I’m a big believer in setting goals, short and long term. Not only do they give us something to focus on, but when we achieve it, we can – and should— take a few moments to appreciate what it took to get us there.
However, life doesn’t go the way you had planned. It puts up a roadblock in front of you, keeping you from reaching a goal.
Often we say, “Well, we gave it a shot. There’s nothing more we can do.” And we give up.
But, sometimes, a person sees it not as a roadblock, but as a detour.
The story of Seth Hill is a great example. Elizabeth LaFleur wrote a great article about him in The Greenville News.
While living with his single mom and sister, he felt that he needed to help with the bills around the house. So he got a job as a valet in Nashville for about a year before joining the Army. He sent most of each paycheck went to his mom.
In the Army, he fell in love with computer technology and network security. He planned to attend college when he got out and get a degree.
But before he got out, life put up a roadblock. His little sister wanted to go to college. Seth didn’t want her weighed down with debt so he told his mother that he would help pay the bills. He would have to work and postpone his dream.
She graduated with a degree to become a behavioral therapist.
Then he found the detour. His sister told him it was his turn to go to school.
He spent three years working full-time and studying for his bachelor degree at night. Last month, he graduated from ECPI with a bachelor degree. He’ll start a new full-time position in July at the company he has worked at as a temp.
What would Seth’s message be to anyone facing their own roadblock?
“Don’t belittle yourself. Pick yourself up. Your biggest motivator will be you at the end of the day. Just keep going. Go one step at a time. It will all eventually get done, even though the mountain seem like you can’t climb it.”
I love this story on a couple of levels. I often hear that no good deed goes unpunished. That is so wrong. Most of the time, a good deed helps both sides.
Seth was willing to sacrifice his own wants and money for his family.
And, although it was hard and there were financial as well as other struggles, he didn’t give up. He never said ‘can’t’.
Let Seth remind us the next time we face a roadblock, just look for a detour. But don’t quit.