Refuse to Give Up

Refuse to Give Up

This is my wife, Ioana. She’s pretty amazing. You’ll soon know one of the many reasons why.

But first: It’s so easy to make excuses why we don’t achieve our goals. We often justify our failures by placing the blame on other people and/or the circumstances. This “victim” mentality will forever hold you back from reaching your potential. However, once you break this mindset, you realize that all things become possible.

Ioana was born in a small village in Romania, and came to America by herself when she was 20 years old. She didn’t know anyone, and English was her second language (obviously).

A year later, we met. Then, another year later, we got married. We were young, dumb, and completely broke. Ah, but life was good!

Last week we passed our 14-year wedding anniversary. So, what has happened between then and now? Well, lots.

For many years Ioana worked jobs that she didn’t like because she thought her dream job of becoming a doctor was “impossible.” After all, she was now 30, and didn’t even have a Bachelor’s degree from an American university. Surely she was “too old” to start over now.

I vividly remember our conversation.

We discussed all the pros and cons, but it came down to this: fast forward 10 years from now… what kind of job would you have if you stayed on your current path, and will it make you happy and fulfilled?

The answer was a resounding “no.”

From there, the choice became obvious: the journey of becoming a doctor starts now.

So, at 30 years old, she became a college freshman.

Imagine enrolling at a school in a foreign country, and competing against students in their native language. Sounds like a recipe for failure, right?

But, for Ioana, failure wasn’t an option. There was too much at stake.

She worked her ass off and studied all night, every night. Soon, she wasn’t merely competing with the other students, but surpassing them.

Four years later, she graduated from the University of Washington. This, alone, was a monumental achievement – especially considering all of the obstacles that she has overcome since childhood.

Now comes the hard part: getting accepted into a Doctorate program.

She had really good grades, got a competitive score on the entrance exam, had great references, and did well during the in-person interview. Although only 11 people (of 300+) would be accepted into the Doctorate program, she was feeling pretty confident.

Then it happened: she didn’t get accepted.

Ioana was crushed.

Maybe she didn’t have what it takes? She could have easily given up at that moment.

But you only truly fail when you accept defeat… and this fight was far from over.

Ioana picked herself up, accepted full responsibility for her failure, and took deliberate action to get better: she changed jobs and got better work experience, she studied harder and scored higher on the entrance exam, she practiced more for the in-person interview, and got more involved in other activities.

She then applied for a second time, and the results are in…

Today she was accepted to a Doctorate program at Seattle University.

Her relentless determination to achieve such a difficult goal was amazing to witness. She refused to accept defeat, worked even harder, and earned her place in graduate school.

And that is one of the many reasons why my wife is amazing.

 



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