“If you know what you’re worth, than go out and get what you’re worth. But you’ve got to be willing to take the hits. You, me, or anybody, nobody is going to hit you as hard as life. It’s not about how hard you get hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take can keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! You can’t be pointing fingers at him, her, or anybody. Cowards do that, and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!” –Rocky
Hate to say it, but I’ve been listening a lot to the above speech that Rocky gave his son in the movie Rocky Balboa. There are a lot of things on my mind that have been hitting, one step at a time, leaving a toll that is challenging to deal with. This isn’t a cry of defeat. Rather, it’s the acknowledgement that life can – and does – take a toll on all of us at some point, and I’ve consciously realized that it’s going to take a lot more than these current circumstances to bring me down or somehow convince me to give up on what I believe in.
“I don’t believe in love anymore” I heard a friend say, the other night. After which, we talked about the people who live life and actually realize their goals and dreams. And I realized that one must believe it’s possible to obtain their dreams before going out to pursue them. The reason I believe it’s possible to obtain these dreams is that I have seen, firsthand, others integrate them into their lives.
I believe in lifelong love and great prayers of faith through watching my mentor, Scott Osborne, as he and his wife fall in love with each other every single day, while also having the faith to pray for the salvation of his entire future generation. I believe in the determination and perseverance that refuses to give up simply by watching my mentor, Nate Pingel, move forward in his business ventures after circumstances that would make the strongest men fall to their knees and cry. I believe in obtaining success through hard work after watching my mentor, Todd Appelbaum, succeed in his endeavors and never, ever being too proud to clear a table, scrub a toilet, or get his hands dirty. And, more than anything, I believe in failure that can destroy lives, families, relationships, and faith, after watching those closest to me experience the full brunt of it.
These people and circumstances have been part of a spine that has grown and developed over the years, teaching the valuable lesson to not give up on dreams and ideals that many have thrown to the side of the road.
I don’t believe life is about how much money one accrues, or how many exotic destinations were traveled, what sports cars were driven, or the number of notches on your bedpost. I believe life is about making the most with what you have been given, and offering this creation; the work and labor of your life, efforts, and passions, to your Heavenly Father at the end of your life, while giving Him all of the glory along the way.
Because of this, I cannot complain when things don’t go ‘my’ way or plans happen the way I envisioned them to go, because life is an undeserved gift that each of us has been blessed with.
I am encouraged and strengthened to see future opportunities that are obtainable if the present obstacles are managed to be knocked over.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9
That, my friend, is how winning is done.