History is written by those committed to the struggle, the fight – ‘La Lucha.’ While most goals do not make it into history books, there is comfort in knowing that nobody finds achievement to be easy. Meaningful goals always involve a struggle. It is in that struggle that we find courage, learn to trust our community, and expand the limits of our own capabilities.

Our April Challenge has entered its second week. For those participating, you may be feeling some of the struggle I am talking about. With nearly half the month past, progress can sometimes be less easy to quantify. My goal for April is to write 5 consecutive blog posts before April 30, 2017 that give practical guidance on how to set, maintain and achieve goals. While this post completes the third in my series of five, it has been harder for me to author this series than any other individual post on the Me.Now. blog. Organizing, researching and crafting my posts – knowing that they must all work together while also offering incremental encouragement – has taken me firmly out of my comfort zone. But despite the challenge, I remain confident that the goal was properly set (P-I-R-A-T-E) and that victory only comes after the fight!

Every goal has a midway point; the peak where the struggle is greatest and fear and doubt try to press in. As you approach your peak, know that you are not alone. I am trudging through my struggle now; hoping that this post resonates with readers, questioning if this series is making a difference, and fearful that I will fail to encourage those who trusted me with their own April goals. I am choosing to embrace the struggle; to recognize that I will learn from it only if I let it teach me. The fear and doubt that I feel are distractions. They bring no benefit and instead try to rob me of the fulfillment that the struggle promises.

Take heart during your struggle. You can achieve what you have set out to do! There are others struggling to climb the peak with you, even if you do not yet know their names. ‘La Lucha’ is hard. It is a road paved in doubt and fear. But roads are built to be traveled, not to be destinations. The place where the road ends is the goal.

Good luck, and keep fighting!


The most intense, focused resolve that I ever witnessed came in the form of a K9 police dog takedown. As part of a military training exercise in 2003, I watched a military police trained German Shepherd sight, close, and attack a mock-suspect. What impressed me the most during the demo was not the control and precision of the K9 handler, but rather the unwavering commitment from the animal to complete its assigned task. The dog moved like a targeted missile, closing the distance quickly without a moment’s hesitation after being given the command. It struck the mock-suspect hard, dedicating every bit of strength, focus, and ferocity to neutralizing the perceived threat.

For those watching with me, we knew how the exercise would end. The whole scenario was rigged, after all. The suspect was wearing a padded suit, knew where the animal would strike, and had multiple safety spotters – to include the K9 handling officer. It was an exercise with a limited time-frame where nobody was going to get hurt. After a few seconds, the K9 officer would give the stop command and the audience would smile and praise the impressive display. We all knew that… except the dog. For the dog, there was no ‘routine exercise’. The dog had one objective only: takedown the target by any means necessary. For the animal, the padded suits, staged theatrics, and amused spectators were inconsequential to the decision to attack.

With 2017 upon us and the question of what (if any?) resolutions to set, I find myself taking a lesson from that brave police dog. Too often we treat the changes we want to make as if they are only exercises or experiments; demonstrations for a closed audience and a limited time. We become distracted by fear, fun, or frustration and lose some of our original commitment to the objective. This year, I challenge all people to consider their goals through the lens of that K9, where success is the only option. We all want to overcome some aspect of our life that keeps us from where we want to be. This year, I propose we attack that goal with ferocity and resolve that is blind to distraction.

Before we all bolt off with teeth bared and hair raised, keep in mind that no K9 operates alone. Every dog has a K9 handler and only together are the pair an effective team. They train, sleep, eat, live and serve together. They are family, friends and partners. The community they have with one another is what allows them to stare fear in the face and stand resolute. As you consider the fight ahead to reach your ambitions, know that our community is ready to stand with you. Resolve is always greater together.