Barriers are stepping stones

Street sign that says choose greatness

You control what you do. Choose to make it great!

Ever since I was young, I have been fascinated by stories of people that beat the odds and accomplished something amazing. Recently, I have been posting short stories about people that from the outside looking in seem to have some super-human strength to overcome anything to achieve their goals.

But when you look closer, they actually share some of the same characteristics as everyone else. They just choose to act differently.

When you think about doing something “crazy” (it seems crazy to others because they don’t understand how to do it or why) or amazing, you can immediately see a few things that get in your way. You might say, “it sounds good, but I don’t know how to do that,” or “I’d love to do that, but I don’t have time, money or knowledge to make it happen.” We can talk ourselves out of just about anything. And maybe we are doing ourselves a favor because success is hard.

But what if you did do that one thing that was amazing? Would it change how you look at life? Would it make you, your family and others happier?

There are always barriers. But as I study the lives of people like Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Mother Teresa, Jesse Owens, and many others, they see the barriers differently. They aren’t limited by them, they use them to move forward.

Let me share a few examples, and if you have some other barriers, please share them in the comments below.

“I don’t know how to do that.” – Instead of letting it stop you, look at it like it’s an opportunity to learn. Be clear in what you want to achieve, and then start.

“I’m too busy.” – We all have the same amount of time in a day. Success requires you spend some time practicing/using/developing your skill, otherwise you don’t deserve achieve your goal. So choose to take control of your time.

“I’m not as good as someone else that’s doing this.” – First of all, you have great potential and great abilities if you will work at it. Second, don’t measure success by being better or worse than others. Make success a measurable goal and focus on that. Cheer on others as they achieve their goals. You will impact people that no one else can because you are unique. Believe in yourself.

“I don’t have money to accomplish my dreams.” – Neither do I, but you can save up while you build your skill set you need to achieve your goal. You may have to work on it in the morning, after work or on the weekend, but be patient and keep your eyes open for opportunities to get closer to your goal.

“I feel alone or discouraged because no one else believes in me.” – There are two things you need to do to overcome this. First, don’t make it about you. Make your goal about how to help others. Then, spend more time around those that do believe in you and want similar goals. If your friends say you are crazy, you might need to find new friends. A good team is important to achieving success.

I’d like to hear from you now. What other barriers do you have in your life that keep you from your goals or dreams? Maybe we can figure out a way around them.


I started writing short stories in elementary school, starting with a short story about twin track athletes. In college, I wrote for the college newspaper and studied communications. My first job out of college was with a magazine as an assistant editor, where I started a comic strip called City Boy. My first published work, was a short essay entitled, Dream with Me, published in “The Art of Service” booklet put out by the Thayne Center for Service and Learning. I also published a three part series for families called “Family Parables – Wise Man Foolish Man.” This set is designed to be used by families to create discussion and learning as a family. I soon will publish my first novel, Love Like Alzheimer’s, a story of a family that is learning to love deeper as their beloved grandmother struggles with Alzheimer’s disease.

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