I once observed a wild flower blooming through the crack of an old sidewalk. I couldn’t believe how something could survive, plus look so beautiful, under all the elements it must encounter.

There’s no one to help fertilize and water its soil. No one to protect it from the Texas wind, heat, or being trampled from the busy pedestrians. But, somehow, this flower reached to the skies, with determination, to show all its beauty.

How many stories have we heard about people who found financial success coming from poverty?

Oprah Winfrey was raised by a single mother and lived without running water and electricity. She is now worth $3.1 billion. Oprah kept her focus on school, participated in beauty pageants, and worked at a radio station before getting her big break.

How many famous athletes with severe disabilities overcame the obstacles?

James Abbott, a former baseball pitcher, was born without a right hand. He was named the best amateur baseball athlete in the nation in 1987. Abbott played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Angels, White Sox, Yankees and Brewers from 1989 to 1999.

What separates all these people from the average person? What traits do successful people have in common?

Persistence and determination are at the top of the list. No matter what obstacles you face, you should keep taking small step towards your goals. You can’t achieve or find success without commitment.

Years ago, when my oldest son Dustin was around 10 years old, I took him with me on a business trip to the border of Mexico. I wanted Dustin to observe other children at his age who live in very questionable conditions. The whole purpose was for Dustin to never create excuses for not succeeding.

There are plenty of us who take the basics of life for granted. We’ve become spoiled to having fundamentals of food, housing and a booming economy. But, for some reason, you still have a hand out wanting more.

Why aren’t you putting a hand in? Are you getting up each day to not only better yourself, but also others?

Let today be just like that wild flower. No matter your circumstances, find a way to reach to the skies and bloom with greatness.

Until next week, keep moving and improving.

David Tepera: davidtepera@yahoo.com.

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