- The quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; grip
- The quality or fact of being very determined; determination.
- The quality or fact of continuing to exist; persistence.
“Tenacity is the quality of being determined to do something in spite of difficulties and hurdles. If you are determined to achieve something in spite of the difficulties and risks involved in it, you have tenacity. Holding on to something in spite of difficulties and dangers is tenacity.”
When you start – nothing is intrinsically easy. It’s not meant to be. Life isn’t designed to roll over and give you everything you want.
Sure, we can say we’ve hit the jackpot by being born. By being human. By being in the Western world. That’s wonderful, but relative to your existence, you’re going to face some adverse situations.
Mine started pretty much from day zero.
Born to Kenyan parents, they weren’t married and their relationship broke down. So I was raised by my mum and my grandmother in the coastal region for some time. My life was already experiencing a tenacious air of existence. Two very strong women were making sure they instilled strength in me too.
Time moves on – it always does – and eventually my mum met my step-dad. A World War 2 veteran who’s managed to create his lot in life through a tough work ethic and, yes, tenacity. But the sense of urgency wasn’t really part of his lexicon at home (my god was it terrifying if something or someone was late in the office!) the Jewish-Dutch outlook served him well.
This could go on into a timeline of my life, but that’s not what this is for just yet. Fact is, the adults who chose to raise me were both tenacious in nature. Difficulties struck all of us at certain times, ranging from my mother losing her father, my father losing his brother, and me almost losing an eye on a ski piste in Saint Moritz at the age of 6.
So what’s the point of this?
We start at 0, and our experiences are just that: our own.
Sure, we can compare our experiences to others – a lot of us will downplay our experiences when we compare the adversity someone else has had. The only similarity there is it may have or be happening at the same time. Beyond that, we can only imagine how they feel or remember how we felt in a similar situation. It will never be an exact replica.
So when something happens that attempts to knock us off our feet, veer us off our chosen path, or lure us down a rabbit hole so vile even Alice would think twice. We always seek to rebalance and take one step forward.
That’s what you do.
You take one.