Sanctified bull doggedness

This stag was a bit more determined than his peers. Chital Stag in Nagarhole National Park, by Yathin S. Krishnappa [CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chital stag in Nagarhole National Park, by Yathin S. Krishnappa
  [CC-BY-SA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons

“Your success does not depend upon the brilliance and the impetuosity with which you take hold, but upon the ever lasting and sanctified bull doggedness with which you hang on after you have taken hold.”Dr. A. B. Meldrum

As anyone who knows me well can tell you, tenacity is a virtue that sometimes becomes a disadvantage.  There’s such a thing as being too stubborn and too persistent when facing obstacles, whether tangible, conversational or imaginary.  People with autism are often described as engaging in perseveration, but I’ve known more than a few so-called normal people (myself among them) who can’t seem to find the “off” switch and don’t know when to move on.

Still, if given the choice between too much tenacity and too little, I’d go for too much every time.  History is full of stories that demonstrate how important it is not to give up easily.  Since Jeff shares this trait of tenacity with me, I have seen first hand how it can literally be a lifesaving tendency.  His refusal to give up in the face of agonizing pain and long odds has been an inspiration to me.

It’s a fine line to walk, knowing when to give up and when to keep trying.  On which side do you tend to err?  Are there areas of your life that you need to let go of?  Are there others that might be resolved with sustained effort and patience?

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! I was going to say that I probably give up too easily, that I’m too easily discouraged. Then I remembered yesterday at work, how I persisted in presenting an unpopular opinion (as you know, I’m a consultant; theoretically, they want my opinion) until I finally got some reluctant agreement from one other person, which fueled me on to keep at this, presenting to a larger audience this coming Friday….
    I do have an over-developed, puritanical sense of moral obligation.

    • Nothing wrong with that, as long as you remember what my friend Ashleigh Brilliant has said: “It’s good to have strong opinions, if you’re right, but not good at all if you’re wrong.” Just reflect on what those original Puritans might have to say about our current society, and imagine how many ways they could stir things up with THEIR moral obligations…just saying.

      • I love that Brilliant quote, “It’s good to have strong opinions, if you’re right, but not good at all if you’re wrong.”
        Opinions being what they are, I am generally open to hearing other perspectives.
        When necessary, I try to substantiate my position, for example, citing where my position aligns with applicable international standards put out by ISO or with the FDA’s 21 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) section 820.

        • Ah, but most opinions are based, at least in some part, on subjective factors. Evidence can be cited or discarded based on one’s original prejudices. It’s another version of the old half-empty, half-full question. Or, in a different direction, to whom (or to what) do you spend most of your time listening?

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