Perseverance – Book Review

The Seven Skills You Need to Survive, Thrive, and Accomplish More Than You Ever Imagined

Disclosure: The nice folks at PenguinRandomHouse Canada sent me a copy of Perseverance for review. No other compensation was received.

If you’re a fan of reality television, you no doubt know of the inspiring story of Tim & Tim, the underdog father and son duo who won the inaugural season of The Amazing Race Canada. If you’re like me, however, and avoid this genre of television like the plague, you may be a bit more in the dark. Let me help you with that.

I am going to tell you from the very start that this book did not have me gripped and on the edge of my seat. Not from the beginning and not even by the end. However, I found what Tim Hague, Sr. had to say to be meaningful and important.
The popular opinion of the day is that people feel that ‘kids today’ are rewarded for merely showing up. Perseverance, by contrast, is continuing to strive towards a goal, despite little if any notable rewards. An interesting contrast to today’s ‘medals for everybody!’ approach.
The humility with which Tim Hague, Sr. approaches his unlikely win and his realistic approach to early onset Parkinson’s make him an extremely likeable figure. His humble beginnings and stick with it attitude are not hard to trace. The child of a young white woman and a much old, married black man, Tim was adopted out as an infant. Growing up a bi-racial child of white parents in the mid-west United States could not have been easy.
While this alone might have been the stuff of movies, it is not these circumstances that he chooses to dwell on. Instead, Tim focuses on moving forward, one (sometimes faltering) step at a time, pressing on towards a goal. Making the journey as much a part of plan as the ultimate goal itself quickly re-adjusts the lens of every day thinking. The Tims beat out ten thousand other applicants to even be on the Amazing Race Canada – how could they waste a single moment of the experience?
Despite the exceedingly important message in the book, I did not find the writing style to be extremely engaging. To be fair, as a decided non-fan of reality television, my judgment may have been slightly clouded. His enthusiasm for and encouragement of all those around him definitely makes this a book you should see through to the end.

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