A story from the seven-year-old me.
I remember the first time I really, truly set my mind to something.
I was about seven years old when my parents built a new swing set in our backyard. It was pretty simple - there were three swings and a bar to hang from and do flips over.
Every day, I went out to that swing set and played on it. I swung on the swings. I hung from and did flips over the bar. Finally, however, the more daring side of me was dissatisfied. On one particularly brave day, I climbed up onto the bar and decided, I will learn to walk this bar.
So I tried. I put one foot out and started walking across.
Almost immediately, I fell.
But I wasn't about to give up on my mission. I climbed back up onto that bar and told myself that I wouldn't give up until I had successfully walked across it thirty consecutive times without falling.
I stayed out there for what felt like ages to a seven-year-old, forcing myself to walk the distance. The first few times, I kept falling. But suddenly, something clicked. Before I knew it, I'd walked the bar twenty-five of the thirty times.
This is getting easier! Twenty-six. Twenty-seven. Only a several more times before I could call it a day.
But on my twenty-eighth time across the bar, I fell. I fell down, and my entire mission had to be restarted. I wanted to give up. Walking across that bar was tiring work! But I got right back up and restarted my mission.
Twenty-six. Twenty-seven. Twenty-eight. I held my breath. Twenty-nine.
Hopping from the swing set, I ran inside to tell my mom about what I'd just accomplished. She was in the kitchen, making dinner, as I burst through the doors and exclaimed, "I walked across the bar on the swing set thirty times!"
My mom wasn't as impressed as I'd thought she'd be. Neither were my dad, nor my older sisters. But it didn't matter.
I'd walked the bar, and that knowledge was priceless to me, no matter what other people thought.