Welcome from Jo Duncan


This week’s theme, perseverance, is apt given the on-going Covid-19 situation in which we continue to live and work. Reverend Penny spoke about it in Chapel on Monday and later in this e-bulletin you will find personal accounts of what perseverance means from Dr Tullis, Head of History and Daisy May, Sports Captain.

You may be aware from last week that my favourite childhood book was ‘Anne of Green Gables’ by LM Montgomery. Anne is a wildly romantic, fiercely intelligent girl who is orphaned as a baby and has a difficult start to life before being sent off to Green Gables. Although she makes many mistakes, often in an attempt to do the right thing, perseverance is also one of the characteristics displayed by Anne throughout the novel. I vividly remember reading it for the first time when I was 10 years old and falling in love with the stories of the lives of the people in Avonlea; I have read the book numerous times since and watched the various TV and film adaptations, including the latest Netflix offering, ‘Anne with an ‘E’’. I have not yet visited Prince Edward Island where the book is set, but it’s on my bucket list!

In his book ‘Beyond Talent: Become Someone Who Gets Extraordinary Results’, John Maxwell and author and speaker on leadership writes, ‘Perseverance begins with the right attitude – an attitude of tenacity. But the desire to persevere alone isn’t enough to keep most people going when they are tired or discouraged. Perseverance is a trait that can be cultivated. And the initial step to developing it is to eliminate its five greatest enemies.’

According to John, we must eliminate the five greatest enemies of perseverance. He shares the following advice in the book:

  1. A lifestyle of giving up
    Talent without perseverance never comes to full fruition. Opportunities without persistence will be lost. There is a direct correlation between perseverance and potential. If you have a habit of giving up, you need to overcome it to be successful.
  2. A wrong belief that life should be easy
    Having the right expectations going into anything is half the battle.
  3. A wrong belief that success is a destination
    If you think you have arrived, then you’re in trouble. As soon as you think you no longer need to work to make progress, you’ll begin to lose ground.
  4. A lack of resiliency
    We must not become dry, brittle, and inflexible. And we must endeavor to bounce back, no matter how we may feel.
  5. A lack of vision
    People who display perseverance keep a larger vision in mind as they toil away at their craft or profession. They see in their mind’s eye what they want to create or to do, and they keep working toward it.

Perseverance is about continuing until you have finished… whatever you may be working on, I would encourage you to keep going.