The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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OPINION: Fear, failure and the power of perseverance

KentWired Illustration by Mia Marino

It’s not easy to be brave, disciplined and strong. 

I fall to fear and challenges every day. “I’ll do my homework later,” I tell myself. “I’m too tired to exercise today.” “I can’t do this.” When faced with challenges, I give myself excuses and procrastinate. “I deserve a break,” I say. My phone breaks often last longer than my study sessions. Hours pass by and my productivity stagnates.

Hardship and discomfort are uncomfortable. We naturally prefer peace and dislike challenges. In our age of haste and distractions, avoidance and inactivity are our default preferences.

But what if they weren’t? What if we trained our brains to overcome and excel despite our fears? Everything changes when we alter our mindset. In moments of laziness, fear and frustration, we must intentionally employ our strongest asset — our minds.

The human brain is extraordinary, beautiful and extremely powerful. Our limitations are, as cliché as it sounds, miles beyond our self-expectations. Mind over matter holds true in all aspects of life. What would happen if we could access that energy?

Christopher Bergland, author of “The Athlete’s Way: Sweat and the Biology of Bliss,” said in a Psychology Today article, “Dopamine is the fuel that keeps people motivated to persevere and achieve a goal. You have the power to increase your production of dopamine by changing your attitude and behavior.”

Perseverance helps people turn “have-to” tasks into “want-to” activities. By exercising consistently, for example, your brain and mindset adapt to enjoy exercise.

It is extremely important to build healthy, beneficial habits for our futures. Remind yourself of your goals, think realistically about the challenges you face and your current approach and focus on what you really want.

Procrastination and perseverance are opposites. Inaction halts progress and avoidance creates a false vacancy of problems. 

Remember your goals. Identify the tasks at hand. Flip the mental switch and watch yourself succeed.

As we approach the halfway point of the semester, it is easy to lose interest and motivation in your schoolwork. Students have a good understanding of the classes they enjoy and those they can’t wait to forget. The idea of two more months of boring lectures and time-consuming assignments is enough to discourage most people.

It is crucial now, at this halfway point where the holiday hibernation energy is depleting and spring break isn’t coming fast enough, that we latch onto our goals and find our inner motivation.

Life is a long journey. Daily setbacks are natural and inevitable, but long-term effort, determination and progress are solidly in your control. 

Recognize the importance of both rest and resilience. Finding balance between your future and present will help you accomplish your goals and find enjoyment in everyday life around you. Do what you can today to be the best version of yourself tomorrow and enjoy the journey.

Jacob Freshly is an opinion writer. Contact him at [email protected].

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