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What is Perseverance? Definition, Significance, Stories




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The question is “what is perseverance”? Yes, I know that it is spelled incorrectly and I’ll tell you why at the end of the article. So be sure to read all the way through to find the hidden treasure that is the reason for my misspelling.

Marine Corps Boot Camp

In July 1980, I flew to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego. I was on my way to becoming a Marine and I had no idea what I was getting into at the time.

Having grown up on John Wayne and watching the Sands of Iwo Jima I prided myself on doing the right thing for the right reasons. We watch the combat action movies on TV and get excited about it and think, “yeah, that could be me!”

What we don’t realize as kids is that watching something on TV and experiencing it are two completely different things. Oh, boy! Was I about to find out the hard way.

Luckily for me, I enlisted with one of my friends from high school. At least in this way when there was an opportunity I could talk to someone that I knew and could feel a little more at ease about things.

Let me give you a little background. My freshman year I went out for wresting and weighed about 80 some pounds and the lowest weight class in high school was 98 pounds. I was skinny as hell.

I had a perfect record my freshman year, all loses. But my belief in never quitting and persevering until the end made me go all the way through the year defeat after defeat.

Let’s fast-forward to July 1980 at MCRD San Diego. When I went to boot camp I weighed a whooping 128 pounds at 5’10” and was considered borderline double ration recruit, almost. A double ration recruit was made to eat two servings in the chow hall. I was not, thank goodness. But the chow hall is for another time.

What that meant is I was so skinny that I hardly had any muscle on my frame. My friend and I did go on hikes to the next town wearing packs with rocks in them because we knew that there would be hiking with heavy gear. We even started running well before we went to San Diego.

If you were one of those who went to boot camp as an athlete you won’t even be able to understand what I went through.

For me, the physical training that we did was so difficult because it was almost all based on lifting your body weight and running three miles in formation. I couldn’t do a pullup to save my life and at that time they didn’t use any scientific way of making one stronger like you can today. I mean it’s one thing to say okay, go do pullups after dinner and so-and-so will go help you. Really?

These days there are programs to use to increase one’s strength that are much more effective.

Back to my story. The biggest problem, though, was the psychological element to everything. Here I am struggling to get by one day at a time and every time someone made a mistake the entire platoon would get penalized for it and would be PT’ing (exercising) for their mistakes. That’s one of the reasons I tried wresting, because it was an individual sport and I didn’t rely on anyone else and no one relied on me. That’s one of the reasons I loved playing chess, because it was me against my opponent.

So to go through this grind morning, afternoon, and night was so mentally challenging. Some people looked forward to the next day. I looked forward to the next meal! One step at a time, baby!

We are talking about 13 weeks of this and the only way out was by graduating. If you got sick and were put on bed rest you got recycled back and that meant you would lengthen your stay.

Hiking wasn’t too bad, but it was still hard as hell wearing a pack that was half your weight. My thoughts during those hikes was someone will fallout before me…, someone will fall out before me. Matter of fact, I thought/felt that way about most physical activities we did. Someone must fail before me and it kept me going, day after day. How’s that, you say?

Not only were there skinny recruits but there were also fat recruits. You’ve seen the movie, Full Metal Jacket. That first half of the movie is so close to reality you wouldn’t believe it. Marines laugh when they watch it because it is so freakin true.

Near the end of the 13 weeks I got a double ear infection but was unwilling to be put on bed rest because I was getting out of there at 13 weeks, no more.

What did I gain from that 13 weeks in my life?

You can do most anything you want in life if you have the desire to make it all the way through. And, as far as was concerned I had been through hell for 13 weeks. There’s a whole lot more to it but maybe we can write a book or something and fill you in later.

Fast forward a couple of years and now I’m a cook in the US Marine Corps, or as the Marines would say an infantryman that can cook. Needless to say I didn’t want to do that for very long and I got lucky and met a Master Sergeant who asked if I was interested in learning a foreign language. Really? The Marine Corps would send me to learn a foreign language?

Defense Language Institute – Chinese Mandarin

I made a lateral moving into the translator field and was sent to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California for Chinese Mandarin. It was a 52-week course, 5 days a week, 6 hours a day with several hours of homework to do before the next day.

Can you imagine having to learn 20-30 vocabulary words every 2 days for 52 weeks? I studied my butt off every day, inside and outside of class. There were listening tests, writing tests, speaking tests for every lesson. I did the best I could, but my average was borderline pass/fail after about 2 months in.

The worst thing is if I don’t pass this course I go right back to being a cook and it was getting near re-enlistment time, as well. So, once again the pressure was on! I had to finish this!!!

Not only did I finish the Chinese Mandarin course in 1984, I went back to learn Korean in 1991, and every time I was stationed in Japan I took Japanese classes through University of Maryland.

What lessons did I learn from language school the first time? I learned how to put things in short, medium, and long-term memory. I learned that there wasn’t a course that I could take and not pass it. I knew how to learn quickly and effectively.

