The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.
Go around it, knock it down or go through it. Those are the options for an obstacle. Anything less is allowing the obstacle to prevent your progress. In some cases, when encountering an obstacle that is clearly not possible to overcome
For those who have an intense desire to prevail, it requires a fortitude and determination that are indomitable. It requires a spirit of persistence that is unyielding. And it requires a mindset that recognizes that life is going to continually impede your path with disappointments, set backs, frustrations, fear, agony of defeat, and anxiety… all so that you are getting prepared for a growth that is genuinely required to achieve whatever you have really set your mind upon.
Theodore Roosevelt was a larger than life human being. He was shot in the chest in Tammany Hall during his last run for President, and the assassin’s bullet lodged in a bible in his breast pocket and did not enter his body. From there, he opted to go with his son into a part of the Amazon jungle that no Caucasian human beings had ever ventured into. The book River of Doubt takes you on that horrific journey in one of the most compelling chronicles of courage and determination that I have ever encountered.
When I found this aphorism, it made me reflect on how this man was stating his truth, and not spewing a philosophy that was not backed up by deep life experience. It is for that reason that this resonated for me.
PBS did a special on his journey. https://www.pbs.org/video/amazon-theodore-roosevelt-urhdgc/