When your dream is just out of reach, is success still possible?

On August 10, 2011 by Aimee

I was taught, at a very early age (before birth perhaps?) that if I wanted something, I’d have to work for it. Somehow, whether it’s intrinsic (I have a very heightened sense of competition and internal motivation) or whether it came from wanting to be someone who I wasn’t, I ended up having to work really, really hard for everything I wanted.

Whether it’s my 17 years of marriage at a very young age or getting my Master’s degree … at night … after work … over 3 years while playing wife and mother at the same time. Perhaps it’s the fact that when people say ‘high school was easy’ I cringe. Yes, I took AP classes and honors classes, but I had to work hard at them. Really hard. When my friends aced a test, they’d studied for an hour … I’d studied for 6 hours … to get the same grade (usually not a perfect score).

This hit me the most when I was in college. My husband and I took an Accounting class together the semester before we got married. I went to every class. He? Well … he’s not much into actual class. I did EVERY bit of my homework. I cried when I didn’t understand something. I sought help from the teacher. My hubby? Well … he’s not that much into homework, either. We are as much night and day as any two people when it comes to certain subjects.

It’s more than that though. He’s intrinsically smart. Put a book in his hand he can read it, learn it and do it.

I’m not.

I have to work really, really, really hard (have I already said that?) at everything I do. And I do it. Not because I want to show anybody up, but I’m motivated to always try to be better, to be ‘as good as’ whomever is better than me. Whether I achieve that or not, well, most often … I don’t.

No matter what, I’m Motivated (with the capital M) to try because as the old saying goes … if you never try … you never fail. That’s why I own my own business. That’s why I write novels in a marketplace that is saturated with wannabes (me one of them!). If I never tried … I’d never fail … but I’d also never had a chance to succeed.

So … a year ago, my son tried out for football. He sprained his ankle in week one and was cut from the team.

Fast forward to 4 weeks ago … my son signed right back up for this season. He broke his pinky (maybe one doc say yes, the other no) and kept on going. He wasn’t feeling well and missed one day to recoup, but went right back the next. He came home hurting from sore muscles and sweaty smelly every day of the week. He sold every bit of his allotted fundraiser cards AND SOME by going door to door and asking neighbors … something my son wouldn’t have been caught dead doing for any other reason than football.

And he was cut …


Now we’re not talking about some 5′ tall kid with no muscle. My son is 14, almost 6′ tall and built like a rock.

But something … some unknown force puts him in the 25% instead of the 75% zone. Like me.

As a Mom, though, I want to rant and scream and cry ‘foul!’ and … just cry for him. He tried SO SO hard. My son got a lot of ‘me’ in him. The consequence? Life is going to take a lot of work. Usually.

Luckily, he got another part of me, too. Just hours after the announcement of the 2011 team, he said:

“Hey, Mom … I’m going to work out with Coach in the spring.”

to which I said, “Why?”

and he said: “So I can try again.”

And therein lies my biggest, my greatest and my most significant … success: instilling ‘try until you fail and when you fail, try again’ into my son.

Oh, and that accounting class? Hubby got an A. I got a B. Yes, it still (amazingly) stings 17 years later. But that one? I’m not doing that one over. No way. No how. 🙂 In that, I have learned to embrace my ‘averageness’ there. 🙂

Tell me how you succeeded, at whatever your goal, in a way that could never be measured in sales figures or hours worked or anything beyond the subjective.

Share in the comments!

Little White Lies by Aimee Laine

For Charley Randall … time is her greatest enemy. The love of Wyatt Moreland is her ultimate reward.

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