Let’s talk perseverance
It was a crowd of over 5,000 and the 5th anniversary of the John Maxwell team. I was one of a few couple of hundred Latinos in the audience and was asked to speak in Spanish to an audience who didn’t understand Spanish!
I needed to use my body language and project a strong point in my message. I chose to speak about PERSEVERANCE. Why? All human beings whom had any success in any area of their lives would identify with the word perseverance no matter what language they speak. The JMT is one of the most successful, positive, persistent, difference makers group of individuals I’ve known in my whole life and I know they identified with the message.
In my case, some people think “perseverance” should be my middle name. It’s something I learned from my mom and I apply it in everything I do whether it’s in my professional life or personal, it follows me. When people I counsel or mentor share their difficult situations, what often comes out of my mouth is “press on”. I’ve done it all my life and it works! I would never ask anyone to do or try something I haven’t done myself first.
I recently came across a quote from the 30th President of the US and it says “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge
In my professional career I have come across a lot of talented, geniuses and well educated people but Calvin is right, none of that is sufficient. Determination, persistence, a sense of urgency and an attitude of not giving up is necessary to accomplish goals
The simplest definition I found is “perseverance is a continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition”.
Who inspires you to press on? My mom has been my greatest inspiration in overcoming “a few” obstacles in life before standing on a stage and voicing out the results of perseverance. It hasn’t been easy to break the barrier of a different culture, a new language, being a Latina woman, growing up without a father figure in a dysfunctional family and being the shiest young girl you could have ever met, but I press on and encourage you to do the same.
Let’s grow together and be a difference maker. At the end, that’s what helps us to live a life of significance!
The end of a decade
“It’s the end of a decade!” she said as if it was a big deal. Well, IT IS A BIG DEAL!!! My friend and business partner, Gilda, was encouraging our group to reflect on what we want to accomplish professionally by the end of this year. As I did (reflect), it made me realize on the importance of the last 3 months of 2019. It is the end of a decade and although I’m not going to name every single accomplishment, I will say that it’s overwhelming to think of all the things that happened in the last 10 years. It’s especially hard to find the appropriate words to express the gratitude for what the last 10 years represent. I’ve met so many interesting and inspiring people, I’ve learned and experienced so much, I’ve invested in my personal growth and have grown as a person and as a professional, but most importantly, I’ve seen my mentees benefit from my growth.
Best experience: I have several good ones in this area. I turned 50, both my children graduated from college and became independent. I became part of the John Maxwell Team. The top one has got to be that I became a grandmother!
Am I on track to completing the goals I committed to? This year I chose the word “completion” to describe it and there are 2 things I committed to do to honor my mom: Created The ELISA Foundation and get it to become a 501(c)3 organization and write a book about her. I’m on track!!!
Did I learn something new? For years I’ve been scared to learn how to swim and not only did I self-taught myself, I’m also teaching others how to do it!
Did I influence anyone in a positive way? I’d like to think that I did. I’d love to gather testimonials of peopleI believe I’ve influenced in one way or another. One environment that helped me to influence those around me was my studio. I helped influenced Cari, an extremely talented dancer and dance teacher open her own business. She came to my studio to teach a Zumba class and soon after, I named her the Director of a kids dance program and from there she open her own studio! I’d like to think that I influenced Jennifer, Edith, Yana and Catalina grow spiritually. I know I influenced my son, Joshua, into getting involved in the choir and get involved in the dance fitness industry. I know I’ve influence a few to become entrepreneurial and follow their dreams!
As I continue to reflect on this decade, I know there are many more things I could mentioned. I remember the beginning of 2010 being one of the most difficult years of my life personally, spiritually, physically and mentally. These are related somehow because I uncovered the truth about a lie that a person very close to me was living and it affected our relationship very much, the fact is that it was in the beginning of this decade that I realized I couldn’t put people on a pedestal. It was eye opening and it shook my faith during the process and drained me mentally but I know I became spiritually stronger. Phisically, I had a scare with one of my regular annual tests and a biopsy came back “abnormal”. You know this entailed tons of additional tests and prayers hoping for me to be completely out of danger. Mentally and without giving too many details, all of those circumstances affected my mental wellness. The beginning of this decade was also when I left Corporate America after a successful career and became an entrepreneur, socially responsible and well, yes, FREE!!!
Today, I can assure you that I’m still going through my journey, and as a human being, I might still fail at many things and fall but getting up and understanding that life if too short and therefore, I need to continue to pursue happiness, no matter what and, OF COURSE, live a life of significance just like my mom did.
Faith over fear!
Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill or accomplish something that would take lots of courage and support from others in order to accomplish?
I always felt a bit embarrassed to say I didn’t know how to swim. The idea of diving freely into the water was so scary to me! Don’t get me wrong, I love going by the lake, a beautiful beach or a swimming pool, but I looked for excuses not to go into the water. My favorite one was “I almost drawn in a swimming pool when I was young”. So, you’d always find me walking by the beach, laying down to tan, reading a great book by the pool or watching everyone swim while I was feeling impotent about it.
I’ve been okay with that for many years using all those excuses until I was inspired by Maria Conceicao, who founded The Maria Cristina Foundation in 2005 and raises funds to help the poor in Bangladesh, a country South of Asia affected severally by poverty. Read her full story here.
I met Maria during one of my International Maxwell Certifications in Orlando, Florida in 2017. She was a guest speaker and shared how she was inspired to start the foundation. Long story short, she envisioned to make a difference in children living in Bangladesh, lift them out of poverty and transform their lives through education. What impacted me the most is how she started participating in extreme physical challenges to raise funds and awareness about her non-for-profit charity. Even though she never participated in sports and wasn’t considered athletic, she entered many male dominated challenges like mountain climbing. She’s one of the most persevering women I’ve ever met with an unbelievable drive and passion not to mention stamina, endurance and mental strength to accomplish what she has! She’s earned 8 Guinness World Records (maybe more by now!) for Endurance Sports including Ironmans, Ultra, Half and Full Marathons and for climbing Mount Elbrus. She’s on track to finish climbing 7 of the highest mountains in each continents with 2 more to go to complete the seven summits AND she was the first Portuguese female to do the Last Degree to the North Pole and to summit the Everest
Guess what? Maria also swam across the English Channel in 2016 for seven hours! What inspired me about this is that she learned how to swim to be able to do it! So, yes, you can imagine how privileged I felt to have met her.
This is one of the reasons why I decided to stop using excuses and learn how to swim. It’s taking lots of courage and discipline to get in the water and practice but I’m building strength and self confidence and know I can do this!
My beautiful friend Dr Maribel Lopez, encouraged me as well this week. I remember having a conversation with her during our missions trip to Peru about her fear of flying in October 2017. The only reason she agreed to “fly” and be part of this long trip was her passion to inspire young women and empower them to greatness. We ended up sitting next to each other and she was definitely very scared to fly. I was non-stop talking to her and asking her lots of questions in an effort to distract her from the fobia I could perceive she had during take-off, flying AND landing 🙂
So, when I saw her announcements this week that she was about to fly on a 2 -seat jet with our lovely friend and “Pilotina”, Jacqueline Camacho, someone deserving of much admiration, I was so proud of her!
Maria Conceicao, Dr Maribel and Jacqueline are just some examples of women that inspire me. I’ve learned that nothing will stop a woman determined to achieve something that will allow her to help others! Putting Faith over fear is a key and, yes, the sky is the limit! Let’s grow together!
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