I believe that perseverance is the key to a successful life and the success of this country. Some have observed that 90% of life is showing up, and presence is often a prerequisite to getting something accomplished, but mere presence is clearly not sufficient. True achievement, whether it is in work, family, friendship, faith or community requires sustained effort to produce desired results. The financial situation we face in 2009 is the direct result of people not recognizing that lasting success in investment and business only comes from sustained investments in money and effort, focused on building real, lasting value. Businesses built in this manner have a greater chance of surviving downturns and provide the impetus for growth that will fuel the eventual recovery. The same characteristics are seen in all aspects of our lives – sustained, thoughtful involvement in the lives our spouses and children make better families, the long time leadership of a small group of citizens make local governments and charitable organizations work, the dedication of teachers make students lives better and the perseverance of our military has preserved the freedom of our nation for over 200 years. While perseverance is not the only element necessary for success, the bus will never reach that destination unless perseverance is on board.
Many goals, derided as impossible, have been achieved because a few people have refused to be discouraged and found a way to achieve their dream. Thomas Edison, perhaps the most successful inventor ever, tested over 6000 different materials in his pursuit of the carbon filament for his practical incandescent light bulb. Today, our country and our new President face a series of major problems that taken one at a time, would be difficult to solve, much less all at once. It is this “crisis of problems” that gives us, individually and collectively, to apply our national strength of perseverance to ensure that we emerge from this situation with these problems solved. Now is time to analyze these problems, determine the root causes, and move forward to define and implement the real solutions until they are completely corrected. We must understand that these solutions may be difficult, long and involve real sacrifice, but we must accept and endure these difficulties to ensure that these problems are not passed to our children or grandchildren. Our perseverance is key!
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