Success means getting up just one more time

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Posted Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:00am

Many times as college students we find ourselves feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities. Maybe you work 40 hours a week and attend eight or nine classes. Some students are married and have children who must be taken care of. Whatever the cause, it is easy to see why college can be stressful. Is it really worth all the trouble? As you look around it may seem that everyone but you is succeeding. At times like these it may seem easier to give up.

This is the time to pull yourself together, get off your butt and just start working. There has never been or ever will be any substitute for hard work. If you are working hard and concentrating on short-term goals, self pity will have no room in your life and eventually you will get what you are after.

In his book, "A View from the Zoo", Gary Richmond describes how a newborn giraffe learns how to walk. It is important to note that when a baby giraffe is born, it falls about 10 feet to the ground. The mother giraffe lowers her head long enough to take a quick look. Then she positions herself directly over her calf. She waits for about a minute, and then she does the most unreasonable thing. She swings her long, pendulous leg outward and kicks her baby, so that it is sent sprawling head over heels.

When it doesn't get up, the violent process is repeated over and over again. The struggle to rise is momentous. As the baby calf grows tired, the mother kicks it again to stimulate its efforts. Finally, the calf stands for the first time on its wobbly legs.

Then the mother giraffe does the most remarkable thing. She kicks it off its feet again. Why? She wants it to remember how it got up. In the wild, baby giraffes must be able to get up as quickly as possible to stay with the herd, where there is safety.

Since we don't have someone who literally kicks us off our feet, life does it for us. But the end result must be the same. We need to get up every time we get knocked down and hopefully along the way we will learn how to evade the blows.

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