The Precedence of Perseverance

During my eighteen years of existence I have been subjected to countless advisements, proposals, teachings and guidance. And though I am extremely grateful for all the lessons have I have encountered, one specific piece of advice triumphs over the rest. A British author known as Samuel Johnson once declared, β€œGreat works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” The significance and impact that this quote had over me was enough to form and shape my behaviors for the duration of my high school career. I spent all four years attempting to maintain an aura of diligence and understand the components of perseverance.

If one were to look up the definition of perseverance they would simply see a cluster of large synonyms that have little purpose and lack compelling denotation. Nevertheless, over the years I have learned that perseverance is more of a state-of-mind than it is a simple adjective. In 2007 when I became a high school student I quickly realized a lot of things about myself. I became aware that success was an important part of my education and in order to obtain my desired success, I was going to have to develop an incredibly persistent work ethic. I made a plan to always take notes in class and never miss a homework assignment. Little did I know, however, that those were only the beginning steps in becoming an accomplished student. I needed to demonstrate my ability to remain determined, focused, and devoted. Even being slightly stubborn and relentless proved itself helpful when it came to challenges in my education.

In specific subjects such as Math and Science the words of Johnson seemed to have a surprising effect on me. Algebra and Chemistry contained some of the hardest concepts I’ve ever had to deal with. It was in these two classes that I learned I did not possess the natural strength that these subjects required. What I did possess, however, was perseverance. I worked unbelievably hard, spending many of my lunches, studies, and afternoons obtaining extra help in both classes. I became focused on not just learning the material, but actually understanding it. The notes and homework assignments went beyond normal school work and I treated every task like it was a test. I soon realized that I was no longer treating these courses like a high school class, rather a personal assessment taxing my endurance. I had now entered a state-of-mind. The exact state-of-mind that is perseverance.

The quote by Johnson has taught me that to persevere is to maintain the highest level of motivation that one has. High school was a time for me to perfect my capability to persevere and I plan to use my capabilities starting the first day I walk through the college campus doors. The ability to remain motivated and maintain immunity against defeat is perhaps the most important ability that one can acquire. For me, I was able to begin my journey towards this ability due to the insightful words of Samuel Johnson.

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