This week, one of the actions on the Americans of Conscience Checklist is to ask someone you respect how they persevere through difficult times.
If you want to share their answers—or your own—I invite you to write a comment below.
Here’s my own:
When I walked the Camino de Santiago (500 miles across northern Spain), I developed a love-hate relationship with hills. The unending strain of going up. The bliss of a gorgeous view at the top. The dread of steep, cobbly descents. The delight of a cool, running stream in the valley. And repeat.
One day, I realized that what made hills difficult was what I told myself about hills. Hills are bad, for example. Hills are hard. There shouldn’t be hills at all! Huh! I wonder what would happen if I didn’t harp about how awful they are.
So I tried it. One afternoon, I approached a long, winding hill in the sunshine. Instead of dreading, I just took it a step at a time. As I did, sensations through my five senses became more vivid: I noticed the sound of my breathing, the crunch of gravel underfoot, an unexpected breeze cooling my skin.
Instead of being in my head, I was in the moment. I was at peace with things as they are. It was a revelation.
Today, when the news feels overwhelming–like a huge hill I don’t want to climb–I look around and the good deeds happening around us become more apparent. I notice inspiring people taking risks. I focus on just the next step instead of trying to climb the whole hill at once.
What helps you persevere?