Press On

Strength does not come from physical capacity.  It comes from an indomitable will.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Press On pictureAutumn, 1982.  I sink into the warmth of the water in the big claw foot bathtub.  It is about 2:00 a.m. and I now feel ready for the exam I will be writing tomorrow.  I am bone tired.  My girls are sound asleep after their full days of school and times with friends.  My dad has just returned home after a chemotherapy treatment, the house and yard are big and demanding, and my husband hasn’t been home in weeks. 

This has been one of those evenings where I feel like giving up on completing my graduate degree.  Tonight as I was studying, I kept reading the Calvin Coolidge quote that sits framed on my wall.  The framed quote is a gift from my sister Ann, encouraging words for me when I started university.  It reads

Press on: nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance.“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.” 

Night after night, as I fall into my books, into the tub, into bed, I read this and keep going.  I picture myself having completed my degree, doing the kind of work I love to do, and being able to provide for my daughters.  I picture myself with the strength that comes from accomplishment. It was this persistence, this raw WILL, that helped me complete my graduate degree.

Spring 2014.  Yes, there are many times where pressing on, having fierce resolve, and WILL are in the forefront of my awareness.   Writer and teacher Eknath Easwaren suggested that what counts most in life is not IQ but WQ or WILL Quotient.  He says that to control our destiny we need to harness our will, to do not what we like, but what will service our long terms interests.

So right now, taking responsibility for my Self Care requires pressing on, at times, with indomitable will.

Linda McCann – April 2014

About the photo:

Equinox sunrise at Pelican Point Grand Bahamas – Linda McCann