As human beings, we tend to give up when things don’t seem to go our way or when times get tough. The belief that life will simply roll over, give in to our demands, and allow us to achieve our goals is unrealistic. The truth is that life is neither for nor against us. No, life is simply just the natural process of existence. What we have to understand is that the power to determine the direction that our life takes is not decided by life itself, but rather by us. We hold the power, regardless of the challenges we may face. Therefore, our power rests in how we handle our daily interactions within the context of life. These interactions are what determine our ability to overcome what we may perceive as insurmountable odds. Therefore, we must learn not to blame life itself for our successes or failures, but when faced with challenges, to simply stand our ground and work smarter with a never give up attitude firmly in place.
The following comparison may add more clarity to what I am speaking of. Life is like a blank piece of paper. As that paper exists, so do we. However, just like that paper is blank, so too is our life until we create something out of it. Until that piece of paper is written on, there is no story, no direction, no purpose, but there is endless possibility (positive or negative-you will determine that by the story you write). However, interesting things begin to happen as soon as we begin to write on that once blank piece of paper. A story starts to emerge, a direction begins to tug at us, a purpose starts to form, and meaning which gives life to passion begins to set in. The same occurs when we choose to engage life. However, this engagement does not come without pitfalls.
You will find in many of America’s children classics such as Snow White, Pinocchio, and Cinderella that the main characters often have to overcome seemingly insurmountable pitfalls and challenges in order to achieve their dreams. I say this to say that we need to reinforce from young that never giving up in order to achieve our dreams is essential to our being able to live out our dreams, much like our childhood literary heroes.
Therefore, regardless of the pitfalls, or the challenges you may encounter in life, know that you get the final say in writing and living out your life’s story. With all of this in mind, I ask the question, what are you writing on your blank piece of paper called life? Are you utilizing the words and thought process of a quitter (one who buckles to the challenges of life that we all face)? Or, are you utilizing the words and thought process of a winner (one who never gives up in pursuit of his/her vision)?
I implore you to take on the role of the winner, and not to quit in the face of adversity. Do not succumb to life’s challenges, and never stop creating and working on making your life’s vision a reality. Remember, everyone has challenges to overcome. Life is full of them, but be passionate about your dreams, and continue to push, even when it seems most difficult.
Mario Barrett has over twenty years of experience with organizations such as the United States Air Force and Verizon Communications. Currently, Mario is CEO of The Barrett Center for Leadership Development, a global leadership and organizational development firm. Mario is an author, frequent speaker, and blogger on leadership and organizational change issues. Mario has a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences from Walden University, an MS in Organizational Leadership from Mercy College, BS in Organizational Management from Nyack College and is currently a full-time faculty member at the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer Universty.