Victory! Momentum, Character and You

Katie Spotz, a 22 year old from Ohio, recently rowed solo across the Atlantic Ocean, setting new records in the process.  The journey from Dakar, Senegal to Georgetown, Guyana took 70 days, 5 hours and 22 minutes.  Yes, she rowed alone, in a small boat, across the Atlantic Ocean! (see:

Listen to Katie Couric’s congratulatory report, and pay particular attention to Katie Spotz’ comments at the end of the video: 

Impressive, eh?  Katie notes that it is often the individual that holds him or herself back from new accomplishments.  Would you say that is true?  In my estimation, most impediments to progress – for the individual and for a group of individuals such as a family, a company or a nation – are, as Katie mentioned, self-imposed.

What stops you?  Confidence?  Motivation?  Follow-through?  Lethargy?  Anxiety?  I’m sure there are as many reasons as there are people on earth.  The question is, what can you do about it, now?  While I don’t anticipate rowing across the Atlantic myself, I know that developing the habits and elements of character that constrain to victory will eventually produce momentum, which is often your greatest ally when faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Victory is available to anyone and everyone.  It rarely comes freely and it often requires patience, vision, persistence and strategic thinking.  No matter what challenges you face in life, you have the means of overcoming, of establishing a victory. 

I once heard a U.S. Marine say “you don’t lose until you quit trying.”  How true that is! 

Have a Happy Easter.

9 thoughts on “Victory! Momentum, Character and You

  1. Mark

    Einstein said something to the effect that it wasn’t that he was so smart, it was just that he stuck with the problems longer. So your question “What stops you?” is the critical one. Whether an elephant one bite at a time or a mountain one pebble at a time, no one ever stumbled while they were sitting down. My point being that if we are facing the right direction we just have to keep moving. I’ve found your daily posts personally very useful to 1) see the right direction and 2) have the tools to keep moving in that direction. Whether we break the record in a solo expedition across the Atlantic or we cross a never-before crossed-hurdle in the development of our character, there is a victory to be celebrated.


    1. Brad

      “….no one ever stumbled while they were sitting down”….excellent point Mark! and darn funny one too, unfortunately we often think we stumble before we even get up and take a step – thanks for your thoughts – think i’ll stick with the questions a bit longer!


  2. Lady Leo

    The desire to be challenged is priceless.

    Most want the things that come easier or more naturally to them. In some ways it has been slowly leached out of our culture to attempt anything that might require, at the least, extra effort but heaven forbid any striving.

    When I listened to Katie I heard what you usually hear from this type of person; they seek out challenges. That journey is compelling to them.They have developed as you said ” the habits and elements of character that constrain to victory” which will eventually produce the momentum to reach their goals and change their lives.

    It is obvious she had to find sponsors, the right equipment and I’m sure there were many other details related to a trip like this. She didn’t go into it here but I’ll bet some of the details were a challenge and a journey in themselves.

    As I showed this blog to someone today I realized that most of your posts do illustrate through a person’s life or a subject matter these habits and elements of character that will guarantee an interesting and more satisfying experience; in addition to building the momentum to realize our dreams.

    I think true character is the difference between really living and just putting your time in until it’s over.

    Thanks for your effort.


  3. Estelle M.

    A funny quote I heard once, pertinent to today’s topic – “Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.” I may be too old to row across the Atlantic, but never too old to prove that my life can and better make a difference. Thanks for the encouragement & Happy Easter!!


  4. Chuck Reddick

    One of the questions that I like to ask prospective sales reps who are interested in joining our team is “how do you deal with things when others tell you that you can’t do it?” Their answer both provides them an opportunity to share some probably very victorious moments in their life and for me to discover how they deal with adversity, challenges, and ultimitely victory.

    The other question that I really like to ask (among many questions that I ask) is “when you look back at your life, what do you want to see?”

    The answer will reveal to me what their true vision for their life is, and will at the same time reveal their true character. For example, to be a truly successful sales person one’s victorieis must include the providing of value to others. And isn’t that what all of us want to be able to see as we look back at our lives!

    For this to happen they will need to combine patience, vision, persistence and strategic thinking. And they will be able to look back at their lives with a great deal of pride as they know that they truly have made a difference in this world!


  5. Doug

    Wow. Wish I’d followed her trip.
    Most of us have dreams too but never realize them them and there is never a shortage of people and circumstances to blame.
    Making a dream into a goal is the beginning, next is planning the steps for reaching it. The difference between a “pipe dream” and an achievable dream is action.

    Happy Easter


  6. Brenda Ruppright

    Wonderful post, watching Katie and seeing with determination how she challenges herself with tasks beyond what others would even consider doing was very encouraging.

    We all face tasks each day that we may question whether we are the ones to be doing them, but I often remember we are never given something to do that we are not considered to have the ability to do. Whatever we feel stops us, we need to look truthfully at those things and know we are much more than we consider ourselves to be. When others have asked me how they should tackle a particular problem, I often reply with this question. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Personal victories usually come after you approach things one bite at a time and allow that momentum to lead you to victory.

    Have a wonderful day!


  7. Claudia Reddick

    Katie’s accomplishments are inspiring. Her belief in herself is rare but particularly at 22.

    I wanted to share a poem that my mother used to say when we talked about challenging endeavors. I think it carries Katie’s spirit and inclination towards challenge.

    Hope you enjoy it.

    It Couldn’t Be Done
    by Edgar A. Guest

    Somebody staid that it couldn’t be done,
    But he with a chuckle replied
    That “maybe it couldn’t” but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done and he did it.

    Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one ever has done it”;
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure;
    There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
    That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.


    1. Brad

      Great story – what a commitment this must have been for her – think about it, there’s no cell phone for a quick rescue and a stop off at Starbucks on the way home….this is the Atlantic Ocean!
      – thanks for the post Gregg.
      And excellent poem Claudia – mind if I borrow it?!!


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