缺乏堅毅力的嚴重後果──LACK OF PERSEVERANCE AND ITS SEVERE CONSEQUENCES

你是否注意到,開始做些什麼是多麽容易,但要完成它卻往往很困難?這就是企業失敗的原因之一。某人有個傑出的點子,帶著無限的熱情,開始一個新的企業,但後來逆境來襲,隨之而來的是灰心和挫敗。曾經懷抱高度希望,打開的大門,就突然被關上了。

作為一名記者和作家,我寫過的文章多得數不清,另外還有二十幾本經過我撰寫、合著和編輯的書。然而,仍然會有幾本書,是我曾經有非常興奮的想法,但最後卻無法完成。在生命中,很多時候就像運動賽事一樣,重要的不是你如何開始,而是你如何完成。

領導力顧問和教練提姆 · 凱特指出:「決定開始是最容易的,而決定繼續下去才是最難的。第一個下定決心是讓你開始,但一路走來的許多再次的決心,才是讓你繼續前進的動力,我們需要奮力不懈。」

我從來沒有以這種方式思考過。開始一個項目,特別是一個需要大量時間和精力的項目,確實需要下定決心。但我們在道路上遇到了顛簸,這些障礙不可避免地威脅到我們的進展時,這需要再次的決心,才能保持我們持續在軌道上。這就是為什麽有句格言說:「如果一次不成,那就再試一次,甚至再試一次、再試一次。」這句話是蘇格蘭國王羅伯特 · 布魯斯在1314年對抗英國人的一場重大戰役前所說的,對於二十一世紀的職場來說,一樣重要。

可悲的是,我們能想到許多例子,人們因缺乏堅毅力,而無法看到他們走向成功的道路:比如有前途的運動員,卻認定要達到這項運動最高的水準,必須進行的艱苦訓練實在太多了;有天賦的音樂家,拒絕投入達到卓越水平所需時間的練習;有志於在自己的職業中登上高峰的商人,卻缺乏繼續前進所需的耐心。

在閱讀聖經時,我們發現了兩種情況的例子:經由堅毅力而走向偉大的領袖們;以及一些具有巨大潛力的人們,反而走偏,最後遭受失敗和恥辱。兩者的區別是什麽呢?這說明不僅要有開始的毅力而且無論環境變得多麽困難,更要有繼續下去的決心。在眾多例子中,我舉兩個來說明聖經中關於堅毅的教導。

積極地面對困難。沒有人願意不斷遇到困難。然而,保持一種觀點,就是我們能夠在這些挑戰中成長和成熟,這會使我們更容易忍受困難。「我的弟兄們,你們落在百般試煉中,都要以為大喜樂;因為知道你們的信心經過試驗,就生忍耐。但忍耐也當成功,使你們成全、完備,毫無缺欠。」(雅各書1章2-4節)

保持終點線持續在眼前。使徒保羅服事神的事工是長久且有果效的。但他從未認為自己已經「達到終點」。「弟兄們,我不是以為自己已經得着了;我只有一件事,就是忘記背後,努力面前的,向着標竿直跑,要得 神在基督耶穌裏從上面召我來得的獎賞。」(腓立比書3章13-14節)

如果某件事情值得追求,我們必須記住,不僅要在開始時下定決心,而且要根據需要,多次再下決心,直到我們實現它為止。

© 2021. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之心的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書:透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

備註:如果你有聖經並想閱讀更多內容,請參考以下經文:

箴言3章5-6節
3:5 你要專心仰賴耶和華,不可倚靠自己的聰明,
3:6 在你一切所行的事上都要認定他,他必指引你的路。
以賽亞書26章3節
26:3 堅心倚賴你的,你必保守他十分平安,因為他倚靠你。
羅馬書5章3-5節
5:3 不但如此,就是在患難中也是歡歡喜喜的;因為知道患難生忍耐,
5:4 忍耐生老練,老練生盼望;
5:5 盼望不至於羞恥,因為所賜給我們的聖靈將上帝的愛澆灌在我們心裏。
哥林多前書15章57-58節
15:57 感謝上帝,使我們藉着我們的主耶穌基督得勝。
15:58 所以,我親愛的弟兄們,你們務要堅固,不可搖動,常常竭力多做主工;因為知道,你們的勞苦在主裏面不是徒然的。
加拉太書6章9節
6:9 我們行善,不可喪志;若不灰心,到了時候就要收成。

