A short story about the value of determination, and how far it will get you. Trust your goal, see it through to the end.
“Let’s leave this place. We have been talking about it long enough. Let’s just do it,” Heath said
“And go where?” Buck said turning his chest towards the fire.
“Does it matter anymore? I say we go,” Barbara agreed.
“I never said no, Barbara. I just asked where. At least here we have work,” Buck continued.
“And absolutely nothing else,” Heath said. “Aren’t you tired of existing and not living.”
“One of us gets sick, and we may have to leave if we want to or not. Might as well leave now while we have our wits about us,” Barbara said
“It’s your call Heath, this being your father’s house and all. If you don’t want to stay here. We got no place else to go but where you tell us.”
The three of them went to sleep, just as they always had every night after a similar conversation. But the next morning Heath, for the first time, had his mind made up.
“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” ― TOMMY LASORDA
With every life-changing decision. You need to take the time to understand what you are giving up and what you are willing to fight for. Then you have to commit to a decision. You give yourself as little a chance of turning back as possible. Once you have your goal, start with the determination of accomplishing it. No matter what.
“We are getting out of here. Heading North,” Heath said right before the three would leave for work.
“Past the last forest,” Barbara asked.
“But no one knows what’s beyond the forest. At worst this is suicide, at best an incredible waste of time,” Buck said.
Once you have decided to act on your goal, you must plan, prepare and be ready to make significant sacrifices. There will be many reasons to doubt, but you must overcome them. Once you feel that yearning inside you, driving you to a purpose you can’t describe, follow it. No one ever achieved anything worth his legacy without making sacrifices and taking great risks, through determination.
Heath sold his father’s house and used a third of the money to buy two horses and a wagon. They stuffed as much of their personal belongings all around the buggy and spent three days planning a route to a place people only knew by rumours.
“Some say the place doesn’t even exist. Some say only 1 in 1000 makes it there,” Buck said.
“Do you want to wake up in this town thirty years from now, wishing you at least tried. Or would you rather know you did not spend your entire life a coward,” Barbara asked.
“I’d just like to be alive thirty years from now. And I would gladly take it from there.”
“Maybe those who found the place wanted to keep it to themselves. So the rest of us don’t ruin it with our attitude Buck,” Heath said mounting a saddle.
Your attitude will determine your experience of life. Be determined to spend each day focusing on what is possible and what you can make of yourself, and you will find that your reality begins to look a lot like what you believe. The same thing happens if you are going to waste time being negative, complaining about everything wrong.
Almost immediately the trio encountered problems. Where there were roads, they met horrid weather. And on some days when the sun would come out, the three usually couldn’t tell you which way was north.
When you embark on the journey of your purpose, first be excited, enthusiastic and then the problems will come, and they will be disorienting. Stay determined. Do not look at your obstacles as a reason to give up, but rather an opportunity to learn, adjust and create a road from where you are to where you want to be. Determination is not a mindless of running head first at a target. Determination is a scientist that observes, interprets and applies towards solutions.
Keep going and keep an eye out for like-minded individuals.
“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?” ― HENRY FORD
After some weeks, the trio came on a path with hundreds of buggies carrying hundreds of dreams about the place beyond the last forest. Heath rode up beside a well-dressed man who seemed to be travelling alone.
“Excuse me, is everyone here headed to the same the place,” Buck asked the well-dressed man.
“Why of course. These folks here are from three towns, and there is a bounty for anyone who can draw the safest map to the land beyond the black forest,” the well-dressed man said.
“Yes. But you are wasting your time. I am the best mapper in all the land. I was born with a sense of places and orientation. The prize is surely mine.”
They all rode together, but day after day the crowd began to dwindle. The trio met other boastful men blessed with gifts, but a few raids by some masked thieves and the number of talented dreamers dwindled. Long routes with no nearby town for replenishment and more turn their back on their goal. But the trio kept at it.
“This is hell,” Buck said after a year.
“That is why we must keep going,” Heath said.
After a few months, it was only Heath’s wagon on the road. The rest had given up or settled for a town they preferred along the way. There were no more well-dressed men, and certainly no one more talented at reaching the place beyond the forest. It came down to just the three.
Your determination will always push you past those that may have a natural predisposition to what you want most in life. Do not see the challenge of the more gifted as a reason to give up. Instead become more determined and outwork the talented.
The three continued through sickness, fights and moments of hopelessness.
“I gotta ask you. Why are we still bothering, surely all these challenges are a sign that we should never have left,” Buck said.
“The fact that we have gotten through all these challenges is a sign that we must keep going,” Heath said.
“Is it possible that you are just stubborn now,” Barbara asked. “Is it possible that we are not the bravest or wisest of those we began this very journey?”
“We are getting there. No matter what,” Heath affirmed.
In the most difficult of times, even the best part of you will find a reason to quit. You can’t give up. It is just part of the process.
“You know some of these people have been pretty nice to us. Maybe that was the point of this trip from the beginning, to get out and stumble on something that we did not quite expect,” Buck said.
“Come to think of it. I could see myself growing old at that place thirty miles back. Good men. Hiring signs outside the shops. And friendly people. Certainly better than where we came from,” Barbara said.
“Well then we can always come back to that place after we have made it beyond the forest,” Heath said.
“Victory is always possible for the person who refuses to stop fighting.” ― NAPOLEON HILL
Another year past and they were finally in front of the woods. A massive and dense pack of dark trees that stretched on for miles. When the wind blew through the forest, the trio swore they could hear the howls of all those souls who never made it through.
“We are going to have to circle and find a way through,” Heath said.
“Or we can just head back,” Buck said.
“It’s going to take us many days. And not sure the wagon will be able to make it with us,” Barbara warned.
“Then we will leave the wagon behind, find a way through and make a cart if we need to,” Heath said.
When you get close to what you have always wanted. Do not relax, maintain the same intensity of willpower and determination that got you started.
It took them weeks, but they finally got through the forest.
“We can turn back. I can’t do anymore,” Heath said.
Beyond the forest was a desert and then the tallest mountain that the three of them had ever seen.
“At least we can say we tried and we came this far,” Barbara said.
“I say we keep pushing,” Buck said.
“What!” Both Barbara and Heath exclaimed in unison.
“I never thought we could make it this far. But now that we are here. I believe we can do anything. Let’s get through this desert and over that mountain. If another desert and mountain await us, then we will cross them too.”
“What if that’s all we do till our bones break,” Barbara asked.
“Then at least we can say we gave our all to something,” Buck said.
“For a chance at a better life,” Heath said.
“We can’t turn back now,” Barbara said.
The moment you want to give up, right at the very moment when you are entirely convinced that there is no point of taking another step forward, this is the challenge that separates the successful and failures.
The city of milk and honey that they had been so determined to reach was below the other side of the mountain, tucked away from those too weak to persevere past their breaking point.
Your dreams are the same way. Do not give up on them until you realize them. Never give up. Stay focused, be determined, learn and adapt along the way. Live the life you desire.