Saturday, April 26, 2014

Taking On Risky Challenges Is The American Way

There’s something very American about wrapping yourself around a challenge that comes with some risk.  Christopher Columbus ignored naysayers and set off to find a better route to the east by traveling west.  That was a larger than normal undertaking with the flat earthers expecting him to fall off the edge before he got to Asia.  What about the American Revolutionaries who decided to go it alone and break away from the mighty British Empire?  There were certainly more than a few who thought that idea should be reconsidered.  And then there's the Moon.  Seriously.  Who did we really think we were setting our sights on that goal?  That thing is way out there; no water, no oxygen, and then re-entry comes with all that crazy heat shield vaporization action.  Whoa.  But we checked the math and then did it anyway.

The thing is, as Americans growing up in what President Reagan described as the shining city on the hill, we have this belief that we can do these things.  We're Americans.  We set a goal and have the freedom to try to find a way.  I get a sense of that when I take on a house that other people don't want or a property that others believe is beyond repair.  People around me try to talk me down.  "Don't do it," they've said.  "Find a place that's not so bad."  But those doubtful pleas are part of what get me going and in this country, there's nothing stopping me from trying.  It just feels right to set my sights on something not so easy and then persevering through the obstacles.  For someone else it may be restoring a junky vehicle, helping someone who's down and out, saving a troubled business, or some other goal that others think is a hopeless mission without a big enough safety net.  For me though, it's rehabbing run-down property.

Now, I hope it doesn't seem like I'm comparing myself to the early nautical explorers, our rebellious Founding Fathers, or those astronauts who made the moon landings.  I'm just saying that I learned those stories growing up like all the other kids in our country (and maybe around the world) and they meant something to me.  They still do.  They inspired me.  So, if you have a lofty goal lingering on the horizon, something that get's you excited (but may worry others), I want to encourage you to go for it.  You don't have to be an American to set a goal, break it down, and find a way.  Plus, it's fun.  It's exciting.  It's what life's about.  Take on a big challenge and make it happen.  And if/when you have a tough day and it seems like you're not getting anywhere, look up at the moon, take a deep breathe (w/out help from NASA), and then get back at finding a way.


  1. I have a passion for a building the community (parts of my family) built in 1935. It was in litigation for 10 years and deteriorated. We won and want to rehabilitate it and your being so close to Georgia, I though would be a great person to help me preserve the building. I am seeking funders help but want to stop further decay. Will you give me advise?

    1. Hi Terry! Thanks. How about you send me a note to