The Human Spirit As A Resource

Think for a moment about something you want very much. Maybe it’s having a child with the person you love. Maybe it’s a log cabin nestled in some woods next to a clear blue lake with a view of orange and mauve sunsets nightly. Perhaps it’s the approval and love of a parent that’s never given you credit and respect, and always viewed you as a disappointment. If you have to pause for a few moments to think of what it is you want desperately, take a moment to do so before reading further.

Great. Got it now? Okay, and I suspect if you want it bad enough, it came to your mind rather quickly anyhow. Now, imagine if it were possible, that someone could look into your future and then told you flat-out that whatever it is you want very much right now will sadly never come to be. Would you shrug your shoulders and say, “Really? Okay, well I guess I’ll try for something else then.” Or do you suppose you might say, “Really? I may not get it in the end but I’m going to keep trying anyhow and see what happens.”

The second response is what I absolutely love about the human spirit. Our capacity – YOUR capacity – to want something so passionately that we will often strive against tremendous odds to obtain something of value when others would encourage us to give up on what it is we seek and strive for something they believe is more attainable.

And it is this journey we undertake that shapes us and defines us both to others and more importantly to ourselves. You see along any journey, there are problems to be overcome, challenges that test our resolve and force us to use our skills to bypass or work through. Sometimes those challenges are ones we can handle alone, and others would be best resolved when we draw upon the aid of those in our lives at the time.

Let’s move out of the theoretical and into the real world so this becomes clearer. As my piece began, I asked you to think consciously about something you wanted very much. Remember? I know you do. Okay so without feeling badly about how unsuccessful you’ve been so far, or beating yourself up for maybe having done very little to make it a reality, I want you now to close your eyes in a moment and just quietly visualize yourself having reached that goal and be in possession of whatever it is that you want. Think about what joy you feel, the pride of accomplishment, and the impact of having whatever it is on your future life. Close your eyes and visualize that for a moment or two now.

How did obtaining that goal feel? Pretty good I imagine. That quick little exercise if done once a day and at moments when you feel most vulnerable and tempted to give up has the power to kick-start your persistence, and if it’s important enough to you in the first place, encourage you to go on knowing that what you want is greater than the frustration of setbacks you are experiencing at the time.

In fact every setback, roadblock, challenge and problem to overcome becomes a building block that you’ll need later on when the challenges become bigger and appear too complex to handle. You see if you could fast-forward your life to facing the biggest hurdle you’re ever going to have to tackle right now, you may overwhelmed and ill-equipped to deal with the scope of the challenge. You’re not ready yet, your skills not well enough developed. That is the purpose of working through the smaller, more manageable problems you’re undergoing right now today. If you can’t solve the things you have to deal with now, the problems further along your journey will never even come up because earlier challenges stopped you cold.

But the human spirit often finds ways for everyday people like you and me to overcome things at one time we may have not believed we were capable of overcoming. So if you want the approval of a parent whose never given you credit, and a successful career of financial independence is what it will take to do that, you have the ability to make it happen and you’ve got to believe that. Asking for help and direction, support and ideas from Counsellors and Employment Advisors is how you learn the skills necessary to remove the barriers in your journey. Learning skills from others is what the wisest of us do, and do it frequently.

Now, that vision of what you want so desperately; imagine and sketch out on paper what hurdles had to be overcome shortly before you reached your goal. Then repeat this process based on what you can imagine, making educated guesses about what has to be obtained or overcome WORKING BACKWARDS. Perhaps it means a degree or diploma, before that going to school, registering before going to school, researching colleges, night schools or universities before registering. Okay so start now by researching them and move forward. This process gives you starting places so you can move forward with clear direction and chart your progress on the journey.

How strong or how badly you sincerely want your end goal; how much it really means to you, will determine your ability to tackle the challenges when things get tough. I suspect your human spirit will carry you through.


By Kelly Mitchell, BA

*First published at: and reposted with permission from the author.

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