反省與問題討論

  1. 如果你給自己的堅毅力打分數,1分最低,10分最高,你會給自己打幾分呢?請解釋你的答案。
  2. 現在是否有什麽事情,是你最初下決心去做的,但中途出現了困難,你發現必須再下決心才能完成它?如果有,是什麽事呢?對你來說,要保有持續的決心直到完成它,有多大的困難呢?
  3. 你能想到任何人,是在逆境中仍保持堅毅力的典範嗎?對在巨大的試煉中尋找和擁抱喜樂的想法,你認為如何?
  4. 保持「終點線持續在眼前」能夠提供什麼幫助呢?即使它在時間上和到達終點所需的努力上,都還顯得很遙遠。


LACK OF PERSEVERANCE AND ITS SEVERE CONSEQUENCES

By Robert J. Tamasy

Have you noticed how easy it is to start any kind of endeavor, but how hard it often is to finish it? This is one reason businesses fail. Someone has a brilliant idea and begins a new enterprise with boundless enthusiasm, but then adversity strikes, followed by discouragement and defeat. Doors that had opened with such high hopes suddenly slam shut.

As a journalist and author, I have written more articles than I can count, as well as nearly two dozen books that I have written, co-authored, and edited. However, there remain several book ideas that I once felt very excited about but remain unfinished. Many times in life, as in the world of sports, it is not how you start that matters but how you finish.

Leadership consultant and coach Tim Kight has observed, “The decision to start is easiest. The decision to continue is hardest. The first commitment is what gets you started. The many recommitments along the way are what keeps you going. Be relentless.”

I had never thought of it in quite that way. Beginning a project, especially one that will require lots of time and energy, does require commitment. But we hit bumps in the road, obstacles that inevitably threaten our progress. It takes recommitment to stay on track. This is why the adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again,” is just as relevant for the 21st century marketplace as it was when Robert the Bruce, king of Scotland uttered those words before a major battle against the British in 1314.

Sadly, we can think of many instances when men and women lacked the perseverance to see their way through to success: Promising athletes who decided the hard work necessary for reaching the highest levels of their sports was too much. Talented musicians who refused to put in the many hours of practice needed to achieve excellence. Businesspeople aspiring to rise to the top of their professions but lacked the patience needed to continue advancing.

In reading the Bible, we find examples of both – leaders who rose to greatness through perseverance, and individuals with much potential who became sidetracked and suffered failure and disgrace. The difference? A determination not only to start but also to continue, no matter how difficult circumstances became. Here are two examples (among many) of what the Scriptures teach about persevering:

Facing difficulties eagerly. No one wants to go out of their way to encounter difficulties. However, maintaining a perspective that we grow and mature through those challenges makes it easier to endure. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Keeping the finish line in sight. The apostle Paul had a long and fruitful ministry of service to God. But he never considered himself to have “arrived.” “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).

If something is worth pursuing, we must remember not only to commit to it at the start, but also to recommit and recommit as many times as needed until we achieve it.

© 2022. Robert J. Tamasy has written Marketplace Ambassadors: CBMC’s Continuing Legacy of Evangelism and Discipleship; Business at Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace; Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart, coauthored with Ken Johnson;  andThe Heart of Mentoring, coauthored with David A. Stoddard. Bob’s biweekly blog is: www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. If you were to rate yourself in terms of perseverance, with 1 being lowest and 10 being highest, what score would you give yourself? Explain your answer.
  2. Is there anything you are involved in right now that you initially committed to, but now that difficulties have arisen, you find you must recommit to finishing it? If so, what is it – and how difficult will it be for you to remain committed until its completion?
  3. Can you think of someone who has served as a role model for persevering in the face of adversity? What do you think about the idea of finding and embracing joy during great trials?
  4. How might it help to keep the “finish line” in sight, even if it seems distant both in terms of time and the amount of effort that will be required to reach it?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages: Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 26:3; Romans 5:3-5; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; Galatians 6:9


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