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Lynn Hummel column: The power of persistence

Detroit Lakes Newspapers columnist Lynn Hummel recently published his fourth book, "The Last Word," a collection of some of his favorite columns from the past 40 years.

It's Monday morning, it's overcast, damp, chilly and gloomy outside and it's back to the grind. The search for inspiration or enthusiasm seems dismal if not hopeless at this hour.

Yesterday, 26 pro football teams played. Half of them lost. Most won't play for another week. Yet today or tomorrow over 1,300 players are expected to show up for practice, lift weights, run through drills, watch game films and go through the labor of preparing for next week's game.

It would be a rare player who is inspired or enthusiastic about the practices that follow a game. But they are professionals and are expected to work hard, do their drills and run through practice with an attitude of determination, if not enthusiasm.

Normally on a Monday morning I have an idea for an article that I am enthusiastic about, maybe even inspired. Today there is no such idea. It's just as gloomy here as on any pro football practice field. And yet there is a job to be done.

Plumbers today are receiving calls about blocked sewers. Surgeons today are removing (by sawing off) limbs ravaged by diabetes. Internists are preparing to perform colonoscopies. Lawyers are going to court to do bare-knuckle combat in bitter divorce cases. Clergy people are being called to counsel parents of a son or daughter just killed in a traffic accident. Firemen are being called to a blaze caused by an explosion. Homeowners in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are still mopping up the flood waters and swatting mosquitoes resulting from Hurricane Florence, and thousands of workers are returning to routine jobs that lack excitement or significant reward.

And yet there is a job to be done. There are weights to be lifted, and drills to be run. Plumbers can't get enthused or inspired by blocked sewers, surgeons and internists can't look forward to removing limbs or doing colonoscopies and the same with lawyers litigating in divorces, clergy counseling after tragedies, firemen battling blazes, homeowners in flood zones and everyday working folks returning to routine jobs. But they need to do their jobs and they can't delay or go AWOL. The solution?

Perspiration and persistence. Again, there is a job to be done that can't be postponed. And it won't get done because of talent, luck, genius, ambition, education, enthusiasm or inspiration. It will get done by whoever has to do it by rolling up his or her sleeves and jumping in and starting to grind away. A job is a grindstone and it will be completed by putting their noses to that grindstone and keeping it there until the task is completed. Do the chores and lift the weights. That's the blood, sweat and tears approach to winning wars and doing colonoscopies.

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