Quote for today: “Forget all the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will.” I saw this quote regarding perseverance and liked its simplicity as well as how it has applied to the things I have done against popular belief and how I continue to do those things. It’s easy to let people tell you why you can’t succeed. Sometimes they say this out of statistical evidence, personal opinion, or even jealousy towards your visions. I’ve always been one who thrives from doing things I’m told can’t be done. I find being told it can’t happen makes me absolutely determined to do it. Maybe this is why my athlete director sat me down once and said, “Kid, I really like you. You’ve got… spunk. And a lot of it.” It was that spunk that pulled me through creating a hockey club at my school so that I could finally play the sport I wanted to play for an official team. We lost all but one game the first season, then went to the championship the next year for the state medal. My perseverance and persistence to raise $3000 in two days and train enough players to make a team landed me with an enormous scholarship from Case Western Reserve University.
The same time of perseverance is what got me a summer traveling abroad this year, to pursue a double major that the faculty thought was impossible to achieve. Against all odds, I have completed enough credits for a major in Environmental/Civil Engineering and French while also being an active member in a co-ed service fraternity, archery club, collegiate and extracurricular roller and ice hockey, NCAA XC, NCAA T&F, Premiere Scottish Highland Dance, and several instrument groups. I’ve managed to travel to a couple dozen countries in the last year to compete in research and pursue my dream of traveling and understanding cultures. I obtained three internships during the course of a year when I was told none exist. This lead me to compete in research with AISES in Alaska, a trip which was completely free thanks to funding I managed to find last minute from my school and the ASCE group in Cleveland. But determination doesn’t have to be so elaborate. It’s also the reason why I eat healthy food and work out regularly . It’s why I pushed myself to bike around the Finger Lakes in 2009, hike the Calanques of Cassis and Marseille on my own this summer, and finish a 130km journey by CityBike from Arles to Fontaine-de-Vaucluse and back (the latter two are described on my blog, kfdevault.wordpress.com).
Let’s not be mistaken; this isn’t an entry about the things I’ve managed to do. This is an entry about the things I’ve tried to do against popular belief as an inspiration of why you can do any of the simplest – or most complex – things you wish to do without hesitation. If you want it, just get it. I’m a firm believer in “If there’s a will, there’s a way”. Maybe I’ve just been lucky enough for my life to follow suit as such, or maybe there really was something in my perseverance that landed me with a great job after years of struggle against the current of likelihood. All I can say is, whether it’s a new job, new hobby, or new diet, you just have to convince yourself it’s what you want and you’d be surprised how thrilling the journey to success will actually be.