“To persevere is to make a decision that you will not stop until you win.”
In my family I am regarded as someone who accomplishes goals and follows dreams. I am blessed that I get to do what I love and love what I do. I am humbled when I am told that I have inspired someone to believe in themselves. But there is someone very close to my heart who has inspired me to keep on pushing my dreams forward. This person has told me that I make him proud. He has been one of my biggest supporters, yet I don’t think he knows how much he has inspired me to believe in my dreams. His name is Luis Fernando; he is my little brother.
Luis Fernando, also known as Furny in our family, has taught me how to persevere and never give up when things get hard. He has also taught me the true meaning of commitment and dedication. Currently, my little brother is stationed in the Middle East fulfilling his duties as a soldier for the National Guard. Ever since he was a young boy he spoke about being a soldier. My parents, wanting to protect their son from this hard and strenuous lifestyle, reminded him of the dangers that come with being a soldier. They did everything in their power to stop him from joining the Marines when he was in high school. They even bribed him with a new car! The new car and the fact that my mother could not bear that something could happen to her little boy convinced him to hold off on his dream.
He held off for a while but not permanently. We thought he was through with his dream of being a soldier because he never spoke about it after high school. But as an individual who believes that dreams should always be pursued and accomplished, I knew that his dream would never fully go away. Dreams stand aside patiently and wait until you are ready to embrace them again. My parents thought they had convinced him to not pursue his dream, but they could not fully kill his desire to become a soldier. His journey to becoming a soldier was not easy. He was rejected from joining the Marines due to some prior life setbacks, yet he never gave up. Where there is a will, there will always be a way. I believe that his sense of humor, the fact that he does not take life too seriously, and that he never complains helped him persevere.
I admire that even when he was told that he would never be part of the United States Marines, he continued to knock on doors until the National Guard opened the door for him. He defied all odds because he believed and never gave up on his dream. He has been very gracious and respectful on his journey to becoming a soldier. He loves and takes pride in serving his country. I know that it was hard for him to leave his family for a year to fulfill his mission in the National Guard, but he shows up to what he has signed up for with great honor.
My little brother does not know that whenever I am rejected or fail to accomplish something in my life, I think about him and I keep on pushing forward. He will tell you that I have inspired him, but he does not know how much he has inspired me to believe in what I do and to persevere. I am very proud to be his big sister. I love and miss him very much. I can’t wait to hug him and tell him personally how proud he has made me. Today, I want to honor him by dedicating this blog post to him and sharing four lessons he taught me about perseverance.
Use humor to keep on pushing.
Furny is the clown of the family. Now I understand that every time that he failed he used humor to help him keep on pushing. He never complained about his rejections and he made fun of himself for doing silly things as a young kid that cost him the opportunity to be part of the Marines. He showed me that you must simply keep on pushing forward. When you feel like you can’t keep on pushing forward, remember that your dream is waiting on the other side. Tell yourself that you will get there and laugh yourself through the nonsense of life. Use humor to motivate you to persevere and don’t take your failure too seriously.
Don’t stop. Persevere.
To fulfill your dreams, you must never stop. It is only when you stop that you have failed. I know my brother knew that if he stopped he would have failed. To persevere you must keep on going. When a door closed on my brother, he found a different door to knock on. He reminded me that sometimes in life we knock on the wrong door, but the right door will always open for us.
Practice optimism as you fail your way to the top.
Things don’t always go exactly as you planned. Challenges show up to test how serious you are or how much you want that dream. My little brother used a positive attitude to get to his destination of being a member of the armed forces. He always believed and was optimistic that someday he would get to represent his country as an American soldier. And now he does.
You are always right where you need to be.
A few weeks ago, my brother posted on Facebook that he was right where he needed to be. And he is. When we are pursuing our dreams and life goals, remember that everything is perfect. There are no accidents; you are always where you need to be. As I look at my journey and compare it to my little brother’s journey, I have concluded that everything that happens in our life is happening for our benefit. The true lesson is found in deciphering what rejection and failure have to teach us. Be grateful for what is and be hopeful and optimistic for what is coming.
My little brother has been a great teacher to me. He continues to inspire me to persevere with my life goals because he never gave up on his. I am very proud of him. I know great things are coming to him, because he is a creator, not a bystander in his life. I love him dearly and can’t wait to see him safe and sound back home. Remember, your dreams were given to you to be accomplished. Never give up and persevere just like Furny did! Until next Monday, Believe. Change. Become.
Sending blessings and love your way!