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When There's a Will, There's a Way

Ever heard the phrase when the going gets tough, the tough get going? It's often in those situations when times are the hardest that your character is tested the most. Regardless of perceived appearances or attitudes, your true colors are revealed under pressure. Perseverance can be hard. It requires strict commitment and relentless stamina. Charging forward even when things aren't easy. Here's the thing though, the struggle makes it worth it. The struggle gives you something to fight for.

Consider your favorite movie or book. It's conflict in the story line that makes for an interesting plot. Be it two guys pining for a girl, or a rebellious leader going against the status quo. You get the idea. Struggle signifies the battle is not over. Like the little engine that could, you keep going and push past the obstacles in your way. Setbacks are part of the journey, not the final destination. To persevere literal means to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or when outcome for success is low. If you haven't read the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance" I highly recommend it. In it, the author Angela Duckworth discusses the one trait that successful people have in common. It's not good looks, intelligence, or even skill. It's grit. She defines grit as "having passion and perseverance towards long term goals."

This reminds me of the movie, Rudy. For those who haven't seen it, Rudy tells the true story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, who had the dream of playing on the Notre Dame football team. He had neither the grades nor the money to attend Notre Dame. He also had dyslexia and was short in stature. But he didn't let that stop him. The story of Rudy is one of sheer determination and will power. Proving that experience is not everything.

Beginning in 1972, Rudy enrolled in a community college near Notre Dame and got a job as a groundskeeper near the campus. While attending school, he worked relentlessly to get all A's in his classes. This made him eligible for submitting an application to Notre Dame. His first 3 applications were rejected by the college. Then in 1974, he was accepted to the university. Through determination and hard work, he made it onto the Notre Dame scout football team. This was considered the backup team to varsity. Practicing on the scout team, Rudy continued to work hard every day to improve his skills. At first his teammates made fun of him, but over time he gained their respect. And his coach noticed too. During his senior year, he was given the opportunity to play in a Notre Dame football game against Georgia Tech, where he tackled the quarterback in the final play of the game . Rudy was victoriously carried off the field, held up by the shoulders of his proud teammates. He had achieved his dream of playing on the Notre Dame football team.

I hope this story encourages you. Ultimately it's your mindset and hard work that determine if something is possible. I am a firm believer that when there's a will, there's a way. Ask any successful person and they will tell you the same thing. Everyone has setbacks. It's all about how you handle those setbacks that matters. When difficult situations arise, how do you react to them? In the words of Rudy Ruettiger "a winner is a dreamer who just won't quit." Well, I hope you won't quit. I hope that you continue to persevere towards accomplishing your dream. Even when other people tell you it's impossible. I believe you can do it. Do you?

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