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I learned a great life lesson once from some scraggly college kid whose name I don’t even know. I was 8 or 9 years old and was taking swimming lessons from the Red Cross. The day came for our swim test to pass from Advanced Beginners to Intermediate, and we each took our turn trying to do the different exercises on our way across the pool and back. Each person before me had tried and failed. One girl had made it to the other side and started back, but that was as far as she got. My turn came, and I started out, waiting to reach that moment when I too would admit failure. At one point, I felt the familiar burning sensation of water filling my nose, and I stopped and grabbed the side of the pool. This young man towered over me as I looked up from the water and screamed, “Why did you stop?” I gave him the obvious answer, “I got water in my nose.” And he then uttered the one word that I will never forget: “So?” That’s when I realized that I didn’t have to stop, I had merely chosen to stop. I learned that many times finishing something is merely about “stick-to-itness.” As you can probably guess, on my next try I was the first one in the group to pass the test. And, not surprisingly, several others in the class passed after that.

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