Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.  ~Henry Ford

Most people set out to achieve a number of goals at the beginning of 2012.  It’s not uncommon to give up on New Year’s resolutions that you were so passionate about last January first. Loss of motivation when you are working toward a goal can be so easy when you get frustrated. It seems so much easier just to make an excuse and walk away.

There are reasons you give up on a goal:

  • You hit a point that you haven’t done something before
  • You just give up hope
  • You have lost sight of the reasons you wanted to change in the first place
  • You decide the goal isn’t what you want anymore

Giving up is not an option.

I had the honor of working with a patient I’ll call Buddy. Buddy had a serious head injury after accidentally falling into a moving grain bin. He survived but was in a coma for some time. He responded to very little around him, just mostly to pain. He was released from the hospital and sent to a nursing home where I worked as an occupational therapist. Buddy was in his thirties and had a very supportive wife. “I just want him to be happy and be able to come home,” she said. Sarah sat by his side every day, praying he would come out of his coma. He slowly began to respond to other sounds and smells as we worked with him in therapy.
One morning Buddy opened his eyes and his intense recovery started. He struggled to swallow and feed himself again. He worked to be able to get stronger just to sit on the edge of the bed. He smiled as he was able to comb his hair and start to put on a shirt again. He began to speak his first words.

These tasks were no small feat and are things we take for granted every day.

Watching Buddy meet his goals inspired me to look at my own dreams. Suddenly my excuses were nothing but weak. He motivated me to look inside my heart and see I had strength to move forward, too.

After three months, Buddy was ready to move to a rehabilitation center where he could progress faster. He made a goal that he would walk back into the nursing home to visit us again. I thought a lot about Buddy and kept in contact with his wife, Sarah. The nursing home staff was all rooting for him to return home.

One day, the unit charge nurse said there was someone here to see me. I went to the front lobby and walked out onto the porch. There was Buddy in the parking lot, walking with a cane to see us. We cheered and wept tears of joy that day. Buddy smiled and thanks us for helping him to get better. We thanked him for teaching us not to give up on something we wanted so much in our lives.

“Never, never, never, never give up.”-Winston Churchill

Buddy was an inspirational teacher in my life. He taught me that even if life looked impossible and I wanted to throw in the towel that it just wasn’t a choice. Failure is not a reason to stop working and give up hope.  Healing hurt and loss comes from taking action to get to a better place in life.

Who’s the Buddy in your life? There is most likely one or more people in your life that keep you inspired. Write down all the reasons that you can to hold onto them when you want to give up. Hold onto them and read them at the very moment you want to walk away from your dreams. Keep strong in your convictions and know giving up is not an option.

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