(Steve Furr, M.D.) - The ending of the year is a very somber time for me. I never achieved all the things that I hoped to accomplish when I started the previous 365 days. I have never become the person that I had hoped to be over that time span. I have made many, many New Year's resolutions and have probably more times than not failed to achieve them. I hear people say that they don't even try and make New Year's resolutions or goals for the upcoming year anymore. I suppose they just have gotten tired of failing. I have not. I will still make New Year's resolutions again this year. Why? Every one of my New Year's resolutions has been worthy goals that I would like to accomplish. Just because I did not accomplish them in the past does not mean that this will not be the year I will break through and achieve my goals.

One of my daily e-mail devotionals is from John Maxwell. One of the ones this past week talked about being tenacious.

"Even people who lack talent and fail to cultivate other vital qualities can contribute if they possess a tenacious spirit. Being tenacious means:
1. Giving all that you have, not more than you have-Some people mistakenly believe that being tenacious demands from them more than they have to offer. As a result, they don't push themselves. However, being tenacious requires that you give 100 percent-not more, but certainly not less.
2. Working with determination, not waiting on destiny-Tenacious people don't rely on luck, fate, or destiny for their success. They know that trying times are no to quit trying.
3. Quitting when the job is done, not when you're tired-Robert Strauss said, "Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired-you quit when the gorilla is tired." If you want your team to succeed, you have to keep pushing beyond what you think you can do. It's not the first but the last step in the relay race, the last shot in the basketball game, the last yard with the football into the end zone that makes the difference, for that is where the game is won."

Have we given up too quickly? Have we ceased to even try anymore? To be a success you only have to pick yourself off the ground one more time then you fall down.

Mark Cagle is a lay person in our Mobile District. He is a financial consultant and has a newsletter he sends out periodically. Like me, he loves a good quote. His most recent e-mail newsletter containing the following segment by motivational speaker Jim Rohn.


"The problem with waiting until tomorrow is that when it finally arrives, it is called today. Today is yesterday's tomorrow. The question is what did we do with its opportunity? All too often we will waste tomorrow as we wasted yesterday, and as we are wasting today. All that could have been accomplished can easily elude us, despite our intentions, until we inevitably discover that the things that might have been have slipped from our embrace a single, unused day at a time.

Each of us must pause frequently to remind ourselves that the clock is ticking. The same clock that began to tick from the moment we drew our first breath will also someday cease. Time is the great equalizer of all mankind. It has taken away the best and the worst of us without regard for either. Time offers opportunity but demands a sense of urgency.

When the game of life is finally over, there is no second chance to correct our errors. The clock that is ticking away the moments of our lives does not care about winners and losers. It does not care about who succeeds or who fails. It does not care about excuses, fairness or equality. The only essential issue is how we played the game.

Regardless of a person's current age, there is a sense of urgency that should drive them into action now - this very moment. We should be constantly aware of the value of each and every moment of our lives - moments that seem so insignificant that their loss often goes unnoticed.

We still have all the time we need. We still have lots of chances - lots of opportunities - lots of years to show what we can do. For most of us, there will be a tomorrow, a next week, a next month, and a next year. But unless we develop a sense of urgency, those brief windows of time will be sadly wasted, as were the weeks and months and years before them. There isn't an endless supply!

So as you think of your dreams and goals of your future tomorrows, begin today to take those very important first steps to making them all come to life."
So I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a real sense of urgency. I want to finish the year strong. For this upcoming year, I want to make it the best year ever. At the end of 365 days, I want to be able to look back and realize that I have not wasted my days but made a difference in my life and the lives of those around me.