“When we`re clear about what taps into our stubbornness,what means so much to us that it invokes the `failure-is-not-an-option` mentality, we can all push past perceived barriers and achieve what seems impossible.” – Misti Burmeister
When Cindy, a retired nurse, heard about Christopher – a dying, young boy with an “impossible” final wish – she stubbornly set out to make miracles happen.
Christopher had about six days to live and just one wish – to die in his home, surrounded by family. But his home was unsafe.
With five children and only two rooms, his family was in the process of expanding their house. However, when Christopher’s health worsened, his parents weren’t able to earn enough money to complete the project, so the house was still under construction – making it an unfit place for a sick little boy.
When Cindy learned about Christopher, she couldn’t bear the thought of him being denied his final wish. So, she got stubborn … and got her hands dirty.
Christopher was away on a “Make a Wish” trip to Florida, and Cindy planned to have his home ready when he returned. She entered the sawdust-filled house, set up a small office and began making calls.
Volunteers showed up; cash flowed in; and Cindy’s team completed the project on time. In just six days, Cindy moved mountains to give this boy his final wish. She refused to take “no” for an answer and kept making ridiculous requests of everyone – including God. Mediocrity was not an option!
“The power was out in the neighborhood, which prevented us from working,” Cindy recalls. “All the workers who had ever dealt with the electric company told me there was no way they’d get to it in time. So, I prayed. That night, an electrical storm blew through, knocking out power in the entire neighborhood, which got the electric company’s attention. The next day, power was restored.”
Sadly, Christopher never made it back home. But Cindy proved that when you care so much about achieving something that you absolutely refuse to fail, you can make the “impossible” a reality.
Fast forward a few years later, and Cindy is preparing to write a book about her experience. She called me a few weeks ago, suddenly doubting herself and her story. Would anyone even care? Would anyone want to read it?
I am intimately familiar with that insecure feeling that most writers get before starting on a book (and then again, right before publishing it). But Cindy’s sudden lack of faith in her voice and her dream to get this story out there, where it might inspire others to stubbornly pursue “impossible” dreams, illustrates an important point. Many of us will move heaven and earth to help someone else, but then fail to invoke that same level of stubbornness to make our own dreams come true.
What are you stubbornly pursuing? Whose brilliance are you taking a stand for, and how are you taking a stand for your own? What vision/projects capture your attention? What are you willing to be brave enough to achieve?
When we’re clear about what taps into our stubbornness, what means so much to us that it invokes the “failure-is-not-an-option” mentality, we can all push past perceived barriers and achieve what seems “impossible.”
Misti Burmeister, best-selling author of From Boomers to Bloggers: Success Strategies Across Generations and Hidden Heroes.