Gimalle, my wife, and Malka, our little shih-tzu-dachshund cross who moved in and took charge of our condo four years ago have this game that occupies hours of their time each evening.
We have gone to great pains to ensure that Malka is not spoiled in any way – her toy collection has been limited to no more than 2 to 3 new toys each week – and the game consists of Gimalle hiding one of these toys and then instructing Malka to “go find your toy.”
Upon hearing this instruction Malka leaps into action, tearing through the condo with great urgency and determination, finding the toy and returning it to Gimalle in order that the process can be repeated.
As an observer it is blatantly apparent to me that both Gimalle and Malka gain tremendous delight from this exercise as, night after night, they continue this adventure for what seems to be hours on end.
What I find fascinating is the dedication to which Malka devotes herself to finding her toy each and every time. Gimalle has become far more skillful and cunning in finding ever increasingly difficult locations to hide Malka’s toys and the more difficult it becomes for her to find her toy, the more determined she becomes to do so. Malka, our adorable little shih-tzu-dachshund exemplifies everything that makes the Habit of Persistence so integral to success in life.
She remains undaunted by the challenges set before her and with great vigor sets out to search every conceivable location in our home to find her hidden object. Regardless of how difficult the task, Malka has never once given up, has never once come back to Gimalle empty-mouthed.
Her longest search took her more than 2 1/2 hours to find the toy during which time she didn’t even stop for a coffee break.
She did not rest for one moment but went from room to room, nook to cranny, corner to corner until she finally found her toy peeking out at her from the third shelf of a book case – requiring her to leap up and grab it. When she had the toy, she raced over to Gimalle as fast as her little legs would allow her to go to deliver the toy with, I swear, a look of triumph on her face.
The Habit of Persistence has long been known as a harbinger for success. Calvin Coolidge famously stated that “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men 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.”
Dictionary.com tells us that to persist means 1. to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.:
2. to last or endure tenaciously:
And Malka endures tenaciously. She sets out on each mission as if failure is not an option and consequently, she has never failed. If she could talk I’m sure she would tell us that each false lead, each disappointment, each wrong approach, each misdirection served only to strengthen her resolve and caused her to redouble her efforts.
Imagine how much more satisfying our lives would become if we adopted the Habit of Persistence with the same enthusiasm Malka has. Imagine if failure was never an option and we had to keep trying until we succeeded. Imagine if we never considered obstacles to be reasons to quit.
It would be quite something, wouldn’t it?
If you are serious about adopting the Habit of Persistence, Malka will come over to your place and hide your toys.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
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