Recently, the ship The Endurance was found at the bottom of the sea in Antarctica. The name of the ship aptly describes what Ernest Shackleton and his 27 man crew went through for over a year after their ship became entrapped in the ice. It didn’t take long for the force of the ice pack to gradually splinter the ship. After many miles, trials and disappointments, they were finally rescued, almost two years after setting out for Antarctica. Their survival gave real meaning to the term endurance.
(Note: The Endurance is also a 2000 documentary film based on the book of the same name, authored by Caroline Alexander.)
Endurance is the ability to face hardship and withstand adversity. It can also mean perseverance despite the odds.
My mom and dad just reached a milestone birthday. They’ve raised a big family, enjoyed many achievements, survived life’s disappointments, celebrated numerous joyful events and stayed true to their faith. My siblings and I are very proud of them and thankful to have won the “parent lottery” by being born to such a wonderful couple.
They have endured a great deal throughout the decades, but feel they are better off for overcoming the struggles they’ve faced. They made a commitment and stayed in the game — together. Not many can say the same these days.
Building Endurance is Underrated
In our immediate gratification society, the benefits of building endurance are underrated. People tend to want success right off the bat. It’s hard to slog through the tough times and keep going when you can’t always see the finish line.
I know there are times you want to give up, call it a day and cut your losses, but sometimes we can’t appreciate how close we are to success. If we could only hold up a measuring stick to see how far we’ve come and how little we have yet to go, it might give us the boost we need to keep moving forward. The key is to make some progress.
Pivot to Progress
Consider a pivot if your progress has come to a standstill. Shift course, even if it’s only a few degrees from where you are now. My Navy husband reminded me that changing course by only one degree results in a big difference in where you end up. The change you make might not be that dramatic, but your destination could be significant. Along the way, you may also make new discoveries and improve your ability to endure rough waters.
Shackleton and his crew pivoted and persevered. You too can build endurance for the long-haul, if the goal is worthy enough. If it gives you purpose. If you feel the world will be better off. And if it’s crucial to counter the troublemakers (you know who they are), your efforts are bound to have an impact.
As the old adage goes, don’t give up five minutes before the miracle!