Picture this, we are incredibly bigger than an ant, yet as much as we despise the ant, the human race has failed to totally exterminate the ant from their dwellings. Whenever humans see ant houses they destroy them, but the following day they will see another ant house built in the very same place. Though humans are super gigantic in comparison to the ant, we have failed to crush the ant spirit entirely because of one reason; the ant is a persistent species. What it lacks for in size, it compensates for in character.
We all do not possess super skills; neither do we all possess superior intellect, but all those who truly desire to live a life of greatness will surely achieve solely due to that distinct quality of persistence. Persistence is the trait or attribute that refuses to back down, give in or give up until it acquires what it desires. It is not an inborn quality but rather it is a developed trait that one voluntarily takes up to be one of the qualities of their life. Everyone and anyone can be persistent if they so wish to. As such it is not a preserve for any class of people, nor is it exclusive to a certain group. This then validates why motivational tutors often convey the belief that anyone who so desires to achieve will certainly do. This is because any man can make the conscious choice never to back down, give up or give in until they grasp what they desire.
History is a gallery of the stories of people who achieved greatness simply because they refused to give up even when everyone expected them to give up and throw in the towel. What made those people heroes and heroines was simply the ability to persist until they got what they believed they deserved. What makes Madiba such an affectionate name that arouses emotions and feelings of unity in South Africa is not any super strength that the man, Nelson Mandela, possesses. Madiba is who he is because when he had the option to accept the status quo and give up on the dream, he refused the option and persisted asking for what he believed he deserved. When they jailed him, he could have accepted that apartheid was there to last and that they had arrested his dream, but he did not. He stuck to his guns; he kept on demanding a South Africa free of apartheid. Twenty seven years of imprisonment was the test he conquered because of persistence.
When the settler regime through, Ian Smith- the embodiment of the Rhodesian Settler government- kept on ranting that there would be no majority rule in a million years, the liberation fighters did not give up. Instead of giving up, they turned on the heat. When some of them were slaughtered and massacred in their numbers at places like Chimoio, the survivors did not quit the struggle, they strategised and intensified. It was easier for them to give up than to carry on, but still they persisted. Independence would have not been a reality for Zimbabwe, if there was no persistence in the spirit of our liberation fighters. Even though the colonizers were heavily armed, and though the liberation fighters could not match them strength to strength, they persisted and their persistence on their cause carried the day.
Daily we yield to the persistence of even the weakest among us. We give in to the demands of a persistent kid who has nothing else on her side except her innocent persistence. Nothing stands in the way of determined people. It is often said that, “When a man really wants something, the universe will conspire to give it to him.” The only visible quality that shows that a man really desires to have something is persistence.
You may lack in finance; you may lack in skill, you may lack in talent, you may lack in strength. But if you persist certainly something will have to give in order for you to achieve that which you desire. Never be dismayed by your challenges and the hurdles in your path, you just persist! One day, you will certainly strike a chord that resonates with your dream, and on that day you will surely taste the sweet taste of success.
If you keep knocking even on doors of steel, they will surely open up for you. If you keep petitioning even a cruel king, he will be bothered until he gives you your desire, so that he may know rest. Learn from the ant, who will keep on building her house no matter how many times we destroy it.
The writer is a motivational speaker
He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
(Story inspired by Rutendo Rupapa)