Sep 04, 2013 1 Min Read

How many of you have been in a “halfway” situation where it feels like it is too far to go back to the starting point, yet the ending point seems too far away? My friend likened her experience hiking the mountains of Nepal to that. It was late afternoon when she and her hiking partner passed the first village and because they thought the next village is not going to be far away, they decided they will try to get to the next village before sunsets.

Unfortunately, as life sometimes has it, the second village was much further than they thought; which was probably about two hills away. So now, being hungry, tired, and the weather is less-than-optimistic, should they go back or strive ahead?

A couple weeks back, I was in London to attend an event. If anyone has been in and around London, you would know that the Tube is very much a convenient mode of transport (if you haven’t, I highly suggest you try it). So like every typical London tourist, I decided I shall take the Tube to the event venue. I took it to my first station, got out, and because I have no idea how the layout is like, I chose the stairs instead of the lift like every typical Malaysian would have.

It’s one of those old spiral staircases which never seemed to end, so I kept climbing up thinking that I should have been out of the station at every circular bend. I was probably halfway when I started panting, which meant that controlling for my lack of stamina, I had done quite some climbing. Incidentally, there was an announcement over the PA system; “Dear passengers, please refrain from using the staircase unless in cases of emergency as it has 193 steps. Do use the elevator located behind the station instead”. You know the “Y U NO” meme across the net? My expression was really not any different. So being in the middle of up and down, which way should I go?

In both situations, my friend and I chose to charge forward, not so much with the energy, but still going ahead with what we started. Practically speaking, my friend was too far from the previous village to make a journey back and I was too near to the station exit to go all the way back down to the elevator. How? Persevere through, and that is what I’m trying to share here. To persevere in life’s not-here-neither-there situations, by making a choice.

We both could have chosen to go back to the starting point, and nothing wrong with that really; there could be a different shorter route from the start point, like the elevator for example. Most important though was we both made a choice to move towards our goal and persevere towards it.

Granted, climbing (193÷2) number of steps is not the world’s most difficult thing. But think about it, if one does not even persevere in small, daily life events, how would perseverance magically appear in more challenging bigger events? I like thinking of perseverance as a muscle, you train it little by little, and that is when it becomes a strong enough force to push through the more difficult times in life.

So the next time you feel demotivated with the exam revision even though you just have half a chapter to go, persevere – finish it. Life has one too many “halfway” situations for us, and it helps to persevere through it to reap those rewards.

Oh, and for girls, perseverance is made easier around London with flats, not heels.

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