Perseverance: No great achievement comes without obstacles: physical limitations, our own beliefs, the vagaries of nature, or resistance from the outside world. Never abandon your dreams, keep going.
Perseverance is a character trait and value that is needed to achieve goals in your life. It is a skill that can be acquired and developed by anyone and is needed in all aspects of life.
One evening in 2002, I came home, turned the TV on and then went into the kitchen to prepare dinner. I had put an interview on and could hear the audio of two people speaking. I recognized the interviewer’s voice; however the guest’s voice was new to me. What they were talking about was very interesting and I was especially impressed by the wisdom and inspiring things the guest was talking about.
When I went into the living room ten minutes later, I was amazed to discover that the guest was a youngster in a wheel chair with an assistive breathing device. I was about to be swept off my feet by 12-year old Mathew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek.
Mattie Stepanek was born in 1990. He was born with dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy, a rare form of muscular dystrophy, a disease that would take his two brothers and his sister in early childhood. He told the interviewer that he wanted to change the world and that he had written three wishes, at age ten:
1. I want to publish a book of poetry.
1. I want to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
3. I want to talk to Jimmy Carter.
Shortly after he wrote the wishes, he was told by his doctors that he would die very soon. Mattie decided that he would live his life to the fullest and not allow the disease to stop him from reaching his goals. Mattie wrote five books of poetry before he passed away. They were all bestsellers. He appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show and spoke to Jimmy Carter. He later met Jimmy Carter and they became close friends.
Mattie spent his life sharing and inspiring. He spent the last two years of his life in hospital because of his declining health, however his energy of giving and helping continued until his last breath.
He passed away in 2004 and the eulogy at his funeral was delivered by President Carter. Two more books were published after his passing. His poetry is for people of all ages and continues to be inspirational to people worldwide.
Let’s continue to be inspired by this courageous, dynamic young man who kept on keeping on, no matter what…
To honour his memory write down three important initiatives you will begin, persevere in and complete.