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I help people experience authentic
happiness in their relationships

Define Perseverance 
The Traits of Happy Living
(Things I wish were natural) 

By Jo Hazelhurst-Ntsebeza

Here's how I define perseverance & WHY it matters.

Because without it, we give up. Often just before we find the gold. 

根性 (konjo): Tenacity/will; 根気 (konki): Patience and endurance; 機根 (kikon): Spiritual strength

The Merriam-Webster.com definition of perseverance is the 'continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition :  the action or condition or an instance of persevering :  steadfastness'

These are the lessons I'm learning.


It's summer time. The Dojo floor has a roof that makes the space VERY hot. On the floor are two 5th Dan Karetekas, two 4th Dans and two Senpais. And then there is me (7 years back)...

... the 'longest-standing - green-belt-going-on-black-don't-come-often-enough-to-ever-make-it-to-a-promotion-forever-re-learning-each-kata-driving-ever-patient-Hanshi (GrandMaster) -crazy'.

It's tough going keeping up. After an hour of learning a challenging new kata, I start to fumble with tiredness. There's a blister on my left toe. My ankle is strained. My perseverance is fading. Mentally I start wishing the class would end.

 The Senpai teaching, is pouring every ounce of energy he has in me. He is patient with my mistakes...

...the same mistakes I made the last six times I did it.

In THIS moment, I catch myself.

AAAAH, right here I'm having an excuse attack.

The Anti- Perseverance Movement has showed up in protest. 

Either bad habits or too terrified of failure, we give up.

Because so much shit happens along the way. 

One of the excuses Wayne Dyer lists in his book 'Excuses Begone' is "I'm too tired.

I notice my lack of appreciation for the effort the teacher is putting into me. Again and again and AGAIN he asks me to do the steps.

I notice Laziness steps in....

...and my focus wanes.

I opened the door to Laziness you seeI start thinking about strawberries.

Wanna know how to how to be happy?
Start Here

In such excuse attacks, my friend Wayne asks:

"Is it true?

I ask myself: Am I really tired?""Are my muscles truly in pain? Is this THAT difficult?"

NO, NO and NO.

It's just my mind. It's the same mind that simply loves the 'couch potato' dojo for training: in how to be an overweight, unfit or my favourite past time, the 'Pity Party Slacker'.

"STOP", I thought. It wasn't a shout. Just firm.

"Choose to be energised Jo. Perseverance. You have inside you an Indomitable Spirit."

"Make it so. Choose to be so present, that you overcome this moment." 

And it happened...

...I stopped fumbling, suddenly I flowed right through the kata. In each movement, I was the Dragon Warrior

(yes, that very one from the film 'Kung Fu Panda'. (If you haven't seen it, give yourself a treat.)

I overcame the most FEARED enemyThat same enemy that is your enemy.

That complaining mind of mine and yours that we all too often give power to. But not today. Today I was bigger. Today I let SPIRIT be my strength.

Perseverance TOO can become habit. I decided to make it so.

Habits are the natural results of repeated action. And actions are a result of thinking.

You can tell a lot about your thinking patterns by looking at you HOW you do things.

What you are 'pushing' yourself to do is not that different to what are you are avoiding. When you think in a CERTAIN way, natural action will follow. When you cultivate healthy happiness habits, it gets easier and easier. Your strength grows. It becomes a spiral upwards. 

It was one of the single most powerful lessons I was ever to learn. I took my mind for training. Everyday.  Three years later, my life looked completely different. I felt better. I was focused, courageous and alive. 

I thought I'd arrived.

When you don't exercise your mental muscle it atrophies.

I was busy, busy, busy. I forgot to train. I 'fell off the wagon.It was a hop, skip and a jump to my previous complaining habit.

I thought I was back at square one, but I wasn't. My growth was not an illusion. Cycles of life happen. Up and down. Round we go. I was not at the beginning.

It was time for MY next level. Because the dream I wanted to build was massive. If I did not grow, it would not happen.

The challenges were greater, and my thinking was not in front of it. 

After a bad 6 months, I made some changes. I got back to training my thinking muscle. I stepped up into a new game. I felt RENEWED. It wasn't thinking alone. My diet had slipped into processed foods galore. My exercise had gone for a walk in the park (without me). I hadn't meditated much. But it all began with my thinking first. And an immense amount of love. 

It is LOVING THOUGHTS that give you strength, not chastisement and pain. Believe in yourself, Manage your stress: Quit the self-hate 

How is your perseverance right now? 

PS. Extra Scenic Route For Artists (and just about everyone): Writer, musician, and entrepreneur Allen Keller speaks about perseverance and how to remain true to yourself as an artist while navigating through failure. www.theotherfwordpodcast.com

1. When was the last time you took your mind for training?

Any repeated pattern harming you can and WILL be transformed if you put your MIND to it, with FAITH in your Highest YOU.

2. Notice your thinking. Become super aware of excuses, for example:

  • "I'm tired",
  • "This is too hard",
  • "People don't give me a chance",
  • "I don't have enough time, knowledge, money."
  • "What's the point"

On the dojo floor during exercises like push ups we must repeat a saying;

"Osu no se shin" which means "the spirit of never quitting."

It's in the top ten of leadership skills and qualities to develop. And if you don't have perseverance yet, you CAN teach yourself.

Who would you be if you had a spirit of never quitting? What would you do differently if you were able to move beyond your excuses?

 I know, if I have absolute FAITH in a Greater Spirit, and do not quit, I am capable of anything. There will be no need to ask 'whether pigs have wings'.

What I learned that day in the dojo is even under pressure and stress, even under exhaustion I CAN choose. And the more often I exercise my power to choose, the closer I am to aligning my thoughts, my actions and my words to my Highest Self. I left the dojo invigorated.

These are the lessons I'm learning. These are the lessons that began my recipe for happy living.

Copyright Jo Hazelhurst-Ntsebeza,  2010, updated 2017.

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How Can I Help You ?

Any happiness or stress management tips, advice or recommendations on my website, is not to be taken as medical advice. If you're struggling with anxiety, feeling low or an illness, visit a doctor or professional medical practitioner, especially before making changes to your current treatment. I urge you research anything and everything on your own before you make any changes. I'm a life coach and teacher. I'm not a doctor, therapist, nutritionist or personal trainer. I share freely share my experiences, my story, my opinions and research findings. It is my legal obligation to tell you I am not God but simply another human being like you, walking a path of trial and error. Kalavati Cafe, and anyone associated to this website or courses, can not be held responsible or liable for any choices you take. 

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