In 1998, I was in Okinawa, Japan on my twilight tour in the Marine Corps. Our daughter was in middle school and I was concerned for her well-being when she would eventually have to leave the nest. I was also interested in learning more about self-defense and finding ways to get in better shape that were more fun than just doing pullups and pushups. I was looking for something I could do 3x a week and look forward to it. I’m 36 at this time so that’s a thing when you are not in your early 20s, anymore.

Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate

My daughter and I enrolled in a parent-child karate class after work that met Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. They even had a Saturday class you could go to if you wanted.

Luckily for my daughter, she had taken ballet growing up and was much more talented when it came to balancing and because she was younger it was much easier to learn new things.

Me, after 18 years in the Marine Corps, I was two left feet when we started taking classes. It was a good size class, I’d say 15-20 people on average. If you’ve ever tried step aerobics for the first time you’ll know what I mean about having two left feet when you start something like that. Yes! I took step aerobics for a couple of months in the past.

Making our first rank didn’t take to long as my daughter and I really loved what we were doing and the instructors were great! On the weekends we would go outside and practice doing katas (forms) for the level we were at. The best part about doing this with my daughter was there were times I didn’t feel like going and she would come to me and say, “come on dad, let’s go!” And, vice versa! We helped each other to continue on our path of learning.

We stuck with it for two years, because at the end of two years I retired from the Marine Corps and we moved to Korea where I took a contracting job. We watched students come and go all the time. If they didn’t last for more than a couple of months we knew they weren’t coming back. As time went on, the kata and requirements for the next belt got more and more difficult. But, my daughter and I really wanted to make black belt before we had to leave and so once we made brown belt we were also able to train at the main dojo with the master and other black belts. This was on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Success!!! Our perseverance paid off! We got promoted within only a couple of months of us leaving.

Lessons learned, practice does not make perfect!

I bet you are saying, “What???”

If I practice a kata 1,000 times and I am making the same mistake 1,000 times then it is still wrong!

So, what you really should learn is perfect practice makes perfect! That’s why the instructors are constantly walking around the room making adjustments to the students movements. That’s why you can’t learn martial arts from a video. You won’t learn the why’s a movement is done a certain way and you won’t have someone there to correct you at the beginning, so you’ll learn how to do it wrong 1,000 times.

How does all of this apply to Marine Helping Veterans?

How does this apply to building an online business from scratch?

The simple answer is, don’t give up!

The explanation is a little more involved, as you’ll see here.

Les Waller YouTube Channel is Born

On 13 July 2014, the Les Waller YouTube channel published their 1st video, labeled “Waller HBW 1”. HBW stands for Home Brew Wednesday after watching Craig Farraway’s beer channel I decided to start a vlog with that in mind. That video now has 39 views. I continued making beer related videos until in January 2016 I decided to try regular vlogging.

After a year and a half of beer videos, I realized that my channel wasn’t going to boom with it’s current content. There’s a difference between never giving up and learning from your mistakes and trying something different. On YouTube, if you aren’t growing after almost 2 years, you probably aren’t going to and you can see that in the successful channels out there by looking at their origins and how long it took for them to build an audience of 100K or more.

Therefore, I started experimenting to see if there was something else that I could be good at that would attract a larger audience. One of those videos, “Move: Morning Routine” changed my perspective on being a YouTuber. I was about to quit, yes I said quit, YouTube when a co-worker walked in the office and was laughing and quoting what I had said in that video, (something about Lion’s roar).

That’s when I realized that it wasn’t just about me, but it was also about the viewers that small YouTubers hardly every interact with other than maybe a comment like, great video or keep it up. My video had made someone laugh and in today’s world that is priceless. I was about to bring a little bit of happiness into someone’s life.

Will this channel of mine be successful? I don’t know. Have I given up? No. Why not? Because I enjoy making videos and I like the fact that I can bring a little happiness into someone’s life or I can show someone something they can’t see because they’ll never be able to come to Europe and see castles and old towns or drink so many varieties of German and European beers and eat so many foods.

Lessons learned. I learned a lot about SEO, keywords, tags, descriptions, thumbnails, making live videos, editing videos, publishing videos.

How did that help me?

Wallerdog Gaming is Born

In October 2016 I started a new channel, Wallerdog Gaming. In three months time I had100 subscribers. Those here who have a channel know how difficult it is to get to that first 100 subscriber mark. Six months later I hit 1,000 subscribers and my channel was monetized. I flew past my Les Waller (International) channel, that even now only has 709 subscribers. Currently, it is at 3,320. However, with the 1000s of hours I have put into it I see it is not going to boom, either. And, even though I love gaming I have realized I don’t want to do this as a full time job for the rest of my life. I will continue to have a couple of weekly streams as I have made friends there and I do enjoy it. Oh, on past videos alone I earn about $15-20 per month without adding any content. I know this because I took a year to partner with someone on a new channel but it didn’t pan out and during that time my views remained steady as did my adsense income for that channel. is Born

In around September 2018 I discovered a business that dealt with affiliate marketing and a teaching plan they had that consisted of 24 steps to building an affiliate marketing site. The cost was well over $500 to become a member. What you got was the outline for the plan to build and access to their forum. That is when my first serious affiliate marketing site was born. It is thanks to them that I got started on this journey.

