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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences

August 16, 2018 - 11:30am --


My brand, is persistence.

I once thought my brand was perfection. But as I looked around I realized my life was far from perfect. It’s amazing for what I have but, far from perfect. As such, I am a poster child for blind optimism.

I remember my teachers telling me that my tenacity was going to make me successful. They never said I was smart, they said that I was a hard worker. While I didn’t really understand what that meant as a child, I realize now that my teachers were aware that I was never going to give up.

Some peopled have described as annoying, clingy and demanding. But, also tenacious, determined and patient.

I’ve become an expert at patience. I am great at finding new projects to keep me busy while I wait for the next big thing to happen.

When I really think about it, I have no problem going after the seemingly impossible. I accept the journey and try to enjoy the ride but, it’s the end goal for which I strive. Yes, I am persistent.

As students across the country return to school this week, I can’t help but feel like I need to express my opinion that it doesn’t matter how smart you are, it matters how hard you work. I can’t stress the value of hard work. Time and again it is those who never give up who find success.

But, how do I inspire others to strive to do their best? How do I instill in others the drive to accept responsibility for their condition? How do I encourage my neighbors to be better without making them feel worse?

I have relatively few answers to those questions, except to explain that in my experience, it is those who persist who find joy. The joy is in not giving up and constantly striving to be more than you are right now.

4-H is an excellent model to instill that kind of “stick-to-itiveness” into the hearts and mind of our communities’ children. 4-H teaches hard work and compassion. 4-H inspires in us all an unwavering value for self-direction and improvement. 4-H may just be the program to bring peace to the lives of youth.