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Get Out from Under Your 800-Pound Boulder

by David DeFord

At the start of a 2003 hike in a Utah canyon, Aron Ralston from Colorado had an 800-pound boulder roll onto his arm. For five days, Ralston tried to dislodge his crushed arm. He ran out of food and water after the first three days. He knew that he had little time left before he would die.

So, he took action. He put a tourniquet around his arm, opened his pocketknife, and cut off his forearm.

That drastic action saved his life.

No one likes to feel stuck. Yet many of us feel we’re held captive to a job we don’t love, a dress size we loathe, a habit we can’t break, or an income level we can’t improve.

These manacles keep us from freedom as effectively as an 800-pound boulder.

You may have envisioned your life going a desired direction but now realize that it hasn’t taken you where you wanted to go.

Put your pocketknife away. You need not amputate your forearm. But you will need to take action—maybe drastic action—to remove yourself from bondage.

Fate cannot hold you captive. You have freewill. You may choose to stay held down by your boulders, or you may choose to extract yourself.

Just as Aron Ralston made a plan and successfully freed himself, you can do the same—with much less blood.

Let’s review how to break free of your boulder and reach your desired destination.

First, identify your life dreams. If you could not fail, what would you want out of life? If you realized all of your dreams, what would your family be like? What turn would your career take? What fitness level would you achieve? Think big. Remember to go through this exercise as if you would face no obstacles and as if success was certain.

Second, identify what you must be to have these dreams. What kind of father or mother must you be? What do you need to learn?

Third, identify what you must do to become the successful person you seek to become. What will it take? Make a list of required tasks.

Fourth, put the tasks in the required order of accomplishment.

Fifth, estimate how long each task will take to fulfill. This exercise will not be exact—but must be part of your strivings.

Once you have identified your dreams, determined who you must be to live them, worked out what you must do to become that person, and put some estimated dates for their accomplishment you have your goals.

Work on what you can do now. Keep track of your progress. Adjust your plan as necessary.

Don’t let the 800-pound boulders of your life hold you pinned in place. Freeing yourself will take energy, and it will take a plan.

You can live your life dreams. Don’t settle for anything less.


Related Quotes

Hoping and dreaming of a better world are not enough if we are unwilling to work; but when we work towards our dreams, wonderful things can happen. Lloyd Newell

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. Vincent Van Gogh

You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things— to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals. Sir Edmund Hillary

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstances. Bruce Barton

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. William Jennings Bryan

If we are striving, if we are working, if we are trying, to the best of our ability, to improve day by day, then we are in the line of our duty. Heber J. Grant


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