Monday, June 29, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - The Transformative Power of Tenacity

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity." ~Louis Pasteur

My friend, Laura, the author of Laura Reviews, recently posted an interview with Hugh MacLeod, author of Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity. At the end of the interview, Laura asked him for his advice to writers. He simply said, "Keep doing it. It's better to write 50 words every day, than 2,000 words every month." In other words, keep going.

On Daily Good, a blog that promotes positive news stories, I read the quote above by Louis Pasteur. Pasteur is best known for the development of vaccines and the process of pasteurization. While he could attribute his vast scientific accomplishments to intelligence or creativity or even a variety of qualities, he credited his tenacity as the only key to his success. In other words, his achievements are due to his ability to keep going.

With all the rain falling in New York City lately, I've steadily been working my way through my Netflix cue. I rented We Are Marshall. It looked like a compelling story, and one I was unfamiliar with. After a tragic plane crash in which nearly the entire team, coaching staff, and many fans of Marshall University's football team perish, the university considers deferring its program.

One of the four remaining players rallies the school's students who stage a peaceful demonstration outside of the school's board meeting as the board is deciding whether or not to defer the program. Every student at the university turns out, chanting one single saying, "We are Marshall." After an exhaustive search to find a new coach, Jack Lengyel (then head coach of the football team at The College of Wooster) convinces Marshall to give him the job of head coach.

A grieving town, a spare number of players whose hearts and spirits were wracked with guilt, and a university suffering with a tremendous sense of loss and loneliness. That's all Jack Lengyel had. And though the team had far from a winning season in 1971, the fact that they could rebuild any sense of spirit and win any games at all in the competitive arena of college football was nothing short of a miracle. They just wouldn't take no for an answer, not matter how many obstacles they encountered. They kept going.

Tenacity pays. It obliterates challenges. It provides confidence to those who embrace it and inspires others who witness it in the spirit of others. So when we're down or lost or we don't know what to do with what we've got, the only way for us to get unstuck may be to just keep plowing through.

The image above can be found at:


Laura Cococcia said...

I was just catching up on your posts - THANK you for the link you posted - I'm so sorry I didn't say anything sooner! You put a great context around the topic of creativity and tenacity (since you are the expert of both!) I always learn something new every day from you!

Christa said...

Thanks, Laura, and ditto on all counts. It's true amazing what fabulous interviews you land for Laura Reviews and they are always so inspiring!!