Perseverance – No Matter How You Spell It

By February 8, 2013Inspiration

Perseverance is one of those words I always need to think twice about when spelling it. Which is it?

  • Preseverance,
  • Perseverance, or
  • Perservence

The beginning and middle get confusing.

As I was struggling with “perseverance” the other day, my spelling skirmish struck me with the value of the differences. In my confusion, clarity glimmered. To persevere, we need to:

  • Preserve certain principles
  • Sever certain ties
  • Serve in all we do


All three variations deliver a punch to what perseverance really means.


When times get tough, we need center ourselves and lean into our soul for strength and power. There are principles, philosophies, and values that keep us going through the years, and we need to re-engage them. Tough times happen. We need to preserve our core beliefs no matter what is thrown our way.


The other side of this is our need to cut-off things that are holding us back. This isn’t divorce or abandonment. It is about releasing the thoughts that keep us bound up. It is about keeping the people at a distance who may be distracting us. It is about unloading past burdens holding us back from our new, meaningful life adventures.


When we engage a community, we all grow. A servant leader mindset empowers us and changes more lives than we may know. Serving strengthens our spirit and lifts our mindset to focus on what matters.

Perseverance is about struggle, even in its spelling. Most importantly, perseverance is about preserving our core, severing what is unimportant, and serving in our community.

Perseverance. No matter how we spell it, we learn.

How do you spell perseverance in your life challenges and successes?


Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Deone Higgs says:

    You’re not alone, Jon. I have a difficult time spelling perseverance as well. Usually, spell check has to come to my rescue by highlighting it with that squiggly red line, as if it’s telling me, “Uh, dude… give that another glance over.” 😀

    No matter how we spell it though, the meaning is definitely a crucial one that we remind ourselves in those tough times. Here lately, I’ve been having a lot of them, but this post is both encouraging and inspiring. A very sharpening reminder.

    Great share! Thanks mate.

  • Nic Ferguson says:

    Hi Jon.

    I’m grateful that what resulted from your skirmish, was in fact an insightful reminder of 3 responsibilities I have to myself and to those around me.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this post. Really makes me think about the word and all the segments of the word. Thank you.

  • Terri Klass says:

    This is a wonderful post Jon! I particularly connected to your description of unloading past burdens holding us back from new adventures. It can be so hard to persevere when we are caught in quick sand. And I loved your point about being true to our values and self. Thank you for sharing! Terri

  • robbiecat says:

    Good one. The term comes alive when you delve into it, as you have – you break it apart, yet come back to the wholeness of it. I find to help people re connect with virtues from which they may feel disconnected at times (such as perseverance), I ask them to remember a situation in the past when they demonstrated that quality. I invite them to tell the story of when they successfully persevered delivering a positive result for them and others. As they recall their story of perseverance, they reconnect to all the factors that contributed to their experience of living with perseverance, and voila, they reconnect with it.

    • Jon M says:

      I like that approach, Robyn. Through our experiences and stories, we make these connections yet they fade over time. Remembering them does strengthen us and renews our perseverance. Great insights. Thanks! Jon

  • Bruce Sallan says:

    I happen to love what I call “The P Words” and one of them indeed is perseverance. The others are persistence and passion. Together, they are the tools I use and I fear our children do NOT have in their arsenals!

    • Jon M says:

      Great words to add into the mix, Bruce. Passing on these P words is a vital thing to do; we just need to keep practicing them and our examples may have more of an impact than we think… I guess that goes back to the P words! Thank you for adding your insights. Jon

  • Molly says:

    Such a clever post. I needed a dose of perseverance today, so thank you!

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