Janet Pearlman

Living in the Stream of Yes

Hey, Keep on Truckin!


Crozet Creek, 12 x 16, Acrylic, $235

Crozet Creek, 12 x 16, Acrylic, $235

We all have faced discouraging times in life. We may feel defeated when at first something on which we have worked does not succeed.  In our head may be a voice saying, “Well it did not work last time or this time, why not give up?”

We may take the setback as a personal flaw– let’s skip that :). This post is intended to soothe that wrinkled brow.

A Simple Tale

Isabel joined with a dear friend for a

walk on a scenic mountain trail. She came with camera, wanting to capture her friend’s shining image.

“Don’t bother with me,” spoke the companion.  “I take an awful picture.”

Our heroine decided to ignore those negative predictions. Issy clicked and clicked. Admittedly, this subject felt self conscious and many shots came out poorly.  “No,” thought Isabel remaining relaxed and upbeat, “I will keep at it.”

Hooray! At walk’s end our star came away with two excellent ones and two good ones.  The persistence with positive attitude had pay off.

Inspiration from Noted Figures

I. Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison demonstrated the quintessential quality of persistence as he developed the light bulb. Our hero took 1000 experiments to create that device that sustains illumination. What did he say to himself at experiment 750?

Picture him in his laboratory, having been at this endeavor already for a good chunk of time.  Some of us might say, ” This blankety-blank thing will never work. I quit!”

Instead, focused on his task Edison said ( a paraphrase), “Maybe if I adjust this widget a bit like this, it would improve this feature…”  He stayed excited and persisted. That man enjoyed his process, knowing not when his mechanism would shine forth.

When he awoke on a day down the road, it was like any other day at first. That day in the lab, the bulb worked. He is just like you and me. And we all know he prevailed.

2.   John Lennon

Years ago Katrina had the opportunity to view an exhibit of John Lennon’s illustrations. Pieces were in white mats, some framed.

On one of these Lennon shared, “My aunt always told me, ‘The guitar is very well, John,  but you will never make a living at it.’ ”

Isn’t it fun to picture the day John heard his mother’s sister speak that and simply chose to ignore her! He just kept doing what he loved. Imagine!

3.  Examples of persistence: excerpts from the “Consider This” page Chicken Soup for the  Soul by Jack Canfield

– “Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.”[1]

– “The parents of the famous opera singer Enrico Caruso wanted him to be an engineer. His teacher said he had no voice at all and could not sing.”[2]

– “Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.”[3]

–  ” The sculptor Rodin’s father said, ‘I have an idiot for a son.’  Described as the worse pupil in the school, Rodin failed three times to secure admittance to the school of art. His uncle called him ineducable.”[4]

4 Take away for Readers

Please let stories like these inspire you.

Notice what feels really good –to think or do– do more of those things relaxed and upbeat.

Enjoy the journey, moment by moment. Daydream. Keep going.

Have some accounts of persistence yourself? Please comment. Together we light up this wonderful world.

[1] Canfield, Jack, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Health Communications, Inc, 1993 p. 228.

[2]Ibid, p.229.

[3] Ibid, p.229.

[4] Ibid, p.229.

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