Gongol.com Archives: June 2024

Brian Gongol

June 19, 2024

News Keep running

It's nothing more than a meme, but the advice it delivers is solid: "Stop chasing your dreams! Humans are persistence predators. Follow your dreams at a sustainable pace until they get tired and lie down." There's humor inside the advice, but it's wrapped in a shell of truth. ■ Perhaps it's because so much of our country's founding story is tired up in the word "revolution", but America has a chronic under-appreciation for the value of persistence. Not the big, sparkling reveal, but the long-term maintenance of what was unveiled. Not the launch of a new app or a splashy IPO, but the quiet and often nearly invisible incremental growth that keeps things going. ■ We need to tell our kids -- and ourselves -- that it's important to find the right path, but also to endure long hikes on it. There need to be waypoints along the trail, but looking forward to something distant is a vital skill. It really is a biologically human thing to keep hunting after a reward for a long, long time. ■ The Summer Olympics will shine a spotlight on many tales of long pursuits. The ones most suitable to television coverage will include hardships and emotional trials. Viewers will be invited again and again to "Meet the Athletes". ■ But we need to see beyond sports and beyond tragic and heroic tales. We have to see beyond them in order to value the long climbs everywhere in life, with uncertain rewards and feats of endurance. As Benjamin Franklin put it, "Think of three things, whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account." ■ Revolution and overnight success are both overrated. Be sure you're on the right course, then be relentless.

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