Authentic Change and Perseverance

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

-Calvin Coolidge

Are you looking for excellence in all facets of your school environment? Before you start any kind of short or long term game change, put your running shoes on and persevere. You cannot sprint and make lasting, valuable, internal change happen! It’s like running a marathon, so be prepared for a long, strenuous journey before feeling the satisfaction of finishing the race.

Having perseverance means starting from the beginning and collaborating with your colleagues. We cannot think about a building or district change as instantly moving individuals a thousand feet forward but, rather, about pushing a thousand people forward one foot at a time.

You can imagine persistence in change as waging a ground game instead of an air game in football. While an air game (lots of passing the ball) is a fairly quick and safe way to attack an opponent, it is rarely enough to defeat them. The consistent ground attack wins more games. This analogy implies that you need to invest time, manpower and resources to “conquer” (or move) each opponent.

Lasting change is rarely a singular, transformational event, but rather something simple, yet consistent, taking place over time. Change is not a singular decision; it’s a state of mind. It’s the simple decisions we make daily to be better. It’s a chain of decisions, defined as continuous improvement.

Authentic change is more than experiencing an awakening or spark of inspiration. Authentic change is action taken to move one’s heart forward. Authentic change requires consistency. Authentic change is a day-to-day struggle. Authentic change perseveres.

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