This week’s readings are some of my favorite in this Master Key journey. The word “persist” is mentioned on exact words or in the meaning of words and phrases. We are reading Scroll III in Og Mandino’s The Greatest Salesman in the World which features the key phrase “I will persist until I succeed.” Here is what the Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word persist;
verb [ I ]
us /pərˈsɪst, -ˈzɪst/ to continue to exist past the usual time, or to continue to do something in a determined way even when facing difficulties or opposition:
To me the word “persist” sums up all achievements in this world. We read earlier in Scroll I about beginning a new life by forming good habits;
“I will form good habits and become their slave”
To form a habit you must persist by repeating an action until it becomes a pleasure and because it is a pleasure you will perform it often. We are instructed in Scroll one to read the rest of the scrolls in a prescribed manner to form the bedrock of good habits which are only made possible if we persist in doing the reading as directed. Scroll II starts with
“I will greet this day with Love in my heart”
To “love” someone is to persist in loving them. It is not loving someone a little bit here and a there. It is to love them always. We must persist or it is not love.
Persistence is essential in any endeavor to create success. The world’s best Doctors, Athletes, Musicians, singers, Architects, Plumbers, Teachers, and others didn’t get to the top by giving up, quitting or giving less that 100% to achieve their status. Their persistence led them to their greatness.
Charles Haanel’s Master Key System Chapter 12.4, .6 also talks about persistence; (words in parenthesis are mine for emphasis)
- The only way to keep from going backward is to keep going forward (persist). Eternal vigilance (persist) is the price of success. There are three steps, and each one is absolutely essential (must persist with all three). You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do. (you must have all three – persistence)
- But your ideal must be sharp, clear-cut, definite; to have one ideal today, another tomorrow,
and a third next week, means to scatter your forces and accomplish nothing; your result will be a
meaningless and chaotic combination of wasted material. (Persistance with one ideal)
As I read these words this week a memory from many years ago came in my mind and it correlates with persistence and is the meaning for the title of my week 11 blog. I remember being 15 or 16 years old and riding my 10 speed out in the country on a 13 mile trip between two small towns. It was a hot and sunny summer and was probably in the high 80’s. I was out of water and was just trying to get into the next town and find a gas station to get a drink of water. As I was pedaling my mouth was agape and I was just staring down at the white line at the right edge of the road and a small yellow butterfly flew across the road right in front of my face and nearly right into my mouth. It was so close I thought it was going right in my mouth. Whew that was close! I thought to myself. Then I noticed there were many of those yellow butterflies flying or being blown across the road by the wind. Just then a car came up from behind and passed me at highway speed and a bunch of those butterflies were blown all around higher and scattered into the air by the gust of wind created by the car. At first I thought it was an interesting sight but soon after the butterflies sort of grouped back together and kept on their lives. I thought to myself that it was interesting that they just went back to what they were doing. I don’t what else they would do but it struck me with these words;
“Butterflies don’t know why”
They don’t know what the heck happened. One moment they are being the best butterfly they can be just floating around looking for food, looking for a mate and the next moment they are blown and scattered around violently and in a few seconds they settle back in being the best butterfly they know how to be. They persisted in being a butterfly. I didn’t see any of them float to the ground and have a seat and complain or cuss out that car and wonder how can I continue with all this turmoil in my life. Nope not a one of them. They all immediately went right back to being the best butterfly they could be.
Butterflies don’t know why nor do they ask. They just persist.
Many years later when my family lived near Santa Cruz California I found out there was winter nesting area for monarch butterflies near the beach. Always looking for another excuse to go to the beach I took the family down there and we hoped to see some of the Monarchs. We found the nature center at Natural Bridges State beach that had a small display of Monarch butterfly information.
When found the preserve and walked the 100 or so steps down a rickety old pre-handicapped accessible winding staircase down to a break in the eucalyptus trees where the grass had been trampled down almost to just being dirt. We looked around as we walked and were seeing many Monarchs but not as many as I thought we would see. There were a few people down at the most open area near the eucalyptus grove and they were looking up into the trees and there we saw literally thousands of Monarch butterflies huddled together. They were somewhat camouflaged because their wings were folded together over their back and the color of the underside of the wings is close to brown than orange and blended in to the eucalyptus bark.
What we learned that day was that the butterflies that were nesting will leave when the weather is right and fly to their summer range and that the 4th or fifth generation would return next winter. What? The 4th or 5th generation? That meant the butterflies there that day would leave, mate, lay eggs and die. The eggs would hatch and a caterpillars would be born and grow into adults who would fly a while and mate, lay eggs and die. Then those eggs would hatch, etc, etc. 3 or 4 times again until it was time to return to Santa Cruz and begin their winter nesting. Now that is amazing and is an incredible feat of persistence to somehow pass on the will and ability to not only reproduce many times but to somehow leave the instructions or instincts to get back to Santa Cruz.
But here is the most amazing part of persistence I see with the Monarchs and their journey. Remember that rickety old staircase? In the passing years that was replaced by a well built, sturdy and 6 foot wide wooden walking path down that 100 feet or so to the same break in the eucalyptus grove smack dab in front of the same trees we saw many years before. They built a 30 foot diameter platform to hold a few hundred people at the base of the trees we saw many years before.
Now get this – not only do the Monarchs return to Santa Cruz, not only do they return to Natural Bridges State Beach, not only do they return to the same forest but the return to the same trees! Yes they return to the same two trees at the end of the trail! https://youtu.be/xqCg5en59lk
Persistence is one of the most important keys to success in all ventures. We don’t know when the journey will end or when success will come to us. We must persist until we succeed. So if you are feeling like taking a step back, a day off just because you haven’t fulfilled your life goals or met your quota for the day and life seems a bit tough jut think to yourself –
“Am I as tough and persistent as a butterfly?”
If you don’t like the answer try a little more persistence. You will succeed because you persist.
My name is Michael Puffer and I always keep my promises.