On tenacity and never giving up

Never Give Up Tattoo

Photo credit: Paul Belmore on Flickr

When people look at my overall life, they always tell me that they wish they had the kind of life I have. The level of success I enjoy, the amazing friends I am gifted with, the wonderful family I am part of. And I tell them that everything I have, I have earned it. Nobody gave it to me. I worked REALLY HARD for it.

If my friends love me and respect me, it is in great part because I have been a good friend to them. Because I have worked really hard at staying in touch, at being there for them when they needed me, heck, even simply at just being there. No, I am not being immodest. I am being realistic.

If my students respect me and love my teaching, it is in great part because I have put long hours into preparing syllabus, drafting lecture slides, connecting with real-life policy makers who then could give guest lectures, into presenting information in such a way that it empowers my students and makes them feel that they can, in fact, succeed. I spend a great amount of time mentoring my students, and taking a real interest in their lives.

If my colleagues respect my scholarly research and my publications record, it is in great part because I work really hard, really long hours, and I do my very best to investigate interesting research questions, and connecting my research with the policy community at large.

If my social media audiences like what I do, it is in great part because I spend an inordinate amount of time connecting people with opportunities, empowering the poor and disenfranchised, sharing information that could potentially enable folks to get jobs, enjoy the local arts, or taste good food. I focus on building community, and that community answers back to me.

But nothing of the above could be possible if I had given up. If, when heartbroken and fallen, I had stopped. I have, in the past, suffered setbacks and a lot of pain. I have been defeated not once, not twice, not thrice. I have been defeated NUMEROUS TIMES. I have had impersonators online, stalkers and online attackers. I have suffered criticism to my scholarly work. I have had students who didn’t like the fact that I was so strict. I was cheated on once, and betrayed. I have had people talk behind my back even when they show me a friendly face. I have had EVERY REASON to stop, in every single realm.

But I never give up. I NEVER GIVE UP. Because my tenacity and my capacity to move forward despite the challenges is what makes me who I am.

And I will never give up.

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  5. On giving, helping people and protecting oneself

Comments (3)

Dave MacdonaldJune 15th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Raul, this is awesome.

Today I went back to a workplace I spent 8 years with and wished that the place could have been what it is now when I was there. I thought about how the people there now have more opportunity than me and how my career could have been different had I been there now instead.

That commentary ran for a couple of minutes before I gave my head a shake. I asked what I’m doing in my life and job now to create opportunities for me and what I can do to create a career I can be happy with. And I also realized my current career ain’t so bad even by comparison – surrounded by opportunities to create better situations isn’t a bad thing.

raincoasterJune 15th, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Never giving up doesn’t matter unless what you are doing while never giving up is awesome. What you do is awesome, and you dare to keep doing it no matter what the odds against you, hence, you win.

End of story.
raincoaster recently posted..GPOY: me interacting with cats

Maggie MurphyJune 17th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

The metaphor, the poem, that nourishes me is that of perseverance. There are those who are sprinters, rushing to finish “first’; and there are those who just keep on keeping on. I appreciate the efforts of both.
Personally, I am a tortoise…a marathoner…
It ain’t over ’till it’s over.

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