by Brian Andrews

When I was a young man of seventeen, my father gave me a simple gift that I didn’t appreciate at the time. He presented it to me unwrapped on an ordinary day—not a special occasion like my birthday or graduation.

Here’s a photo of his gift where it hangs on the wall in my office:



I remember reading the inscription and being perplexed. Why hadn’t he gotten me a plaque with a quote about strength or winning or something heroic? Persistence, really? And Calvin Coolidge…he wasn’t even one of the cool Presidents. Confused, I think I said something lame like, “What’s this for?”

He smiled and replied, “A little something to remind you of what makes you special.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“This quote summarizes the quality I’ve always admired most about you. I got this for you so you don’t forget it.”

I remember thanking him and dutifully hanging the plaque in my bedroom, still not understanding whether I should interpret the gift as a compliment or a slight. As a young man who’d accomplished little of consequence and faced only adversity of the pedestrian variety, I didn’t (and couldn’t) appreciate the significance of the gesture. Now, some thirty odd years later I do, and I cherish this simple wooden plaque with it’s sage and galvanizing wisdom.

In life, adversity is omnipresent. Failure is inevitable.

In my humble opinion, failure is a prerequisite for success. Persistence is the sword and determination is the shield wielded by every great entrepreneur, athlete, and artisan. After many, many setbacks, missteps, and rejections in my professional life, I understand the importance of persistence. I would not be a published author or person of accomplishment had it not been for my grit.

We’ve all survived two years of a pandemic that has gnawed away at our emotional, physical, social, and financial health. As we step into 2022, I would encourage you to take a moment to self-congratulate. If you’re reading this post, then you’re still chasing your dream which means you haven’t given up. Celebrate your grit, because you’ve weathered quite a storm. And when you’re done, set your sights on the horizon, take a deep breath, and begin the march down the road ahead—a road fraught with countless unknown roadblocks, pitfalls, and obstacles to your success. When you stumble, remember this postpick yourself up, and keep on going.

If you have room on your wall, or want a reminder for your author notebook, I’ve taken the liberty of creating a printable graphic of the words that have guided me true for over three decades.

Let’s kick off 2022 on Facebook and share your New Year’s Reminiscence with us!