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  • Kevin

Perseverance despite Failure

Back in 2012, I was scheduled to give a tax lecture, on material that seemed very easy to me. I was more than confident that I would be able to speak smoothly and that the lecture would go off without a hitch. But as soon as the lecture started, I couldn’t get by a single word without stuttering. In fact, I didn’t even get to finish the lecture, because time ran out and we had to leave the room. I was extremely surprised by my inability to speak fluently in the lecture. I was baffled.

Fast forward to today. I have begun working on my Masters in Accounting in order so that I can teach at the college level. I’ve always felt that I am a good teacher, and that I’m good at breaking down concepts for students, even for subjects I don't particularly have an interest in. Despite my horrendous experience teaching that tax lesson a number of years ago, I still have a strong feeling that teaching is something I can do well and that I can succeed at in a career. There’s something to be said about these strong feelings - they’re so strong that they override previous negative experiences, and you still have interest in a particular path despite failures you’ve had in it. It’s analogous to when someone is in love - that strong feeling that tramples over any obstacles and difficulties in its path.

In this clip from "Interstellar", Anne Hathaway expresses her theory that love transcends space, time and gravity. Now, I don't want to get overdramatic comparing one's career-interest to love, but it’s interesting how one’s interests, like love, remain on fire over the years despite failures and difficulties along the way.

Another driving factor that comes into play when you pursue your passions is that of faith. It is the faith that you will achieve something even if you have no substantive proof that this will happen. Though this is not to say that the faith is unfounded; In fact, this faith is rooted in your passion for the particular path, and it's the passion that drives the faith. Since I know I have a strong interest in teaching, I have faith that I’ll be able to work my way towards a successful career as a teacher. I will more than likely encounter pitfalls and difficulties along the way, but my drive on this path is so strong that I continue anyway.

Since I've already posted a clip about love in this article, I might as well post another one just for kicks:

This clip is from "The Village", a movie I like a lot. In it, Lucious has been mortally wounded by a member of this village and his blind lover, Ivy, has gone out into the towns to fetch him medicines, despite having been told her whole life that there are dangerous creatures outside the boundaries of her village. This clip contains one of the great quotes about love in cinema: "The world moves for love. It kneels before it in awe". A very poetic way to describe the power and breadth of love. Pursuing your interests is the same way - you may be surprised how far it will take you in the face of adversity and struggle.

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