Persevering No Matter What with Margaret J. Wheatley, Ph.D.

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How is it that some people devote their lives to a cause or a person or place, while some others give up and quit? How is it that even in the midst of failures, betrayals, reversals, some people still remain focused and dedicated to their cause? What keeps us persevering? What drags us under when we experience set-backs, failures, criticism? Margaret Wheatley says, "We really don't know what is going to happen; we don't know what the future is. We can work as much as we can and with as much diligence and vigilance as we can to create a positive future. But in the end, what is really important is that we just feel that this work is our work to do. . . I find those to be liberating conditions that make it possible to do much more work with much more vigor and also much more enjoyment." Here, we explore how to persevere through life's challenging circumstances. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Margaret Wheatley is an internationally acclaimed writer, speaker, and teacher. She began caring about the world's peoples in 1966 as a Peace Corps volunteer in postwar Korea. She is cofounder and President Emerita of The Berkana Institute, a charitable foundation that works with people around the world to strengthen their communities using the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions, and environment. She is a guide in leading people back to understanding who we are as humans, being able to create the conditions for our basic qualities of generosity, contribution, community, and love. She is a grand contributor in creating an Island of Sanity in the midst of wildly disruptive seas. 

Margaret J. Wheatley’s books include:

To learn more about the work of Margaret Wheatley go to 

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What is the Hopi Prophecy for this time
  • How do we cultivate bravery
  • Why we should not be attached to outcome but should work for the sake of the work
  • What are the keys to persevering
  • What are some of the powerfully destructive dynamics present in the world today
  • What does being fearless really mean
  • How recognizing that you're lost then awakens you to your good, human capacities
  • Why simple cause and effect denies the complexity of the way the world is today
  • How a sense of urgency is quite destructive of human relationships

Host: Michael Toms     Interview Date: 8/19/2010       Program Number: 3370