What is one key ingredient to reaching your aspirations?

“Aiden, take the ball to the hoop!”


As he slowly bounced the ball off the floor and dribbled to the hoop. I watched as Aiden left his defender in the dust.

I could feel my heart starting to pound, and from across the gym, I could sense Anna’s excitement for her son to make a basket build.

And just like we practiced, he made a powerful jump-stop and with all his strength shot the ball.

All of a sudden the cheers of “shoot the ball” changed to “good try Aiden.”

But wait…

We got the ball back! And again Aiden found himself in the position to take the ball to the hoop.

Without hesitation, he aggressively drove the ball to the hoop. Again, he would make a powerful jump-stop and with all his strength shoot the ball.

And like his previous shot, Aiden would hear cheers of “good try Aiden, keep shooting.”

Then like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Aiden found himself with the ball again for the third straight time and with the opportunity to shoot.

This time I thought for surely Aiden would make a basket!

As he bent his legs and muscled the ball up and over his head, a defender came out of nowhere and blocked his shot.

At that moment I could see a piece of Aiden fall to the court along with tears welling-up inside of him.

My heart started to break. Looking over at Anna I could see the pain she felt for her son written all over her face. A pain only a parent can feel when watching their child come face-to-face with defeat.

Then something amazing happened. As quickly as the tears, heartbreak, and sadness came into Aiden. They left him just as quickly and were replaced with a determination to PLAY ON!

At that moment I saw something amazing in Aiden…PERSEVERANCE.

After the game, though he didn’t want to hear it, as he was still bummed about missing three shots in a row. I took a moment to tell Aiden how proud of him I was because he didn’t give up and didn’t allow the situation to define him.

At that moment, Aiden smiled at me and I knew he would be ready to go when his next opportunity came. And the next opportunity came the very next game where he made his first basket. The smallest guy on the court with the most determination and desire to persevere showed everyone that backing down is not an option if you want to succeed.

It seems like as we get older our level of perseverance decreases. I’m guessing this is because of the brutal punishment life can inflict on us as we move through life. We start to give into situations, our minds, and others. We allow it all to determine what we will accomplish, succeed at, or conquer.

In the end, we stop taking action.

Want to fulfill your aspirations? Goals? Life dreams?

Then you will need to persevere! You will need to continue to take action.

Having a tough time connecting with your children? How about your spouse? Feel like you can’t do anything right at home?

Have you stopped taking action? What has not taking action gotten you? I’m guessing nothing.

It is time for you to get off your butt and understand life isn’t handed to you. You will need to take action and persevere. Without action on your part, there is no change. There is no movement towards what you want. There are no moments of you and your child playing catch, riding bikes, going fishing, or having a tea party.

But what if I fail? WHAT IF YOU SUCCEED!

You can play the “what if” game all you want. The thing is nothing is going to happen unless you take action and when things don’t go as planned…PERSEVERE. Gather yourself, take a deep breath, lean in, and shoot again.

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Donnie Boroff, M.A., CPC, ELI-MP, C-IQ is a father of four boys and husband with a passion for dads. A Dad Coach and founder of Everdad. With a Master’s Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology along with being a Certified Professional Coach, Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner, and Certified in Conversational Intelligence, he assists dads in exploring and discovering how they are showing up in their children’s lives.

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