by Margaret J. Wheatley
Paintings by Asante Salaam
In this inspiring and beautifully illustrated book, best-selling author Margaret Wheatley offers guidance to people everywhere for how to persevere through challenges in their personal lives, with their families, at their workplaces, in their communities, and in their efforts to make a better world.
Perseverance is a day-by-day decision not to give up. Wheatley does not offer the usual feel-good, rah-rah messages. Instead, she focuses on the situations, feelings, and challenges that can, over time, cause us to lose heart or lose our way. When we feel lost, overwhelmed, betrayed or exhausted, we need to know we have a choice for how we respond. And we have to nurture the rewarding times, when we experience the joy of working together on something hard but worthwhile, when we realize we’ve made a small difference.
In a series of short and compassionate essays, Wheatley names a behavior or dynamic—such as fearlessness, guilt, joy, jealousy—that supports or impedes our efforts to persevere. She puts each in a broader human or timeless perspective, offering ways to either live with or transcend each one.
These essays are self-contained—you can thumb through the book and find what attracts you or what you need in the moment. There deliberately are no examples of other people or their experiences. You are the example—your personal experiences are the basis for change.
In addition to Wheatley’s graceful essays, there are poems and quotations drawn from traditions and cultures around the world and throughout history. The book is deeply grounded spiritually, accessing human experience and wisdom from many sources. This inclusiveness supports the essential message—human beings throughout time have persevered. We’re just the most recent ones to face these challenges, and we too can persevere, on behalf of the people, causes and places we love.
For Persevering People 14-Week Email Series
We began offering weekly pages from Perseverance in 2017. At that time, things seemed difficult enough that I wanted to offer guidance, solace, and inspiration to all of us doing good work. Now, four years later, we’re still here (!) and the capacity to persevere is evermore important. Funny how quickly even 2017 looks like the good ole days 🤪. If you would like to receive pages from the book, once a week for 14 weeks, please sign up (by clicking here). I’ve selected fourteen pages from the book that I feel of most value as we continue to do meaningful work in the midst of increasingly difficult circumstances. I offer this as my gift to you. Sign up now >>
Notes and References Used in Perseverance
Where I have quoted authors and teachers more than once in Perseverance, this is an indication of how much I value these people and their wisdom. I am grateful to all of them for what they have taught and what I have learned from them. Download a list of references (PDF).
Interviews with Meg Wheatley
- Watch an introduction to the book Perseverance, including why Meg decided to write on this topic
- In a lively radio interview with Dr. Pat in Seattle, Meg speaks about why she wrote “Perseverance,” what perspectives help us keep going, and what fearlessness really means (it doesn’t mean having no fear). Listen to this interview
- Read an interview with Meg in the Huffington Post’s Living Section on perseverance in the face of the Gulf oil spill crisis: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kari-henley/perseverance-in-the-gulf_b_600593.html
Read Meg Wheatley’s YES! Magazine Blog
Meg is now posting a regular blog at Yes Magazine’s website. She’s commenting on her favorite topic these days, perseverance. Future blogs will also explore stories from Berkana’s global family of pioneering communities. Check it out: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/margaret-wheatley. Recent postings include:
- Perseverance—A Life-Saving Skill for this Time: Meg asks: “How do we keep going, remain grounded and steadfast? How do we become people who can persevere?” in this first of a series of posts on the essential skill of persevering. [ READ ]
- Perseverance: Lost in the Gulf of Mexico: We need to surrender our need to blame, acknowledge that we are truly lost, and then reclaim our capacity to think together if we are to find a way to solutions. [ READ ]