In 1605, audiences of England’s theater scene were the first to hear a phrase that has stood the test of time and still to this day conjures a sense of determination and perseverance to all that hear it. Although Lady Macbeth was encouraging her cold footed husband to commit murder when she uttered the line “We fail! But screw your courage to the sticking-place, and we’ll not fail.” We can still draw encouragement for our own instances of self doubt from her famous line.
So many times, especially in our modern era of instant gratification, when we don’t see quick results as the fruit of our labor we give up, throw the towel in, and decide that what we are doing isn’t working. Whether it’s a healthy lifestyle of clean eating and going to the gym to get into shape, putting aside a small percentage of our earnings to save up for a home, car, vacation, wedding, or anything else worthy of saving a substantial sum, or diving deep into our self for any kind of personal development, if our high-speed internet trained brains don’t witness results fast enough we tend to adopt an identity rooted in defeatism and begin a journey into a downward spiral that, if left untreated, can result in any number of mental maladies that cause some people to seek to become heavily medicated, or at the very least they remain very unhappy.
It’s time we re-claim the tenacity of our ancestors who, against all odds, built civilizations, governments, systems, and ultimately the foundations for the world as we know it. The historic heroes of the stories we learn in grade school, or portrayed in our favorite books and films didn’t have this instant gratification mindset. In fact, if you look at any Hollywood blockbuster there is always a struggle before the resolution; the problem is that we are so conditioned to see the resolution packaged nicely before the credits roll within a two hour time frame.
Some of the most amazing achievers of history failed time and time again before the monumental successes we know them for, but they didn’t let their failures dictate their mood; they screwed their courage to the sticking-place, mustered the energy to begin anew, and failed their way to success.
Next time you face a set back instead of retreating to a place of defeat and depression I encourage you to take a deep breath, get back up and try again, and again, and again, and again.
Val can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org