I never really knew the power of perseverance until I read the story of a great hero named Dashrath Manjhi or the “Mountain Man” as he has been nicknamed. It is the story of an old man, a labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a 110 m long, 9.1 m wide and 7.6 m deep path through a mountain using only a hammer and chisel after his wife died due to the interference of that mountain. The story made me see how I have applied perseverance in my life and what tools help me sustain it.
While bringing food to her husband
In fact, Dashrath worked at the other side of the mountain where all the basic services such as schools, hospitals and others were located. There was a road around the mountain that connected the village to the other side of the mountain and it took a long time to reach the other side using that road. So, there was a shortcut to reach the other side by climbing the mountain. That’s what Dashrath’s wife decided to do on that unfortunate day when she was bringing food to her husband. While climbing the mountain, she fell down and got severely injured. Before they could take her to the hospital, which was far away from the village on the other side of the mountain, she succumbed.
Dashrath was so much touched by the accident that he vowed to do everything in his power to prevent this ever happen again to anyone in the village. He spent 22 years working every day to carve a way through the mountain. Dashrath’s perseverance inspired me so much that I spent few days reflecting on the whole story not believing how a single man could work for 22 years to create a path through a mountain!
Perseverance as a weapon
Based on Dashrath’s story I wanted to figure out how I have made use of perseverance in my life. I must confess that prior to this, I did not truly know the importance of perseverance in attaining success. However, the irony is that I’ve been using this skill for many years without even realizing, and it has helped me succeed in a variety of things. In other words, I have unknowingly been carving my way through the mountain of life using perseverance as my weapon.
To me, perseverance is the ability to try something over and over again until we get the result we want. When I got accepted into the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (MWF) in 2017, I had to apply 3 times before finally being selected. The fellowship was the goal that I wanted to attain, and between myself and that goal was the mountain through which I had to carve my way in order to reach it.
The first time I applied for the fellowship was like I used my materials (hammer and chisels) to remove a part of the mountain. By doing so, I got a bit closer to my goal. As I was not selected that first time, I did not panic bearing in mind that every failure takes me closer to the goal since it removes a part of the mountain, making it thinner and thinner. I was still not selected the second time I applied for it and again I was confident that I was getting closer and closer to my goal as the mountain between us became thinner and thinner. The third time I was able to carve completely the way through the mountain and finally made it to the fellowship. This example gave me a clear understanding of how I have used perseverance in my life.
Tool to maintain focus
You may wonder, how to remain focused and keep carving the way until the goal is reached, especially when the going is tough. Focus is certainly important when harnessing the power of perseverance. It helps maintain your eyes on the goal and avoid the diversion. If you happen to lose your focus on the way I guarantee you will soon get tired. What to do then? Fortunately, Ī’ve been lucky to use a powerful tool that has helped me and still helps me maintain my focus, and that tool is meditation.
The essence of meditation is focus because the former is founded on the latter. Meditation is the ability to find the balance between concentration and relaxation, and in finding that balance one needs to be focused on one thing at a time until stillness of the mind, which is the ultimate goal of meditation, is achieved. Hence, the practice of meditation is the best tool that can help achieve the focus required to keep up the perseverance until the goal is reached.
What is that mountain standing between you and your goal? Be sure, you can carve your way through it using the power of perseverance. Want to try it right now? Join Peace Revolution self-development program, and you will learn tools how to carve your way through the mountains of life and attain your goals by maintaining your focus on a single task.