Life can be tough. It can be tiring and frustrating. In striving for any goal we face a road of trials. At times its too hard. We throw our hands in the air and shout “I give up!” How do you know when to push through? How do you know when to persevere? How does one come to the conviction that they can, or that they can’t? That they are right, or that they are wrong? That they should continue or that they should give up? And how does one find the determination, the motivation, and the energy, to continue on the journey?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. I don’t know where conviction comes from. But I know what it feels like. This little story, and the sense of conviction I felt at the time, is a landmark feeling I know I’ll refer to in the trials I face in my future.

The story behind a photo…

From the lookout at the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. I was exhausted. It was FREEZING cold. My wrists hurt. My back hurt. I tried. It was messy. My back simply didn’t want to bend.

I tried again. And again. And again.

“I give up.” I declared. “My body won’t let me. I just can’t do it.”


But sitting there watching the luminous sunset. The beauty in the trees, the mountains, the sky… changed me. Something inside me changed.

“Get the camera,” I instructed. “I can do this.

I put my hands under my shoulders.

I thought of the journey I have taken – the most unlikely dreams that have already come true.

I thought of the journey ahead – the dreams in my life that I am working towards.

With all my might I took a deep breath, and lifted my body up as high as I could.

I held it and held it. The beauty before my eyes. The wind catching my hair. The freshness of the cold air permeating my being. The stars and my body aligned for one short magic moment.

And this is the shot.