Keep on Keepin’ On–From Jerry.

Football and Perseverance

I’m in a blogging rut. Big time. It’s been like two postings in about three weeks. Writing this is an important part of my life, for reasons I don’t fully understand. Successful writing requires consistency. And, right now, my consistency sucks (learned that word reading a Harvard Biz School publication).

It’s not that I don’t have things I’d like to write about.

Topics abound, including…The great experience of Royce making my day by selecting a certain jersey number…A wonderful lesson in leadership that I learned from a cab driver…Another testimonial to tenacity and hard work from a guy who just opened a restaurant…Some observations about motive and parenting–as well as first impressions–I personally experienced while volunteering for the Children’s Museum recently…Even a personal letdown about a goal I had for October (running) that got derailed due to an injury.

So the problem isn’t lack of topics. Yeah, time is an issue. But I choose to make the time for things that are important to me. So, all of us always feel like time as an issue–but if you REALLY want to do something, you’ll find the time to make it happen. Everyone is tight on time.

It’s this motivation issue that I am certain is the key to so many peoples successes and others “failures” (who am I to call someone’s life or shortcoming a failure, apart from my own?). It’s not even that it’s THAT difficult (most things in life aren’t), it’s just that it’s hard to keep going sometimes. It’s easier to diagnose this problem on a smaller scale, like blogging, than something much more substantial.

Yet, I think the drivers and attributes are largely the same for success large and small. For the most part, how someone does everything is how they do anything.

It’s easy to do something when you’re motivated. But even when you have the drive, invariably there comes a period of apathy. Even AFTER you have selected something you’re passionate about.

That period is the magic maker for all of us.

The problem for most of us, is that there are sufficient times we’re not motivated to keep on keepin’ on. It’s why I’m so impressed with people who accomplish successful levels of leadership or difficult activities, such as leadership positions in Direct Selling Companies, or Exec’s in certain companies, marathon or triathlon runners, people who have lost a lot of weight, and on and on. It’s not so much the accomplishment that’s so impressive, it’s the hours and hours and hours of preparation, training, commitment, discipline, and getting after it–especially when you don’t feel like it–that I find so impressive. It’s unusual that people can achieve these things without finding some motivation, sometimes within but often through others. And as I write, one name keeps coming to mind about a man who had such an impact on me years ago.

Jerry Helvey.

He worked at Anderson Unviersity when I played football there. I’m not even sure what he did officially. He seemed to do a little bit of everything–coaching, equipment, field maintenance, teaching.

Unofficially, however, I remember exactly what he did: He kept us going.

Encouraged us. Pushed and carried us. Moved us forward. Sometimes using humor, sometimes sincerity, and sometimes toughness. But he always did the same thing. He kept us moving on towards the goal. Take the next step, take the next step, take the next step.

I wish there were a little secret to success that made it all easy; certainly, there are so many things that involve personal development that can make you a better person, more effective, more efficient. And no question there are better ways to get things done, or some things that are innately impossible that hard work won’t simply solve. But with most goals and objectives you’ll never go against “the law of the farm”, which basically resonates with the reality that hard work and moving forward is the magic maker to the harvest.

I’m sitting here in Seattle working on the laptop at Stumptown and all around me I see people facing choices, and it’s those choices and activities that will help determine their destiny. Particularly during the down periods.

And as I write here, 2,000 miles from my alma mater, and 15-years later, I can still hear his booming voice as he would run through our team while we warmed up during football season, his bellowing voice would call out as if he were saying it to just me “Keep on keepin’ on men. Keep on keepin’ on.”

And, I think I’ll do just that.

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9 Replies to “Keep on Keepin’ On–From Jerry.”

  1. Alright, well it’s rare that I’m going to be the first person to comment on my own posting. BUT, let me say this…

    I feel so much better after having posted that last entry. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, first acknowledging my blogging-dry-spell, but also just getting an entry done. I’ve been thinking about it for ten days and spent considerably more mental energy thinking about doing it than I would have had I just gotten off my tail and done it.

    So, there. I feel better. And I hope you do something you’ve been postponing so you can feel better, too, while making progress to your own goal.

  2. I’ve been blogging too, for over a year now. I don’t understand the expectations that bloggers are supposed to post once a day. I’ve been averaging once a week and it’s still difficult to motivate. I think blogging a lot (more than a couple of times a week)is like a musician having to come out with new albums every year to satisfy their label. Often the music can sound forced, uninspired.
    I say, relax Raz. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Muses come and go, but they’ll always come back. Besides, it’s hard for us to read that many blogs. When someone posts a lot, I lose track and sometimes interest in keeping up with them all.

  3. Raz, you inspire me! I love to write, too, and do it far less than I’d like. I don’t blog, I just write to capture my thoughts, notions, impressions, and what I’m learning at different points in my journey of life. Sometimes I write things for others to read in a local newsletter or for church. Mostly I keep it all to pass down to my sons. The inspire me to write. My dad died when I was just 7, I barely knew him. I would like for my kids to know me if my life were cut short. My mom died last summer and I was close to her. In going through her belongings, I discovered a number of things she had written, and it touched my heart deeply. I understood her at a level deeper than a conversation or spending time with her. I got a glimpse of her perspective and her private thoughts. And I could “hear” her voice through her writings.

  4. Thanks guys for your heartfelt comments. And all the thanks goes to Jerry H. on this one, he’s the guy that shared the lesson with me in the first place.

    Julie, thanks also for sharing some depth to your personal story. That is so special that you found the writings from your mom, and that you in turn have been writing as well.

  5. Thank you, Rich for this blog post which was brought to our attention several weeks ago. I re-read it again this morning and appreciate so very much your tribute to my husband, but also, the lesson in this for everyone. I needed to “hear” this encouragement again – especially today. It seems that you have been a blessing to many, Rich, and I pray God’s blessings over you and your family.

    Thank you!
    Donna Helvey

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