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What it Takes to Achieve

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If you can imagine a better life, you can create it.

If you believe you can, you will find the strength and resources to make it happen.

To achieve, you must first believe you can.

Just like you, I have struggled with the enormity of problems over the years and have been discouraged, thinking I would never find adequate solutions.

But I did. Now, every time I am challenged with what seems like an overwhelming task, I remind myself that I can think through options and find the solutions I need. I can reach out for advice, support, and assistance and then take that next step.

When faced with devastating odds, we are often flooded with apprehension: How will I do this? How will I survive?

Self-doubts dominate our thoughts. Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty keep us frozen. Consuming terror and panic can take over and leave depression in its wake, draining our energy reserves.

What does it take to achieve?

To achieve, we need to take a risk and step out into the unknown.

In doing so, the greatest obstacle we face is often ourselves – what we say to ourselves when faced with overwhelming odds.

When life throws us a curve ball and existence as we knew it has suddenly been turned upside down and inside out, we may feel like a top spinning out of control.

In the blink of an eye, what we treasured has been snatched away from us. Often, one set of adversities is followed by several more.

We ask ourselves, “How will I ever recover?”

A personal story

Years ago, my husband and I drove home in silence from a large medical school hospital, trying to absorb the enormity of what the doctors had just told us. For five days, doctors had performed intensive tests, trying to find the reason why our ten-month old son was unable to hold up his head. Words such as cerebral palsy, little-to-no intelligence, and quadriplegic were spoken to us as casually as if they were a weather forecast.

Struggling with the enormity of what we faced, when I arrived home, I got on my knees and prayed. I knew I couldn’t ask God to simply make everything go away and return to normal – my son obviously had a serious condition.

But I could and did ask God for strength, courage, and wisdom to raise our son and find ways to make his life and our family’s as normal as possible. I will never forget the incredible sense of peace and confidence I received. As I rose from my knees, I knew we could do it.

We not only received strength and courage, but many other unexpected blessings. Through a series of revelations we learned that Don did not have cerebral palsy, nor was he mentally challenged, and he was not a quadriplegic.

He had been born with missing and weak muscles in his neck, along with other muscle weakness in his body. Although the diagnosis was less severe, his life was going to be a challenge for him and for us as parents.

Two things to do when in crisis

I share this life event because I learned that the first course of action in any situation and crisis is prayer.

And the second is to take that strength and courage and step out with confidence, determination and a “Yes, I can” attitude. It enabled us to raise our son with the independence and freedom he needed to live a full life as a very talented and gifted artist.

Without a “yes, I can” attitude, it would have been impossible to allow Don to take the falls and scrapes and bruises he needed to gain that inner strength and confidence to become autonomous and self-reliant. We would have made him an invalid.

It meant trusting in God and believing in our son. And throughout his life, Don never let anything deter him from creating the successful life he had as a conceptual artist.

“Yes, I can” is a mindset that takes whatever life hands you and uses it to achieve.

It allows us to move forward with confidence. It frees up our energy to be creative, proactive, resilient, and flexible.

God gave us peace and strength and turned that initial shock into a will to make life happy and normal.

In everyday life, we are often challenged with how we can go beyond the usual routine. As we begin to gain confidence, we are able to handle unexpected tragedies, conflict, or losses more effectively. So wherever you are in life right now, you can begin to put into action a more positive thinking self.

Life is not fair. It is unpredictable.

It is never easy to apply an “I can” attitude to every aspect of our lives. It is a skill we develop over time. Eventually, it becomes a habit that enables us to continue to achieve throughout our lifetime.

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