Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb

On Friday, April 12th, 1850, George Bonniwell and 16 men packed up 6 wagons and left their Milwaukee homes with the intent of following their dream. 122 days later they reached their goal and made it to California in search for gold. What happened during those 122 days was enough to break any person’s spirit and cause for retreat, but George had a vision that he had to see to the end. Not all 16 men and 6 wagons made it to California, there were just too many obstacles to overcome, but through great patience and determination George was able to start living his dream.

Throughout history of civilization there are amazing stories of accomplishment where people were faced with insurmountable odds and still achieved their goal. Some of these accomplishments were based on acts of desperation and some were based on acts of personal advancement, in either case the common bond that made these acts special is the perseverance it took to reach the end goal.

Defined as the steady persistence in a course of action and purpose in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement, perseverance is our greatest tool in achievement. If we are to achieve we must accept the fact that we will face people and objects that will try and prevent us from reaching our vision, which is after we get past ourselves first. Perseverance is a trait that we hold internally and is fostered through our ability to cope with whatever adversity comes our way. In essence, our vision must be greater then our fear of failure.

When our fear of failure exceeds our will, we succumb to taking the easy way out, bow our heads, and turn the other way. When our fear of failure is confronted and accepted we allow ourselves to look beyond our current fear state and see what our potential is if we can just persevere long enough. The key in making sure that we have the ability to persevere is in our ability to make sure that we are facing the right direction when fear presents itself. If fear approaches and we are facing backwards, looking at the comforts we had before fear then we will head back to our perceived safety. If we keep our focus forward when fear approaches then all we have to do is follow our vision and walk through fear.

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. ~Buddhist Saying

Fear has the ability to knock us backwards; we have the ability to not let fear spin us around. George Bonniwell and his crew faced famine, rugged terrain, unforeseen elements, and thieves during their 122 day trip, all of which raised certain levels of fear. What kept them moving towards California was there willingness to always face forward, to look at a 6 mile day as 6 miles less they had to travel. I do not know the end story of George Bonniwell, I do not know if the Gold Rush made him a wealthy man, all I know is that he had a goal to make it to California and he did. George completed his vision.

What we can learn from George and all the others throughout history who have persevered is that our end goal is always in front of us and as long as we have the ability to face that direction, our success will come in time. 

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