Monday, April 27, 2009

The Long Haul May Be Longer Than You Think

Anyone who knows me knows that I love inspirational stories and movies. This past weekend, I was virtually in heaven as I watched a film festival on TV that included three of my all time favorites: October Sky, The Rookie and Rudy. All of these movies are based on true stories of people who persevered against incredible odds and achieved amazing accomplishments.

When we watch a movie and see the unfolding drama and eventual success occur in the span of 90 minutes or two hours, sometimes it's easy to forget that the story actually took years and years to come to fruition. We get an encapsulated view of the struggle and the triumph, but it took much longer to play out on life's real stage.

When we are in the midst of our own trials and struggles, I think we sometimes lose sight of the fact that some things take a tremendous amount of time to work themselves out. When we consider hanging in for the long haul, we need to realize that the long haul might take a lot longer than we initially think.

I try to get my mind around the fact that many of the people I admire who have achieved seemingly impossible accomplishments didn't know for sure, during the process, that they would actually make it. When we look back on some one's story and already know the ending, it is easy to see why they were so committed to their dreams. We have to remember, however, that when they were actually going through the hardships, they didn't have any guarantee that they would be successful. In fact, conventional wisdom would tell most of these people that they were destined to fail. They had faith and were willing to work hard, but they also had doubts and frustration at various points along their journey.

The key is in hanging in - ESPECIALLY when we feel most frustrated, discouraged or afraid. That's what the people who accomplish truly great things find a way to do. That is what separates those who prevail, from so many who do not.

Whether it's working for a dream or long held goal, or moving through a challenging life crisis or disappointment we need to keep this in mind.

It isn't going to be easy. There is no guarantee of success as we currently define it. The road will get long and we will get tired. We need to keep moving anyway! One breath and one step at a time.

Even if the long haul is longer than we think... it is well worth the journey.

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