A Simple Lesson in Persistence

Back in  1984, Adam and I lived in Santa Barbara one street over from a beautiful park with a large pond and a flock of resident ducks. They don’t fly south for the winter. They’re already south.

One day there was a new duck on the pond. I don’t know where it came from or how it got there, but it was a stranger, new to the pond and not accepted by the ducks who felt they owned the pond.

So here was this beautiful pond with maybe a dozen ducks swimming around together; and over on the side was this lone duck.

Over the next few days we watched this newcomer try again and again to join the others, and again and again they drove him off, quacking and flapping their wings and chasing it away. Again and again and again.

But each time the new duck got just a little bit closer before the others came flapping and chasing. And over time, fewer of the ducks participated in repelling the new duck, and they gradually showed less enthusiasm for it. Eventually the old ones tired of continually resisting this new duck who apparently had nowhere else to go and wasn’t about to leave.

The new duck must have had a strong desire to join the others and it never gave up. It just kept staying on the pond, determined to be part of the group.

And one day we walked by the pond and there was no quacking or flapping. The new duck was cruising with the others, who seemed on edge but tolerant. Eventually it was just another duck on the pond, part of the group.

Whatever you want in life, be like the duck on the pond. Don’t let anyone chase you off your dreams. One of the greatest – maybe the greatest powers on this earth is simple committed persistence. Keep at it long enough and the thing you want shall be yours.

Klassy Evans is the editor of Principles For Personal Growth, and the co-author of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English) and Fill Your Tank With Freedom.

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