would like to break this winning formula down into "easy
to chew" bite-sized chunks. In doing so, we will look
at four smaller nuggets of truth. The first nugget is: "THE
ROAD TO SUCCESS," the second is: "HARD WORK,"
the third: "DETERMINATION," and the fourth nugget
worthy of a closer look is: "PERSONAL SACRIFICE."
For our conclusion, I will ask, "Who will answer this
us get started with the first nugget of truth, "THE ROAD
TO SUCCESS." The road to success starts within a heart
that wants to be the best at something--a heart, mind, and
soul that does not want to be ordinary, but extraordinary.
These words of hope come from the roots of our country's heritage
where ordinary people, who have a dream, work hard to achieve.
Let these words of truth breathe life into the core of your
bones. Winners never look for the easy way out. They simply
look at the impossible, and say to themselves to set their
heart upon this lofty dream and chase after it with their
whole heart. The road to success is narrow, and many will
miss it because the road to failure is broad and easy. Plant
your feet firmly upon the rock of your desire to become the
best. It is easy to fail; do not work hard, and do not have
a dream--that is all it takes. However, that is all right,
because somewhere out there is an ordinary person hoping that
is exactly what you are doing--nothing. Yes, the road to an
average, mediocre life is easy, but for those who have a dream,
the road to success is another story. Count the cost before
you start down this road; for in a month, or in a year will
you still be fighting to become the best? Oh, but the road
to success is filled with life, happiness, and sweet, sweet
victory! Are you ready to travel down this road to success
no matter what the price? Learn to enjoy the journey and be
committed to the long haul to achieve your heart's desire.
us now turn to the second nugget of truth, "HARD WORK."
It will take hard work on the part of anyone who wants to
be the best. How much work will it take? That depends on your
final goal, or the greatness of your dream. If you want to
be the best, then you are going to have to do more than others
do. Kobe Bryant, in the off season, shoots 2000 times a day.
Are you willing to work that hard to be the best? Any ordinary
person can stay ordinary, but those who will work hard, doing
a daily routine, will become extraordinary people. Ordinary
people do not just wake up one day with large, strong arms
or legs; they use hard work to build their muscles. There
is no secret here and definitely no short cuts. No one is
born looking like Mr. Universe. Do you want to be bigger,
stronger, and faster? You must buy into this daily work ethic.
You must learn to carry this method of success into every
realm of your daily existence. If you will learn to reflect
a spirit of excellence in everything you do, the hard work
will become second nature to you. Make a name for yourself
by being the best at everything you set your mind to master.
Become a daily learner, a daily reader, and educate yourself
in the area that you want to be the best. "HARD WORK;"
there is no easy way to accomplish what no other has done.
"HARD WORK" built America. "HARD WORK"
is one element which will help you achieve your greatest dreams.
The problem with our human nature is that we want everything
right now. We have become a "microwave society."
We want success the same way; we want it right now and we
want it the easy way. Sorry, wrong answer. If you buy into
this type of method for success, then you are the one who
probably buys lottery tickets, hoping for your millions. The
odds of that happening are stacked against you; those people
make a lot of money from those tickets. There is nothing that
pays off better than good old fashioned HARD WORK!
farmer goes out and works hard to plant his crop. He waters
it, weeds it, and even fertilizes his field. His, "HARD
WORK" will pay off at harvest time. If the farmer did
not water, weed, and fertilize his crop, it would yield very
little. If the athlete will not plant a crop of "HARD
WORK" he, too, will yield nothing for his effort. All
of this takes time; the farmers, as well as the athletes,
earn great rewards from their continual effort. With "HARD
WORK," you can expect to get bigger, stronger, and faster.
us chew for a while on the next nugget of success, "DETERMINATION."
Another word that fits this section is tenacity. Never give
up your dreams. Set your mind, soul, and heart upon doing
everything necessary to become your best. Notice I said, "Your
best;" learn how to become the best you are capable of.
"DETERMINATION" means that you look at yourself
and make no excuses. As you find your weak areas, attack them
to better yourself. One of my weak areas of life was reading.
