The Little Engine that Could


The Little Engine that Could

In the last few months, the idea of persistence and resiliency has continued to surface in many aspects of my life.  This brings to mind the classic children’s story The Little Engine that Could.  When the train was struggling to make it up the big hill, he didn’t give up; but repeated the phrase, “I think I can” until he made it to the top of the hill.  This is a great example of persistence and resiliency.  Sticking with something and trying again even in the face of failure.  So often it is just easier to give up, than to try again.  Unfortunately, we miss out on some great lessons when we choose to give up rather than continue to try.

As I write this article the Summer Olympics are coming to a close, and I have watched many stories of persistence and resiliency over the last few weeks.  What better example of the athletes at these games!  How many times have they failed only to get up and try again; to push harder to achieve the dream of being an Olympian, and possibly taking home a medal.  Speaking of athletes, our office manager’s daughter is a great athlete who recently showed her persistence and resiliency.  Prior to her world championship meet in Martial Arts, she suffered a serious sprain to her ankle.  It was thought that she would not be able to compete, and all of her hard work and training would be for nothing.  She chose not to let this get her down, and worked harder than ever with a physical therapist to regain enough strength and movement to compete.  Her hard work and persistence paid off with several medals!

Here at the office, I have watched several children in the past few months struggle with persistence and resiliency.  They truly believe they cannot do what is asked of them, and want to give up; but when guided to try just a little bit more, they discover what they can do.  The smiles that light up their faces when they see what they have accomplished through persistence are priceless.  I have several families who are working with their children on sticking with a task even though it is challenging.  All of the children are at different stages in terms of the amount of support they need, but each of them is finding they can persist and try again when they fail.

We all face moments where we just want to give up, but what makes us keep going?  Some of us we look within ourselves to find the drive we need, while for others it is the needs of others that drive our persistence.  Whatever the reason for persisting, we find the strength to try again.  So what do you do when you feel like you just can’t go on?  Here are few strategies I like to use:

  • Take a break and come back to the task later.
  • Stop and look for an alternate solution.
  • Know when to ask for help.
  • Think about the benefit for achieving the task.

There are several other strategies that you may have for persisting these are just a few that I use for persisting and finding resiliency.

Whether you use the mantra, “I think I can” or you just forge ahead, persistence and resiliency are the keys to new discoveries and great accomplishments.  When things get really tough and you are struggling, persist – “I Know You Can!”

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