When was the last time you almost quit something? How many times have you thrown your hands up into the air thinking that it was too hard and walked away from something you really wanted?

Most of us bounce along in life pretty good until we hit an obstacle, a wall of resistance that feels too tall, too wide or too strong. When this happens, there are two options. One is to believe that we can’t do it; it is too hard. The other option is to find a way through, over or under whatever is standing in our way.

I’ve hit plenty of walls. Some of them I got through, and the other walls … well, I hate to admit it, but I allowed them to defeat me.

What was the difference?


Was it the difficulty of the task? Or was it my mentality about the task?

After I had been an elite athlete for eight years training with the United States National Team Handball Team, I knew I wanted to become a coach, and I knew I wanted to win. In my first job as an assistant coach, I was fired before I ever got to coach my first game. It was devastating. I thought I’d never get to coach again.

But I wanted to coach. So I sent my resume to every single basketball coaching job that came open. In fact, I sent out over 100 resumes. I can remember going to the mail box, looking at the envelope from yet another university, and knowing before I opened it that it was a rejection letter.

Why did I keep trying? The image of the dream was bigger than my failures. You see in order to make something happen, you have to feel it as if it is a part of you. I knew I was going to become coach from the moment I got to stand in the middle of one of my mother’s huddles at a basketball practice. I was two years old and already telling her players what to do.

I sent out 100 applications and got rejected 99 times.

The one university that wanted me was a small school out in the middle of corn fields in Morris, Minnesota. The population of the town was 5,000, and I think they counted the cows, dogs, and pigs. That wasn’t the worst thing about the job. The worst thing was that we didn’t give our athletes scholarships, but every other college in the conference did.

Somehow I managed, with all the limitations at the University of Minnesota-Morris to produce a winning record in my second year there. Two years later at Northern Montana College, my team won a national championship.


I could have quit after I had received 99 rejections, and I almost did. I’m sure you’ve felt the same way about some of your dreams—that you’d never get there.

You can do the same thing I did, which was to keep the image of my dream in the center of everything I did. I daydreamed about coaching—how I’d discipline the athletes, the drills I’d run, and the games we would win. The image of the dream was bigger than my failures.

When you want something badly enough, create an image of it. Make notes to yourself. Put them up where you will see them. Daydream about it at least three times a day. See yourself doing what you want, and then remember that THE IMAGE OF WHAT YOU DESIRE HAS TO BE BIGGER THAN YOUR FAILURES.