Tenacity. It's a powerful word. For much of my life, the word has meant going after what I want until I get told "no," or until I realize it's not going to work, or until I get tired of beating my head against a wall. Then, tenacity means, "Eh...never mind...I'll just do something else."
It doesn't really do justice to the word. Pure and simple, tenacity means, "I'm going to do this thing or I'm going to die trying to do it....and death is not an option."
Another term for this is the "Zero Option Option." You come up against a wall that's 8 feel high. You know you have to go over; there's really no option about it. So what do you do? You take the pack you've been carrying, with all of your supplies, your food, your clothing, your shelter. Everything. You can't live without this bag. So....you throw the bag over the wall. Now you HAVE to get over the wall. That's your Zero Option Option. Death isn't an option. Going on without your pack isn't an option. Your options? Yeah, get over the wall. That's it. Now.
Years ago, Henry Rollins was answering a question about his success. This "aging alternative icon" as he calls himself, the former singer of the seminal punk band Black Flag, has continued to crank out great music each decade since the bands dissolution in the 80's. In addition to his music, he's written numerous books, sculpted energizing acting roles, all the while traveling some 200+ days a year, offering social and political insights and commentary while he's not walking the streets of Iran or touring with the USO.
To say the guy stays busy is like saying Charlie Sheen can be a little intense.
In answer to the interviewer regarding his "18 minutes of fame," he quite gratefully attributes his success to having the tenacity of a cockroach.
I love that imagery. It's more than vivid. It's creepy. I don't know where you live, but here in Texas, cockroaches are not only gigantic, but they are also prolific. It has nothing to do with cleanliness, food left out, exterminators coming in a timely fashion, or anything else you might imagine as manageable pest routines. These guys are from another planet.
And they are here to ruin you.
You think you have them under control. Sure. Call your little Orkin guy. Let him come and spray his deathspray all over. Sure. It might even kill a few. But just wait.
Sooner or later. You'll see.
They will win.
They are here for the long haul. They've been here for millions of years before us.
Chances are, they will be here millions of years AFTER us.
They will wait. They will work. They will not rest. They will succeed. The question isn't IF...the question is simply WHEN. Living is their Zero Option Option. What's yours?