You can't change the past. It is what it is. Even harder to manipulate is what people perceive to be your past. To get people to see something different than what they most recently experienced can be a daunting task.
Ulysses Grant (commonly known as U.S. Grant, one of our former presidents) led a group of Union army men into the Battle of (Pittsburgh Landing) Shiloh. His army had been surprised and routed out of their camps. Imagine if you will the amount of loss experienced that day. These men were defeated. The morale of the entire army was completely down. How many times have you faced surprise that has thrown you off your pathway to success? The most challenging thing to do is to make an inside adjustment to your personal will.
Grant did just that. As history writes of Grant he refused to concede defeat. Something within him gave confidence to his army and those under his leadership that though the past had handed them a wielding blow they would achieve their goal. They did just that in the next battle. The most prevalent way to change bad circumstances into an asset is to outlast the circumstance. You stay in until you win. You don't allow the circumstance to write your final note of history.
Perseverance is a gift of human existence. It is an inside determination of the human spirit. You were built to win, overcome, succeed and dominate whatever life has to throw at you. The problem with most people is that they focus so much on the problem that it controls their behavior and affirms their fear. The simple affirmation of fear paralyzes their God-given ability to problem solve. It keeps them from focusing on the way out, the solution.
There is no bad situation or circumstance in life that can't be overcome unless you give up. That isn't to say that there are not consequences for bad circumstances or situation, but how you see them will determine where you go next. Focus. Find the faith to refuse to concede defeat!
Have you ever seen someone who decided to quit on life? They stop believing that there is any life in their body. Their organs begin to shut down. Then they are gone. The battle is over. But wait, what happens when we adjust ourselves to believe, have faith and trust that the battle isn't over. We will fight for every breath. We live out the rest of our days positively impacting others and building a legacy for others to live.
I would rather die in faith in God and hope in my fellow man than to cower out to thoughts of loss and despair. You persevere by focusing on the truth. You give yourself to the vision of a more constant reality than that of defeat.
Jesse J Wilkerson is the owner of a local architecture and design firm. His column appears here every other Monday.