Posted by: David D. Daggett | July 5, 2016

The Greatest Virtue

The Greatest Virtue

            “It’s the greatest virtue,” she explained at her last public presentation.  “Nothing else matters if you can’t hang in there when the going gets tough.”  It was a pleasure to hear the great Maya Angelou giving her very last public speech just prior to her death several years ago.  “Never Give Up” applies to all aspects of life and it was a great honor and pleasure to hear Maya Angelou eloquently and poetically describe just how valuable that trait is.

Life is a continuing series of challenges.  Everything we do, everywhere we go, and every task we undertake has challenges.  The question is how do we react when presented with challenges and particularly when it gets very difficult. It’s easy to keep going when things are easy, but when it gets tough most people avoid the suffering.


Every aspect of our life is a challenge, and the only thing that separates us is how we deal with those challenges.  We have challenges in our personal life, our spiritual life, our professional life, and certainly physically.  Of course endurance racing is the perfect metaphor for “never give up!”

Of course challenges are tough … they are supposed to be!  It is the meeting and surviving challenges that ultimately provides us with fulfillment and satisfaction.  The very basics of our own self-worth and self-esteem are based on the fact that it must be earned.  We earn it by facing and overcoming challenges.  By “hanging in there when the going gets tough” we earn an internal gratification and satisfaction that strengthens our own self-worth and self-esteem.

All great accomplishments are challenges.     As Maya Angelou implored us, “The courage to just keep going” is what separates the individuals who achieve from those who simply drift along.

Steve Jobs, the founder and president of Apple, was once asked for the greatest piece of advice in building a successful company.  He answered in part, you have to have passion because it is so hard that any rational person would give up.  Further, working hard over a sustained period of time beats most people because they give up.  Persevering when it is really tough is what separates those who achieve and excel.

Recognize that the greatest virtue is to have the courage to keep going when things get tough.  Like an Ironman on race day, never give up, never give up, never give up!

Just keeping going,


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