Kris MathisI want to ask you a question. Has anyone ever looked at you and said your goals and dreams will never happen for you because ___________?

Maybe they said because you don’t have the proper education. Maybe because you have a few past failures and they won’t let you put them behind you. Maybe they said this because you’re a little older now and they feel you should have done this 10, 20, or even 30 years ago.

These people have given up on you because they don’t support your goal or dream.

Or worse, have you given up on your goals and dreams?

I’m talking about that moment when you want to do something and before you even get started, you’ve already talked yourself out of it and given up.

Or that book you’ve dreamed of writing, but you’ve convinced yourself that no one would want to read it.

Maybe you’ve thought about starting a business, but you’ve already given up on the idea because the people around you said it would never work.

Or maybe you’ve thought about going back to school, but you’ve given up on the idea because you’ll be 20 or 30 years older than your classmates.

The only person who can stop you from reaching your goals or dreams is you.

A few years ago I was asked to speak at a high school graduation. They wanted me to congratulate the graduates and give them a few words of encouragement.

When I arrived at the graduation I was surrounded by students. I made small talk with them and a few of them shared their stories with me. Then there was one student who I will never forget.

You see, this young man came over to me and introduce himself.

I then asked, “so what’s your story?”

He went on to tell me that he had been homeless for the last couple of years. His mother who was a drug addict kicked him out of their home when he was 16 years old. He eventually slept on the streets for the next two years while attending school.

As I stood there and I listened to this young man’s story I was speechless. I asked him, “how did you find the strength to keep going?”

He said to me, “I just knew I couldn’t give up.”

After our brief conversation the event began. One by one I watched the students get up to receive their recognition for graduating. I remember when this young man’s name was called and he stood up. Next, I saw the entire room stand up and begin to applaud him. There were people crying tears of joy because they knew his story and they were so proud of him. This young man had come from the bottom and he made a way when he couldn’t see one.

Like he said, he knew he “couldn’t give up.”

I was so moved by this graduation and to this day, after all the events I’ve done over the years, this is still one of the greatest events I’ve ever been a part of.

So I don’t know what you’ve been through. I don’t know what you’ve experienced that makes you want to give up on your goals and dreams. I don’t know what kind of setbacks you’ve faced or who around you has given up on you.

What I do know, is that at any moment you can make the decision that enough is enough and you’re ready to get back in the game! Make the decision that it’s time to write that book! Make the decision that it’s time to stop listening to the naysayers in your life! Make the decision that no matter what it takes, you’re going to make it! Giving up on yourself is not an option!

Just like the young man at the graduation, you must know that you can’t give up. You have to keep going and know that your goal and dreams are on the other side waiting for you.

I wish you nothing but the best on your journey for a better life.

Written by

Kris Mathis