However, I had the shiny object syndrome and bought into a bunch of affiliate marketing things and spent a lot of money with little to no results. I’m sure you’ve already been there and done that.

Become Premium Member at Wealthy Affiliate

In February/March 2019, at about the same time that I started the Gaming channel with my new gaming partner my brother introduced me to Wealthy Affiliate. It only took me a couple hours of doing their training program to realize the value that Wealthy Affiliate would bring me and I went Premium without a second thought.

Now, was this still that shiny object syndrome? Great question! I started on their training path but my focus was more on building that new gaming channel so I stopped doing any work on their training.

After a year with my gaming partner, I knew it wasn’t going to work because we didn’t even get the momentum that I had with my Wallerdog Gaming channel or his own Hughbtert Jass Gaming channel that had 10K subscribers. We barely made 300+ subscribers after a year, so I bowed out and came back to Wallerdog.

Thanks to the beer virus and a project I got involved with at work, I decided to take a long break from gaming to give myself time to think about what was working, what wasn’t working, what did I want to do as a working retirement job and what was I willing to put my extra time and effort into doing.

The web page I built in 2018 was still up and starting to bring in a few dollars here and there thanks to Amazon and the 20+ articles I had written. That’s when I decided that if I put a 1000 hours of effort into my online affiliate marketing business that I had put into my gaming business I knew it wasn’t a matter of if I was going to be successful but when.

I’ve since moved all of my websites away from my old hosting service that was costing me over $300 a year just for hosting and moved everything to Wealthy Affiliates. I’m spending a little more but getting so much more for my money here.

Check out my Wealthy Affiliates Review – 2021 for more of what they have to offer or you can just go straight to creating a free account here.

I’ve been on this journey to find something that I can do full time since 2014, six years! But, I haven’t given up. I have persevered for six year and will continue to persevere. Have there been failures? Yes! Have there been successes? Yes!

From each failure I learn something that I can apply to my next attempt, just like Edison “failed” 1,000 times before getting it right with the light bulb. I will see success!

The reason the title and first paragraph have the word perseverance spelled incorrectly is because I used the keyword search tool native to Wealthy Affiliate, called Jaaxy (where I am also an affiliate), to find a term that is being searched often enough to be valuable but with little competition so that when someone searches for it, in theory, they’ll see my page on top of Google.

Something else we learn in our training here at Wealthy Affiliate. 🙂

What are your experiences with Perseverance?

Are you ready to give up on your hopes and dreams or are you going to keep up the good fight?

Let me know in the comments below!



About the author

8 responses to “What is Perseverance? Definition, Significance, Stories”

  1. Justin Avatar

    Hello Les, I was really going to regard the spelling as a mistake until I saw how you said it wasn’t a mistake as we had presumed. Reading through this article I was truly unhappy with the punishment of everyone for the mistake of one but I came to understand why. Also I really like the way you’ve corrected us all that perfect practice is what makes perfect. 

    1. Les Waller Avatar
      Les Waller

      Thanks! This was actually a fun article to write and also a good way to reflect on how some things in life have gone. Oh, I like to be tricky like that so finding out that that title may work well was an added bonus for me.

  2. Suz Avatar

    It is really good to read your story an I must say that it is quite interesting and also educative. One of the biggest take aways for me from your story is about how you had to learn that the beer videos won’t make it for you and you had to switch to something else. Sometimes we know that some things don’t work for us but we just decide to stay there. This is good stuff and I’ll check out that platform.

    1. Les Waller Avatar
      Les Waller

      Yes, it’s really difficult to let something go that you like doing. Spoiler alert! I haven’t given up on the beer reviews and am working a different angle that will start with a new channel to reduce the confusion on the Les Waller channel.

  3. Bruce Avatar

    This is a good article, it is nice to come across it, I’ve gained a lot from it and I find it very interesting to read through. It’s good to have programs that’ll help us show a kind to love towards our veterans that’ll make them feel loved too. Thanks for defining what perseverance is and I like your illustration.

    1. Les Waller Avatar
      Les Waller

      Thank you, Bruce! I appreciate the time it took to leave some comments for me.

  4. Stratos K Avatar
    Stratos K

    Great article you wrote there. I particularly like how you gave us your whole story from the very beginning and how you ended up in WA. It shows that there are real people behind all this and WA can really help people in their first venture into online marketing. Having patience and never give up is essential for success online and one of the major pillars for becoming an authority in your field.

    1. Les Waller Avatar
      Les Waller

      Thanks, Stratos! I appreciate your taking the time to respond to this article. Best of luck to you in business!

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