The Power of Perseverance

………………or why hair loss may actually be a good sign if your Mark Ronson

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Perseverance, tenacity, doggedness, resilience – all qualities needed in life if one is to achieve one’s goals, ambitions or dreams. Life is fair? Pah! No it is not. It does not bend over backwards to make things easy for you and neither does it liberally deposit silver spoons in the traps of the average mortal no matter how loud we wail ‘why me? I’ll never make it, do it, achieve it, I’m rubbish’ blah blah etc etc.

As alleged grown-ups we struggle with this cruel fact of life, kids even more so. At least us bigger people have enough experience to know that if you want something badly enough, hard work is usually the only way you’re going to achieve it short of sleeping with a celebrity/footballer of dubious credentials . Children however simply want things NOW and think working hard for it sucks. And they are right. But life is tough so get used to it kiddies.

I was reminded of this fact when flicking through the Evening Standard on Friday. Apparently Mark Ronson, that wonderfully talented troubadour and icon of style wrote and rewrote the guitar part to Uptown Funk a gargantuan 82 times. Eighty freakin two! before he was satisfied. In the process he apparently lost hair which makes one worry for the life expectancy of that magnificent quiff but that’s by the by. On finally laying down his Ikea mini pencil and declaring it finished he promptly threw up and fainted. Now THAT my friend is perseverance. It has of course gone on to be one of the most successful tracks of 2014/15, spending seven weeks at number one both here and in the States and holds the title of the all-time most streamed track in a single week in the UK, having been streamed a record 2.56 million times in a single week. Does Ronny think it was worth the hassle? I’m imagining he probably does.

And Ronson’s not the only one to prove the old adage ‘if at first you don’t succeed…….’ Pharrell Williams is another masterly maestro clearly made of the resilient stuff. The ubiquitous track ‘Happy’ from the film ‘Despicable Me’ actually took 10 separate complete reworks before the powers that be at the studio were ‘happy’ (Ha) with it. Ok, it may not be quite as impressive as Ronsons efforts but still an example of the true gritty determination needed to get a job done and get it done well.

So yes whilst it’s bloody and back braking to keep getting up, metaphorically brushing ourselves of and starting again it’s important to remember that if you really really REALLY want something badly enough then that’s exactly what you have to do. Even if we shed a few angry self-pitying tears on the way (I know I do). So in the spirited, rousing words of that melodious ensemble Chumbawamba, everybody sing…

I get knocked down

but I get up again

you’re never gonna keep me down

I get knocked down

but I get up again……….

I’ll have a vodka drink ta!

Susannah Hebden


Person centred/existential counsellor, stylist, mum of two, adoptee