

As an example of perseverance on a much less serious scale, I needed to find optimism when I looked for my first car. I had just finished driver’s education, and my parents wanted to make sure I was comfortable with the vehicle I would be driving. My brother switched to a truck, so I was given his old car. I was very thankful that my parents offered it to me, but it wasn’t what I really had in mind for my first car. The headliner drooped, the instrument panel barely worked, and it smelled like a stinky old man. No matter how much I cleaned, the state of the car was never going to improve.

After some convincing, my dad made a compromise. If I found the perfect deal on a car, I could use it for college. I eagerly showed my dad the first few cars I found, but there was always something wrong with them. He created a list of criteria that my car needed to fit: a newer used car, a clean title, cost within our price range, and good gas mileage. It didn’t take long for me to discover that finding a car that fit each of these was near impossible. I spent hours online looking at various websites, searching the combination of keywords that brought the most results. After the second week, it seemed like too much for me to handle. Keeping up with schoolwork and recent listings was a difficult task, and took both focus and time management. As much as I wanted to give up, I took the stance of a passive optimist and reminded myself that my hard work was the only way to find the right deal. About two months and hundreds of searches later, I finally found the perfect car that fit all of the rules my dad had given me. The stress and hard work finally paid off, and I had achieved my goal because of perseverance and optimism.

When optimism is taken out of the equation, goals are seldom accomplished. Perseverance is not only a physical skill, but also a mental one. Whether this means struggling to find the right deal on a car, or defying the odds after becoming paralyzed, obstacles in life come in all shapes and sizes. However, no matter the case, you need optimism to overcome those obstacles. The belief that you can overcome a problem is the fuel that powers you through it. So, next time you are faced with an obstacle, view it as a chance to grow.

Cite this paper

Overcoming Obstacles: Perseverance. (2021, Jul 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/overcoming-obstacles-perseverance/

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