Wednesday 18 January 2017

Obstacles Are Those Frightful Things You See When You Take Your Eyes Off Your Goal

"If you can find a path that has no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." (Frank Clark)

Glenn Cunningham, the Kansas Flyer, courtesy

Glenn Cunningham used to light the pot-bellied stove in the one room schoolhouse every day.  One day the teacher arrived to find the schoolhouse engulfed in flames.  She managed to pull Glenn out but he was unconscious.  Glenn languished in a coma for weeks.  The doctor told his mother that he likely wouldn't survive.  She refused to believe the prognosis and talked to her son everyday to bring him out of the coma.  Slowly, he did wake up.  However, then the doctor said that, because of his scarred legs, he would likely never walk again, but Glenn's mother refused to believe him.  She massaged his legs daily.

Glenn eventually went home.  One day his mother took him outside for some fresh air.  Glenn decided to get out of his wheelchair, drag himself across the grass and up on to the picket fence, and "walk" along the fence.  Eventually, he mastered the fence and started walking on his own.  Next, he decided to walk the periphery of the yard.  Then, he decided to run.  Eventually, he ran all the way to school where he tried out for the track team.  In college, he earned the nickname the "Kansas Flyer".  Would you believe, the young man who was not expected to live ran the world's fastest indoor mile at Madison Square Gardens in February of 1934?  Dr. Glenn Cunningham lived until his 80th year.

"Inspiration kept [Glenn] going even when obstacles got in the way" (  It appeared as if everything was against him.  The doctor had given up hope.  But Glenn's mother hadn't, and neither had Glenn.  He learned form his adversity.  He refused to let the obstacles he faced deter him.  Glenn exhibited great patience on his journey to success.  He took it one hurdle at a time.  First, he conquered the wheelchair by standing, then the fence by walking, then the distance from home to school by running, then the clock by training.  Each time, he set a more difficult goal.  

Henry Ford said:  "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Glenn Cunningham never took his eyes off his goal.

Note:  Read Everything I Know About Success I Learned From Napoleon Hill by Don M. Green (

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