The other day I was talking to a new acquaintance about making music. I myself am a drummer, and I asked him the question that usually comes up in such a conversation, “Do you play anything?” He laughed and said, “No, I was not lucky enough to get the talent!” Laughing with him I very spontaneously responded, “What, with perseverance or discipline?” I think we were both a bit taken aback, me because I had spoken so quickly without thinking, and him because of how true it actually is. I was relieved when he did not take offense and the laughing continued.
One of the most fundamental qualities of ongoing achievers is the courage to persevere.
For years we at the Kobus Neethling Institute have been studying the development of creative behaviors of people in a number of countries. We have found that one of the most fundamental qualities of ongoing achievers is the courage to persevere – not to give up so easily – and to keep on telling yourself that you are not beaten, and the goal can be achieved.
The Japanese were one of those groups of people that we studied that showed exceptional perseverance. The courage to persevere is to keep on believing that there is a better way. Unfortunately, when most people are confronted by real and legitimate obstacles (and who is not) they choose to think in the “problem mode” and begin to find reasons why it is impossible to carry on. This is where “let’s give in” and “let’s go back” should be converted to “let’s keep going” and “let’s do it.” Whether or not you eventually reach your point B will depend on your courage to persevere in spite of setbacks, discouragements and disappointments. You are the architect in charge of designing and redesigning your life. Don’t stop, because even moving forward in small increments will eventually take you to places you would not have reached otherwise!
“I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.” – Henry David Thoreau
Achievers Take Risks
We will have to rediscover our courage to take risks.
At the Kobus Neethling Institute, we believe that we were born to take risks. In the behavior of the young child, we see many indications of natural, spontaneous risk-taking. All the child is asking the parent, and later the teacher is to take their hand in this endeavor to go beyond and break the boundaries of their immediate world.
But, unfortunately, instead of developing the skills and attitudes to take risks, the opposite often-times happens. The child is forced to adhere to the confines imposed by prevailing traditions, rules and regulations and they start to avoid taking risks completely, in spite of a natural instinct to expand horizons. We often think that allowing children to take risks will stimulate unruliness and a culture of bad behavior. Not so. True courage and creativity always go hand in hand with good discipline, respect for yourself and others, and respect for the world in which we take our risks.
Perhaps in years gone by it was still possible to journey to your point B without taking risks, but in this century and beyond we will have to rediscover our courage to take risks. We now live permanently in a world of flux, instability, and change.
Does this mean that people who apparently resist change and refuse to undertake any risk to cross a new frontier are worthless and irrelevant in the modern world? The answer is a resounding “no!” Many of those people have learned well and achieved well within the paradigms of the 20th century.
But now they might have uncomfortable feelings about the future and hang on to past behavior. They are suspicious of any new behavior that goes beyond their old experiences. But human beings have the capacity to confront old beliefs and attitudes that have little meaning in a drastically changing world. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you come from.
Our experiences during the past few years with people over the age of 70 have once again convinced us that you can be 77 or 81, or whatever age, and still change those old beliefs about yourself and your environment. We have seen people who walk away from our programs and start their own businesses at the age of 70 and 80. For the first time in their lives, they had the courage to depend on their own abilities to create and risk – and not to depend on others to do it for them.
A Few Parting Thoughts
Like in the discussion I had with that colleague of mine, we may have the misconception that our stumbling block is the “lack” of something we believe we were born without. That which we think we were born without is only as true as we believe it to be. Thousands of people have come to us in trying to understand themselves as students, job seekers, sportspeople, parents, teachers, business-people, and leaders, to name but a few, and we have found that we all have the propensity to be whatever, and whoever, we want to be. It is just that it comes easier to some than to others.
With conscience effort, perseverance to push through the challenges and the courage to try new things, you can get to where you want to be.
The platform through which we have been able to help these thousands of people is a battery of instruments called the Neethling Brain Instruments. Please feel free to read through its description. You can even become a dispenser of this knowledge and a practitioner of the instruments we have used in our programs worldwide. You can find out more about NBI Practitioners training here. Otherwise, go to our shop where you will find books on this topic, as well as the brain profiles you may find useful for your journey of self-growth.