Values put to the test: does perseverance really help?
Some months ago, when we had to explain what perseverance was to Alma, we could not have imagined that our own perseverance was going to be put to the test so much.
It could be said that everything started last year, at the beginning of summer, when 4-year-old Alma fell in love with a hoop fit for a princess that was on sales promotion in a shop, one of those “Hula Hoops” that you twist around your waist. It was so beautiful and such a bargain that I did not hesitate in buying her it. I thought that my daughter would be so thrilled with her new hula hoop, but her happiness lasted about as long as it took me to give her it. She had scarcely put it around her waist when she saw how it immediately fell to the ground, and I knew then that we were going to have problems.
Indeed, she tried a few more times, and on seeing that the hula hoop did not spin around her on its own she exploded with frustration and started to cry, “There’s something wrong with this hula hoop! It doesn’t work! It falls to the ground! Aaaarrrggghhh!”. It seems that in her mind she had imagined a kind of magic ring that would dance happily and harmoniously around her. I tried to calm her down by saying: “don’t worry, you have to move your waist, the hula hoop doesn’t move on its own, you do it like this, look…” and I put it around my waist to show her how to do it.
It seems that mass hysteria clouded my judgment and in my delusion I thought that I was going to do it like Shakira. But it turns out that I am neither the same size nor weight, and nor do I move like I used to the last time I played with a hula hoop more than 20 years ago (hmm… more than 30 to be really honest). Obviously I could not do it either, even though I moved, in an apparently not very harmonious way because the whole shop laughed, the hula hoop fell to the floor and the temper tantrum was unleashed: “You see! It doesn’t work!”
As best as I could, I picked up the hula hoop and my dignity from the floor and we went home to practice. We could not do it there either. So, I started to explain the importance of practice, patience and perseverance to Alma. She understood the idea of practice very well, and she also accepted the idea of having patience and trying again every time the hula hoop fell to the ground, but the idea of persevering seemed a joke to her:
Alma: “But mamma, are you telling me that I won’t be able to do it well today even if I practice all day and I’m patient and I don’t cry if it falls to the floor but try again? That I have to do it for a lot of days? How many?”
Me: “I don’t know how many, as many as it takes…”
Alma: “Until tomorrow? Until my birthday?”
Me: “Maybe, it all depends on how much you practice …”
Alma: “But I am practicing! And how come you could do it when you were little and now you can’t?”
Me: “Well, it’s been a long time since I practiced …”
Alma: “And why don’t you practice? Don’t you have any patience or perseverance?”
It is incredible how much relief and happiness a child’s most insignificant achievement can produce
Fortunately, no more than a week went by before Alma was able to keep the hula hoop spinning around up to 5 times. It was an historical event. We were all crazy with excitement. We called the grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, we made a video, took photos, had a big celebration, and I thanked god that Alma had been able to do it. I could not imagine the same old song all summer of “there’s something wrong with this hula hoop…”
That whole experience made us think about building an app that explained the power of perseverance to small children. But it seems that we tempted fate when we assumed that we could “teach” perseverance without demonstrating it ourselves, because as soon as we started to plan what the app would be like we began to be confronted by a series of situations and setbacks that left us without the liquidity to be able to continue with the project.
We were about to give up…
One afternoon, after coming across the millionth obstacle to the project, Alma heard us talking about how maybe the time had come to leave the development of apps for infants to one side in order to find other sources of income. So, she came closer and asked me: “Mamma, Aren’t we going to do the “Alma and the Great Concert” app anymore?” -We had given it this name- and I replied that for now no because things were not going well. She responded: “but mamma, when I couldn’t make the hula hoop spin you told me that I had to do it until I could, and that I had to continue even if it fell to the floor many times and for many days and that it would definitely work out for me in the end … ¿do you see? That’s why you can’t do the hula hoop, because you stopped trying before you could.”
And she walked off as cool as a cucumber.
It was like a stake through the heart. What a wise child, oh my god, she comes out with stuff that leaves me speechless. I was shocked to the core, she made me understand that abandoning this project would not only affect me very negatively on an emotional level, but that it would also be a bad example to set my children, especially Alma, who was extremely committed to creating the story, the games and the characters. What she said made me think and injected me with immense strength. How could we quit persevering when what we wanted to do was build an app about perseverance? As Alma always says, “that’s the world turned upside down”.
That marked a turning point in our lives
we had to decide whether to change direction or continue along the same path. And we have taken the riskiest decision: to go with the project of our dreams, that comes from our hearts, that allows us to work together as a family, that excites the very same children who inspired it, and us, who see ourselves doing it for a lifetime.
So, we decided to give perseverance one more go
It is our obligation if we want to build an app on this subject. We made a list of all the problems and obstacles we had at the time and began to look for the solutions to each one of them. We have been able to solve almost all of them, except for the biggest one: we do not have the funds to produce the app. That is why we have chosen to keep on persevering and run a crowdfunding campaign to see if we manage to raise the 22,500€ we require.
This is what we are doing right now, inviting all of our friends, family members, acquaintances, and anyone interested in the project to help us develop the App “Alma and the Great Concert” by making a financial contribution of any size. The first app has received such good reviews that we are confident that we will have many collaborators.
Does crowd funding work? I truly hope so. And even if we achieve our goal, we will definitely be confronted by new challenges before being able to see the app on the market. Nevertheless, we are going to persevere from the very beginning and that is a fact, and I am going to record the results of this exercise in faith and perseverance from the beginning, right now, when everything is uncertain and success is not guaranteed. I want to do it, not only because it might be a real demonstration of the power of perseverance, but also because it might provide those who accompany us on the journey with a lot to reflect upon. Some proof also of the power of perseverance for adults.
What do you think about perseverance? If you believe we have taken the right decision, support us in this process. You can do it in many ways: with a financial contribution of any quantity or by helping us to promote this campaign, by buying the “Alma and the Doll in the Park” app, Reviewing and recommending it to your friends if you like it, or by simply accompanying us along the way. Good intentions and best wishes are a great encouragement. Subscribe to our Newsletter and follow us closely as we practice our belief in the power of perseverance.
Whatever you think, let us know in our comments section!