In the front yard of my house there is a beautiful magnolia tree that climbs roughly forty feet into the sky. Its branches are naked towards the trunk but as they stretch out they are full of leaves and during the spring, blooming white flowers. It truly is a beautiful tree. I have always loved climbing this tree.

I was probably 16 when I decided for the fun of it to tie a rope around one of the lower branches to make it easier to get up into the thick of it. So I climbed up, tied a rope around a sturdy branch, and climbed back down to test it out. I pulled on it a few times – seemed perfectly fine. The only thing to do next was commit. So up I went.

About halfway up the 10 foot climb the sturdy rope made a funny sound. Riiiiipppp. Down I went. Smack! I fell right onto the ground perfectly flat on my back. The breath was completely knocked out of me. I just laid there…motionless. When I finally gained my breath back, all I could do was groan in pain.

After 10 minutes I finally got back up, grabbed the broken piece of rope that had fallen with me but landed in the shape of a smile, had a few choice words with it and threw it back at the tree in disgust.

I just stood there looking up at that magnolia…

So I took a deep breath, jumped up, grabbed a branch, pulled myself up and climbed all the way to the top to enjoy the view of the yard.

When you fall, get back up and try again. Persistence will yield you results. Don’t be interested in achieving something. Be committed. Don’t let the fear of failure paralyze you from achieving your dreams. Climb back up that tree no matter what.

Your Life. Your choice. So what do you say?

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project