A person may experience many times in his/her life when they are challenged to persevere. It means having tenacity, determination, and steadfastness even if it might delay success. Like the flower, we push through and over the obstacle.

Those who face a life-threatening or life-altering illness must persevere in order to heal or accept the circumstances with dignity and love. Those of us with cancer know how important it is to not give up...just keep going one day at a time.

I think of our military personnel who must persevere day in and day out despite enormous and painful realities.

Here are some famous people who persevered despite many obstacles:

Albert Einstein had a difficult childhood and many people thought he was a failure.He did not speak until after the age of three, and throughout elementary school, many of his teachers thought he was lazy and wouldn’t make anything of himself. H received good grades, but he was always conjuring up abstract ideas that most people could not understand. Eventually he developed the theory of relativity which changed our lives and the world. 

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination."

J.K. Rowlings saw herself as a failure. She was jobless, divorced, penniless, and with a dependent child. She suffered through bouts of depression, eventually signing up for government-assisted welfare. It was a difficult time in her life, but she pushed through the failures.

"It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Thomas Edison's teachers said he was "too stupid to learn anything." He was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Yet, he persevered and became the greatest innovator of all time. He refused to give up no matter what.                            

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."                                     

So what can we learn from these famous and accomplished individuals? They each faced different, yet difficult challenges and obstacles. We have to wonder where perseverance comes from. Is it a trait that we witnessed in others that impacted us? I believe it is. I also believe that we are born with a certain amount of perseverance as witnessed by infants who lived when there was no hope. Some parents are able to teach their children by their own example, or by encouraging and believing in them.

I invite you to read my book, "Outshine" which describes the ways I have and still do persevere through the challenge of cancer. All proceeds go to cancer research.