I was most inspired by this Mark McGuinness post I read recently
There are so many readables about how patience and persistence are much more reliable than luck and logically and mentally, I get that. Do I, however, want to stick to the same goals for 20 years like the protagonist in the Shawshank Redemption? He had external circumstances driving him. I imagine that if I was unjustly imprisoned or starving or desperate in some other fashion based on an outward circumstance, beyond my control, to a certain extent, I might be able to find a much wider stubborn streak than I usually do now but the fact is, I am not thusly faced.
My husband and I discuss this all the tine. He wins arguments because he outlasts me he says. I say he wins them because his goal is to win whilst mine is to have the debate and be heard. We have different goals in other words and different motivators and mine being the easier one, requires less stubborn effort than his does.
That then brings me to my next thought on the subject, should we celebrate one track mindedness? Society seems to celebrate the idea of being a specialist, of dedicating decades to one line of study or career until you are the best or damn near close to it. I question that ….. Is it truly such a laudable thing to be so stubborn that you are unable to change perspective according to circumstance and/or character development If one is such a stubborn soul, does it not make change, even change for the better, a whole lot more difficult than it might be for someone a whole lot more malleable of spirit such as a me?
Now, it is true that I can be convinced to do crazy things because I try and keep an open mind – the very antithesis of being stubborn but would a better idea not then be to acquire as much knowledge about a given topic as possible AND to keep one’s mind open for any further input and last but not least, then be able to adapt accordingly?
Some would call this flying by the seat of one’s pants but it is still flying and if I was stubbornly clinging to my belief that humans couldn’t, I wouldn’t even be able to do it and I certainly get to fly in a whole lot more directions than I could if I believed that I had just one migrationary path to follow. In other words, I tend to think of stubbornness as being noble only sometimes and I find it very difficult to distinguish when those occasions arise.
I am absolutely sure that being stubborn and one track minded was magnificent in the Shawshank Redemption for example but I am not so sure that I admired it in say an Ahab or a Scrooge or a Hitler or an Amin.. On consideration, perhaps it’s their goals I didn’t admire which means then that it isn’t HOW one pursues things that that the collective we really care about, but WHAT they are pursuing – the end justifying the means and all that.
I have personally never been able to find a solid foundation in head, heart or spirit for that adage and I think I feel the same about stubbornness though I do adore a success and admire anyone who finds it.