When I was growing up, Mom kept a number of things on the refrigerator that were held up by magnets. A calendar, my and my brothers’ game schedules, and a list of phone numbers were usually there. One item that I recall that never came down was a short poem. I do not recall the name of the poem or the author, but I do remember the jist of it. I had never heard the phrase before, so the memory stuck with me:

“Keep your nose to the Grindstone.”

What I also remember is that it actually was put up there by our DAD. This blew me away, as everyone knew that the side of all refrigerators in the 1960’s was the sole territory of Moms everywhere.

Fast forward to about 8 weeks ago. I was heavier than I wanted to be, and had my annual physical coming up. I did some math after setting a weight goal, and set off on a 7-week journey to lose a total of 14.6 pounds. (I know this may not be a big deal to the younger folks reading this, but as an almost-60-year-old, that was a pretty big goal.)

The first week came and went, and I HIT my weekly goal. I actually beat it by 40 percent, so I was feeling really good about my progress.

Evidently I was feeling a bit too good, as I went the other direction in Week 2. I missed my weekly goal.

And Week 3’s goal.

And Week 4’s goal.

And Week 5’s goal.

And Week 6’s goal.

But…I hit Week 7’s goal, which also was the ultimate goal. I had lost a total of 15 pounds over those 7 weeks. No “fat pills” or fad diets – just more exercise and better food choices. Why am I telling you this?

When I missed my Week 2 goal – by a lot – I was tempted to give up. I continued to be frustrated, and a bit depressed during those weeks when I failed to reach my weekly goal. Why did I continue to exercise and avoid eating some tasty things for those weeks?

Because I had decided to “keep my nose to the grindstone.”

You see, any worthwhile Dream or Goal is going to come with some difficult moments. There will be setbacks, temporary defeats and probably some self-denial. You may have heard it said like I did decades ago that, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal or dream.”


In other words, Success in anything does not (or at least, should not) come automatically. There is a process, a progression of events that will lead you to Success, IF…

…you keep your nose to the Grindstone.

You can do it. I believe in you.