January 14, 2009.
"You can't test courage cautiously."
Life can be a real test on occasion; a rugged, demanding, grueling challenge that really tests our mettle. Each passing day presents a new set of challenges, a new set of opportunities. Some of these challenges test our toughness and resiliency, some measure our ability to adapt and work under pressure.
Some challenges test our courage, skill and strength. Others gauge our level of commitment, determination and willpower. These tests can accent our flaws and highlight our imperfections, expose our weakness and underscore our limitations. They can break us down and tear us apart.
But these challenges also provide something else: a chance to show the world what we can do.
"Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be, must tell the story. That is his duty."
Life can become a real grind on occasion. Sometimes it's even tougher than that. And sometimes it takes everything you've got just to keep going.
You know how the story goes. Just about the time you have one problem out of the way, another pops up to take its place. Then, as soon as that issue is dealt with, here comes another... and then another. As the problems keep coming and coming, your resiliency and mental toughness are put to the ultimate test.
Will you keep working and fighting through the problems you face - or will you give up and call it quits?
Winners instinctively ratchet their effort up a notch or two when backed into a corner. Regardless of how far they have fallen, they refuse to give up. No matter how low they have sunk, they refuse to give in. Whatever they need to give, they give it. Whatever they need to do, they do it. And they keep giving and keep doing until they get where they want to go.
And so should you.
"Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the horizon will find the right road."
Hey, I know how exhausting life can get, especially in your most troublesome of moments. I know how dark and depressing life can sometimes feel, as one problem after another pile on top of you. I know how it feels to have your optimism dim as you wage what seems like an endless struggle for survival. And yes, I know how desperate it feels when hope is all but gone.
But I also know how it feels to power through life's problems and emerge on the other side victorious. And it's a one-of-a-kind feeling. There's nothing like it, nothing at all. Just knowing you toughed it out when the going got tougher than tough, well... it's more than a wonderful feeling, more than a glorious feeling in fact. It's a euphoric feeling that's almost too rich, too wondrous, too amazing for words; a captivating combination of elation, excitement and jubilation. It feels like you're almost walking on air.
And believe you me, it's a feeling you've got to feel for yourself.
"Here is a test to see if your mission on earth is finished. If you are alive, it isn't."
The next time life gets a bit rough, I want you to dig deep and power your way through the problem at hand. Plow right over it, push it aside. Life is way too exciting, too inviting, too much of all of the things you want to ever allow adversity any chance to stand in your way.
You've got places to go, things to see, a lifetime of dreams and aspirations to fulfill. There's no time to live life timidly. You need to take control of your life. And start living it boldly, bravely and fearlessly.
When problems arise (as they surely will), you need to bring your 'A' game. You need to find a way around, over or through whatever's in your path and get on down the road. Don't focus on the problem; focus everything you've got on finding a solution. By throwing your entire heart and soul into the fray, you're not only going to pass every test life tosses your way.
You're going to pass with flying colors.
The Bottom Line: When it comes to living your dreams, only the best will do.
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