“Everyday of your life, from the womb to the grave, you will face challenges and obstacles. It’s a law of the universe in which we live!” – Keith A. Shaw It IS a fact of life that every one of you are going to experience challenges, detours and temporary setbacks when you take action toward your goals – in any endeavor. Yes, both you and me. In fact, I have developed quite a list of the challenges I have faced in this lifetime! For example, you may encounter people (I call them “Drama Queens and Melodramatic Men”) who are always ready to criticize, create chaos, distract or detract you from your success quest due to their weaknesses of jealousy, hidden agendas or lack of purpose in their own lives. Or, your success quest may take longer and be tougher than you ever imagined. And, at times the going may get so rough that you may want to quit. Or, you may not have the courage and confidence to ask for what you want. And, as much as we plan and guard against setbacks, we sometimes let them get out of our control, so that they control us - mentally, physically and emotionally - instead of us controlling them. When these tough times occur, the person who faces the time, head on, when everything seems against them; finds courage within them; drives away all destructive thinking and negative habits; and upholds their self respect and integrity is MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED. We have all heard the simple saying, "Where there is a will, there is a way." The reason is that the will CAN make a way - when given the chance to secure the assistance of the things that lead to success. The more your will is developed, the higher the way to which it will lead. When everything looks gloomy and discouraging, that is the exact time to show what you are made of. One of the things that works to motivate and inspire me, time and time again, is hearing and reading about the inspirational stories of others – particularly my heroes, both from my youth and the present day. A few years ago, I had the thrilling pleasure of meeting and having dinner with one of my childhood heroes, Rocky Bleier. For those of you who do not know who he is, here’s an overview of him and the obstacles he overcame. Rocky attended the University of Notre Dame where he was a standout running back for the Fighting Irish’s Football Team. Now this was in the late 1960’s at the height of the Vietnam War, and Rocky was drafted into the U.S. Army. While on patrol in Vietnam, he was severely wounded in both legs and both feet and was told that he would never walk again, let alone play the game of football. For the next two years as he recovered from his injuries, through determination, intestinal fortitude (i.e., guts) and courage, Bleier did not allow gloom and discouragement to weigh down his goal of playing professionally in the National Football League. Rocky recovered and went on to successfully play with the Pittsburgh Steelers for nearly ten years. He also set several team records that still stand today! Mr. Bleier’s story was so inspiring that a made-for-television movie told his story to the masses. He now runs his own motivational speaking company. Look at your own heroes and see what drove them to excel and overcome desperate times. It may be a sports star – like Rocky Bleier or Olympian Michael Phelps. It may be an inspirational leader like Nelson Mandela. Or Bill Gates, Buddha or Mother Theresa. Develop in your mind a belief that the word IMPOSSIBLE was not intended for you. Build up in your mind the confidence that enables the mind to use its power. Find confidence in the fact that you CAN take control of any situation, no matter how challenging, as if the end result of your goal is already in your grasp.