Tenacity is Key to Success

The doggone squirrel finally did it. After months of thwarting Rocky’s attempts to get in my bird feeder, the squirrel triumphantly breeched the “squirrel free zone.” My wife hollered, “look at that!” as we stared out the kitchen window at the squirrel eating lunch in our backyard bird feeder. That little sucker taught me a simple, but profound lesson. Tenacity is key to success.

Life Finds a Way

For the last year, I laughingly watched the squirrel get thwarted by the bird-feeder baffle that prevented him from climbing the pole. Then I guffawed while watching him launch from a nearby bush, miss the bird feeder and fall to the ground. But when he made it on the fourth try and proceeded to dine, I remembered that classic Jurassic Park phrase, “life finds a way.”

When the squirrel finally latched on to the top of the feeder, he sat there a few minutes not knowing what to do. Then he cautiously climbed down to chow down on what my wife calls the “cake.” That’s what the birds like best, and apparently the squirrel too. Torn between irritation and admiration, the squirrel reminded me of the sage quote “tenacity is the ability to hang on when letting go appears most attractive.”

When Attempting Something Worthwhile, Don’t Give Up

Thomas Edison reportedly said “many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This doesn’t mean that everything we touch will ultimately turn to gold. It means when attempting something worthwhile, don’t quit. Few successful people were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. They consistently worked hard before achieving success.

I used to laugh at my backyard squirrel for attempting to get in my bird feeder. I’m not laughing today. In the same way, others may laugh at your attempts to do something worthwile. They won’t laugh when you achieve it.

Life finds a way. But here’s a hard truth. If you don’t find the way, life will turn to somebody else. A whole bunch of squirrels run around in my backyard. One found a way to get into the bird feeder. Will you be the one? Will you be the one to push through some mess ups on the way to accomplishing something worthwhile? It depends on your tenacity in keeping going after you’ve fallen down a few times.

A Word of Warning

But alas, I have sad news for the squirrel. On orders from my wife, I’ve got to move the bird feeder. It’s for birds, not squirrels. So, a word of warning: when tenaciously attacking your life-goals, make sure you’re attempting something worthwhile and legitimate. It’s possible to work hard on something that isn’t right for you.

Still, we can learn from the squirrel. Life finds a way, meaning life is always looking for those willing to breakthrough the daily grind and accomplish something worthwhile. Tenacity is key to success. Babe Ruth went hitless his first game as a big-leaguer. So keep trying. And if you’re a squirrel, stay out of the bird feeder. Work toward the right fit for you.

If you tenaciously work hard, will you become like Forrest Gump, a gazillionaire? Life makes no guarantees except for one. If you attempt nothing, you will achieve nothing.

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