—John Jacob Astor (1825, by John Wesley Jarvis; Public Domain)
It can be extremely frustrating. You have a brilliant business idea, you put everything into it, you work from dawn to dusk, and still…nothing. That could be the story line for the opening chapters of nearly every successful person’s life. Think of all the Americans over the centuries who started with virtually nothing, overcame incredible obstacles, persevered, and finally met with great success in their endeavor.
Some did it earlier in life, while others made it happen at an age when societal norms said they should be in retirement. One common theme connects these individuals: they didn’t accept conventional wisdom, and they stared failure after failure in the face and pressed ahead.
We are constantly being tested. In fact, it is fair to say that is precisely what we are doing here. Spiritual growth is our raison d’être, and that purpose has no expiration date. In this part of the journey we find ourselves on, let us remind ourselves daily that great accomplishment comes because we never backed down and never walked away from the wall in front of us; we hammered away at it day in and day out until it crumbled. What seemed insurmountable from one side appears puny as we look at it through our rear-view mirror.
—Mike Hazell, Penn Wealth