TENACITY: Stay in the game, you can do it!

By Sally Tippett Rains

Years ago, my husband Rob lost his job because the newspaper he worked for folded. I was nine months pregnant when the paychecks started bouncing. It was a bad time to lose a job and there was no stimulus check to help.

He tried so hard for what seemed to be a long time to find a job.  Oprah told us to write what we wanted to happen on our “vision board” and we did-– but nothing happened. We read affirmations and studied the Law of Attraction hoping to attract into our lives the things that we were focusing on– nothing happened. We proclaimed that we believed God would get us a job every day when we woke up. And of course he hit the pavement looking for jobs. When you do those things and seemingly “nothing happens.” It is very discouraging.

At times we almost lost our faith because we really didn’t know what would become of us. Were we just going to be pitiful, no insurance, no job, no money, homeless? I’m sure you have had the thought: what is going to happen to me? We always seem to imagine and expect the worse.

Rob kept trudging along. He continued trying to get a job in what he had trained to do and wanted to do– but at the same time he took a part-time job at a book store and I did some secretarial work that I could arrange around our new baby. We did what we had to, to get what we needed. I thank God for the help of loved ones during this time and a certain discount store and the Good Will.

All that time we thought “nothing” was happening, things were actually happening but we didn’t know it. God was working behind the scenes preparing us for the life we were going to have. We had so many incredible “adventures” taking temporary jobs, moving here and there. We even lived in a hotel during one time in our life– but looking back on it, we had so much fun. Even a tough time can be a happy memory if you have the tenacity to keep going. I cooked an entire Thanksgiving meal with a burner and a toaster oven and it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever.

The detours in the road of our lives lead us to many opportunities and happenings we never would have done. One example could be a mother meets another mother in the medical clinic that she is taking her child to every week. They end up being lifelong friends who never would have met if not for a bad circumstance. Or a Make-A-Wish trip that was originated for a bad reason but provides happy memories for a lifetime.

Rob and I were talking this as I was going through photos this week if his paper had not folded, he would probably have covered the same team in the same town for all those years– which of course would have been the easy and preferred life. Instead we’ve had so many adventures– and those who know me, know when I say adventures, they are not always planned and don’t always start out good. It’s the way we handle the unexpected things life hands us that determines if we will turn them into an adventure and salvage some sort of happy memories from that time.

You probably know exactly what I’m talking about because here you are in the middle of a pandemic and you are going through something scary– but you are doing the best you can. You are not giving up, you are making your journey an adventure. Someone once told me our God is a “last minute God,” and you know what? It turns out to be true.

That’s why we must never give up. We must be tenacious no matter what we are facing.

Tenacity basically means you keep going even if it is in a change of direction than what you originally chose. All the things we learn while going through a tough time are preparing us for what we need to know later on– and at times we don’t even know what are the important things we will need later.

The actress Morgan Fairchild said, “I’m one of those people you can tell ‘no’ a million different ways, and I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to get to ‘yes.’ People have always underestimated me. I have great stamina, great tenacity.”

Wouldn’t you like to be that person that people underestimate who actually makes it? If someone says to me, “That will never work. You can’t do it.” I think to myself “watch me.”

Years ago Rob and I met the movie star Tom Arnold at a media event. He is a lot different in person than his show-biz persona. When we started Rainbows for Kids, I invited him to come to St. Louis for our very first gala fundraiser.

Why should he come? We only met him once and we couldn’t pay him. I tried several different ways of approaching him about it. And guess what? He actually did it!

“How did you get involved with this little charity in St. Louis?” a local radio interviewer asked him on the air the morning of the event.

“Sally Rains is a very persistent person,” he said.

Persistent and tenacious both involve not giving up, but sometimes you have to try new ideas in order to achieve your goal.

In order to get to where you want to go you might have to go in the back door. I actually got a famous person to travel to St. Louis and appear at my little charity event—for free—all because I was tenacious about it.

Don’t’ give up on your ideas or your dreams. Most of all don’t give up on your happiness.

I pray for everyone who has been affected by the virus. I also think there are some exciting possibilities waiting to happen during this pandemic—if we don’t give up and we don’t give in. There might be something really cool waiting for you but it hasn’t happened yet –so you don’t know what it is.

Many people are fearful because of the times our country is facing. If you are worrying about what bad things “might” happen—don’t forget about all the good things that could happen. The worst possible things you are scared about might not even happen. I fact they usually don’t– and we spent so much time worrying about them.

When we get what we think is bad news–If you have a sick relative or you are sick yourself—or have some sort of medical problem or you are upset about politics—I know it is really frustrating when you hear news you did not want to hear.

Whenever that happens try to be tenacious in how you handle it. Keep looking for new ideas, don’t give up because you’re scared.

When I’m in a valley in my life, I look to Romans 8:18:  “I consider the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.” (ESV)

In order to live a happy life, we must have tenacity. We must keep on trying no matter what.

Choose Happy, you are worth it.


“I live by two words: tenacity and gratitude.” – Henry Winkler

Bible Verse:

“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.”  — John 14:27.  

One Last Thought:

If you have been worried about something this week. Look at the problem and think it through. You will see that even though you are fretting about something– you really can’t know the outcome.– so stop imagining the worst. If you or a loved one has been given a bad diagnosis, you don’t really know what will happen. Miracles happen every day—they really do. If you are scared you will lose your health insurance or social security, or any rights you might fear you will lose—you don’t know the outcome. You know what someone wants to scare you into thinking, but nothing is ever over until it’s over.

No doctor—or television commentator—knows the future either, so don’t let them scare you.  To Sean Hannity, Rachel Maddow, Rush Limbaugh, Stephen Colbert—and all the rest—you are just ratings. They don’t care about you. We should put our trust in the One who knows our name and how many hairs we have on our head.

Are you going to live your life in a panic, upset every day because of politics?

Sometimes we get so involved in what we see on TV or on the internet that it terrifies us. Are we answering to politicians and television celebrities— or are we putting our trust in God?

Look at all you have been through. With all you have overcome, Trump and Biden are nothing. We should not be putting our trust in humans, the only one who can truly save us is God. The politicians and TV talking heads don’t care about us, the only one who really cares for us is God.

It is better to put our trust in the “word” than in the “world.”

Sally Tippett Rains is a motivational speaker, inspirational writer and author of 13 books, including Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation. She is the volunteer Executive Director of Rainbows for Kids and content manager for STLSportsPage.com.


These are the chapters in Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation. We are going through each one and next week we’ll focus on Energy.

Fifteen  Keys to a Happy Life

F orward- Keep moving forward

I nitiative- Take the initiative and start things.

ow- Do it now, live in the now

D etermination- Stay determined to making it

ommunity –Accept the help of others

O ptimism- Don’t give up on yourself or others

N ew Ideas- Maybe  it’s the time to try new ideas

T enacity- Stay in the game, you can do it

E nergy – Do what you need to do to have energy.

N ormalcy – Embrace your “new normal” 

rust – Trust yourself and others.

M indfulness –Don’t worry about the future.

E ncouragement  Encourage yourself and others.

N utrition and Health – Take care of yourself.

ranquility – Learn to just be at peace.