I gave up all my excuses and started reading everything in
the area of my interest; now I love to read. One might have
very weak arms; get over it and get busy correcting the problem
area. Are you out of shape? Get over it and be determined
to change that problem. Do you have problems in Math? Get
over it, ask for help, and learn. Never let your emotions
have the best of you. Control your emotions and do whatever
it takes to be the best.
young man won a gold metal in the Olympics on the pistol rage
using his right hand. He went home after the competition a
winner, but he had a dream to win a second gold metal in four
years. While at work, his right hand was crushed by machinery
to the point surgeons had to amputate his shooting hand. Our
young man was "DETERMINED," and left himself no
excuses. Our athlete went to work, developed his left hand,
went back to the following Olympics, and won his second gold
metal. This, my reader is "DETERMINATION" to the
extreme. He did not have a right hand. What is your excuse?
Another high school student lost his leg, yet he plays on
the line for his team. What is your excuse? I had a friend
who had polio in his legs, making them both useless; however,
he was on our wrestling team at my school. He would crawl
after his opponents, then he would pin them. He became a wrestler
for a college team. Do you have DETERMINATION?
SACRIFICE" is next on our agenda on which to meditate.
What will it take to become the best? This section is really
all about making daily choices to stay on the narrow road
to success. Instead of another video game to exercise your
thumbs, buy equipment, which will help you become the best.
I am sure that Kobe Bryant bought a basketball instead of
video games. I am sure the man who lost his hand wanted to
give up and quit, but instead went out and bought a left-handed
gun. Instead of doing what you want to, do what is necessary
to become the best. I wanted to become a better athlete at
one point in my life, so I set a daily routine and stuck with
it, even when I did not feel like it. I asked my father to
build me a goal post in our back yard. I would go to the neighbors
and kick from their back yard, day in and day out. I won the
kicking position that year on the varsity squad. This is "PERSONAL
SACRIFICE." Make the right choices about your diet, your
sleeping habits, and your friends (yes, even your friends.)
Place around you people who will help you achieve your dreams.
Spending time with those who do drugs and want to get in trouble
will carry you far away from your dreams.
working with youth for over 22 years, I see those who have
no vision or plan for their lives perish. However, those who
will make the plans and make the personal sacrifices necessary
to succeed, go on in life to be successful. I started to speak
life into the world of an eighth grader on the road to destruction
using drugs. Since then, she has become a highly successful
artist, graduating from an art college with honors. There
was a freshman, though once devastated by her parents' separation,
has now become an elementary school teacher. My daughter,
Leia, set aside her love life until she reached her goal of
becoming a registered nurse. Keep your focus on the prize.
Set your dream, your goal in front of you, and then stay focused
on it. My daughter will graduate from college this May, and
at the age of 22 is willing to think about her love life and
place someone in her life with the same type of dreams.
will answer this call?" Those who dare to be the best
and are positive will answer the call. Those who answer the
call are not afraid of trying to become someone special, someone
important, and someone successful. It is better to have tried
and failed than to have never tried. Those will answer who
want their life to mean something and want to be remembered
for their achievements. "Who will answer this call?"
There is a call going out to all. Will you step up and answer
the call to be someone of excellence? Will you, can you, or
are you going to step on to the road which leads to success?
It does not matter where you step on to that road; it only
matters that you step on to it, and are determined to never
get off the road once you are there. "Who will answer
this call?" Few people answer this call. Will you be
the one that will overcome all obstacles in your way as you
travel long and hard down this narrow road? It does not matter
if others will answer this call; what matters are your own
deep convictions. Will you answer this call of life? One additional
benefit is others may follow if you show them the way through
have answered this call in my life to be the best I was created
to be. I have been on this road since 1981, and have led many
down the same road. Enjoy life by enjoying the process of
success. Enjoy those around you as you see them progress down
the same road. Rejoice with them as they rejoice with you
in the triumph of overcoming all the odds to become the best
you can be.
Coach Duane Lee Bemis M.Ed.
Pledge of Success