By Dave Isbell

Dear Spartans,

I know that some of you are walking uphill into the wind and rain as you hold your coat shut because the zipper broke just as the wind began blowing. It is cold and you are struggling to breathe. You are so drenched that you can’t tell if it is your sweat or the rain and you are just beyond exhausted as you realize you are only halfway up the hill.


I understand that right now, it is all you can do to keep your head down and lean into it as you push yourself forward. In fact it might not seem like your journey was even worth taking the first step and you are questioning your own sanity for wanting to take it.

Remember Why You Are Doing This.

If what you are doing is virtuous, will benefit others as much as yourself, and your heart is in the right place, then it is worth the sacrifice you are currently making.  I want to challenge you to keep on pushing with all that you have.

Rest For A Minute, But Don’t Turn Back.

I want you to remember how easy it was when you started out, the wind at your back, the ground flat, and the sun shining. You were so sure that this journey was the one you were supposed to take. You were so strong, and so confident, that you could have fought the entire occupancy of Hell with your bare fists and not felt one single ounce of pain. Remember that as you take your next step. If you have to, sit down, close your eyes, catch your breath, and remember the reason why this journey is important. When you catch a glimpse of why you took your first step, and you catch your breath again, get back to pushing on.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.

There is a proverb that says, “Dual minded people are unstable in all of their ways.” Those last few steps at the top of a mountain (that started out as a hill) are going to be the hardest. It is the reason why there is a crowd at the bottom of the hill and only a few people at the top of one. Cling to the reason that you started your journey, as if all of life depended on it, even though your legs are like rubber, your body is soaked through the bone, and your lungs have collapsed. Lean into it with all you have, and if your legs give up then pull yourself the rest of the way on your elbows, but don’t you dare give up now!

You Are Not Alone.

Just take one step at a time. If you need to, reach out for help, there is no shame in that. After all, how many Spartans have you seen go to war without an army of shields surrounding them?

You Can Do This. Just Don’t Quit!


Dave Isbell is the Alumni Career Service Coordinator at Michigan State University. He has been a Career Coach since 1999. He is also pursuing a Master’s in Social Work/Family Studies at MSU.  When he is not working or studying, he is enjoying domestic bliss with his wife and kids, or playing rock music on his bass guitar. You can find him on Twitter (@helpingspartans) and sometimes he writes about compassion, collaboration, and career for this blog, which he owns and begs other Spartans to write for.



  1. spartanshelpingspartans 28 November, 2011 at 17:04

    Misty, It’s been written a thousand different ways, but my favorite is in this simple litte ditty by Tom Petty:”the waiting is the hardest part.” Hang in there, it is all going to work out for you!

  2. Misty Jackosn 27 November, 2011 at 21:50

    Thanks, Dave. I’m still waiting to hear about the position for which I interviewed in mid-September. The waiting is as demoralizing as anything I’ve experienced. So thanks for your words.

  3. Steve Bliss 19 November, 2011 at 17:29

    Amen Nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished without a struggle We eat an elephant one bite at a time
    Thanks for your insight Be A Star

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