Persevere or change course?

How do you continue to persevere after facing challenge after challenge? At some point isn’t it a sign from the universe that “This is not it” or “Stop what you’re doing!” How do you know when to persevere versus when to change course?

This question was asked during a recent corporate workshop. In my opinion, there are two aspects to this question.

First, we should realize that life itself is a undulating landscape of challenges. The moment one challenge ends, another appears on the horizon. The cycle ends only with death.

Our challenges are what force us to pay attention to life, to evolve and eventually infuse meaning and purpose in our experiences. So don’t run away from challenges, face them squarely and learn from them.

The second aspect is more specific, when it relates to a certain purpose or goal we are wanting to achieve and we see ourselves being consumed by a series of challenges. This can mean several things:

  1. Not chasing the right goals – A goal decided without conscious reflection and deliberation often becomes a stumbling block rather than a stepping-stone in life. If you chase the wrong goals, you will feel empty even if you reach those goals. Examine your goals. Do they excite you, make you come alive? If not, you probably need to review them.
  2. Poor understanding of the environment – Often we set goals without taking stock of the environment we are functioning in and therefore find ourselves clueless, when things around us begin to change or not function as expected. So reframe your goals in the context of your environment and prepare for the expected challenges as far as possible in advance.
  3. Lack of planning – Every goal needs to be backed by a well thought out plan, including setting timelines and mini goals. A good plan serves as a guide and helps you evaluate and change your methods if required.
  4. Lack of shared vision – No dream can be achieved alone. We are both guardians and collaborators of each other’s dreams. But if you have not bothered to involve your loved ones, friends, coworkers and mentors in your plan, you will isolate and weaken yourself.
  5. Incongruence between purpose and goal – Your purpose might be to become a leading scientist, but you might be focusing on the wrong job to help you achieve that. Check if your purpose and goals are moving in the same direction.

Evaluating your goals in the above contexts will help you decide your path.




Share this post on social media

leave a comment