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Be All You Can Be: Unlimited Possibilities

Updated on October 9, 2012

A GLIMPSE AT HISTORY

I have always been fascinated by those pioneers who crossed the country on the Oregon Trail. Although romanticized over the years, the journey itself was a grueling, six-month test of endurance and determination, and quite often the journey ended, not in Oregon, but by the side of the Trail with a wooden cross marking the passing of one more lost dream.

Consider, if you will, a Kentucky farm family in the 1850’s. The life they had always known could be defined by back-breaking work, sun up to sun down, and a constant struggle to eke out a subsistence living. Word of riches and new opportunities reaches their farm, and for months they think of nothing other than a far-off land called Oregon. Yes, they have heard that it is a dangerous trip. They have heard of wild Indians, and the Great Plains, and of mountains so high and so challenging, but still….still….their thoughts always return to the unlimited possibilities.

And so they sell everything and cram their necessities into a covered wagon, say goodbye to extended family members, and lead their oxen west towards the great, and frightening, unknown.

As is so often the case, speaking of the unknown, and facing the unknown, are two different things, and so it was on the Oregon Trail. Day after day they trudge forward, ten, twelve miles per day, the sun unrelenting, their legs so tired they can’t imagine facing another day, but still they push on. By the time they reach Nebraska even speaking is too exhausting, but what, really would they speak about if they had the strength? The prairie stretches forever, there are no trees, there is only desolation, but still they push on, because to delay is to tempt fate. They are always aware that winter comes early to the Rockies, so they must push harder still.

Along the way people die; that’s just the reality of this trip. Disease, accidents, gunshots, all take their toll on their traveling companions. The wind is constant, dust blows through their food and into their dirt-caked faces, and still they push forward. By the time they reach the Rocky Mountains they are too tired to fear; all they know to do is put one foot in front of the other and face west. Say a few words at the grave of a friend, scavenge for game because the flour is running low, and pray the Indians allow them safe passage.

Finally, with the Willamette River in sight, they drop to their knees and say a prayer of thanks, and then set out to begin a new life and face new challenges.

The pioneers looked west at possibilities
The pioneers looked west at possibilities | Source

OUR CALLING

As a species we have risen to the top of the food chain. We have used our superior intellect and determination to claw out a spot in history, to lay claim of domination in the evolutionary process. We were given gifts that no other species was rewarded, and our history is littered with stories of incredible accomplishments.

For mankind, even the sky was not a limit, for we mastered the art of flight, and then turned our attention to the stars and beyond. We pushed aside obstacle after obstacle, refusing to believe in limitations, the chosen ones destined for immortality.

Tell us we can’t do something and we will set about proving you wrong. Tell us it is impossible and we will make you eat those words. Tell us that it is dangerous and we will do as our ancestors did, face down our own personal elephant and spit in its eyes.

We are mankind and we control our own destiny!

Sit With Me Awhile

SO HERE WE ARE TODAY

I was raised to believe in unlimited possibilities! I was raised to believe in my potential, and to believe that dreams are just visions of future accomplishments. In fact, I was raised to believe that the only limitations are those I place on myself.

Do I still believe that today? Most definitely! I can look back over the last sixty-three years and see without a doubt that the only times that I have fallen short of dreams were because of my own actions, or inactions.

At a time when many people consider retirement, I am still dreaming big, livin’ large and lovin’ life, and wondering where my next adventure will take me.

Why is that not true for everyone?

Please, do not tell me I live in some fantasy world where reality is distorted by utopian visions. I have been homeless. I have been tortured and beaten down by my own frailties. Despite the struggle and self-imposed chains, I believe in unlimited possibilities.

I understand the pioneers who went west despite horrendous odds. I understand the Pilgrims who sailed from Europe not knowing if they would live or die. I suspect that we all understand that spirit, that quest, and that thirst for the unknown. It is in us all, and it is straining at the chains, attempting to break free.

YES, IT IS IN US ALL

One certain truth that cannot be denied is that life is not getting any shorter. The average life span in the United States is around 78 years; some countries, like Japan, can expect an additional four years. With those figures in mind, I have now lived 82% of my expected life span. Now there is a sobering fact! How about you? 30%? 50%? How much more time do you have left?

I’m sure my father thought he had many more years left. He was about to celebrate his 50th birthday when he dropped dead of a heart attack. His unlimited possibilities came to an end that day, and yet I have him to thank for my belief that we are all capable of wondrous things.

So what is holding so many people back?

I suspect, for many, fear is the greatest obstacle faced. Fear of failure, fear of ridicule, and fear of the unknown. Yes, many of those Oregon pioneers finished the trip to Oregon, but how many stopped, contemplated the dangers that lurked ahead of them, and turned around and headed back for the comfort and safety of the familiar life they had just left?

I suspect, for many, lack of confidence and low self-esteem are the culprits that impose an invisible prison and restrict any bold movements forward. I am sure there were thousands east of the Mississippi who wanted to make that journey out west, but who refused to believe that they were capable of doing so.

I suspect, for many, lack of support from friends and loved ones, leave them unable or unwilling to take a chance and reach for the unreachable.

All valid reasons for not believing in unlimited potential! Fear is real! Low self-esteem is real! Solitude and loneliness are real

Still……….

WHAT MORE COULD PLEASE THE SOUL…..?

“I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy.
Og Mandino

Think of those incredible words by one of my favorite authors. My purpose is to grow into a mountain! How many of us can say those words and commit our actions to achieving a state of mountainhood?

Yes, life gets in the way! We get so busy with the business of life, so comfortable with the business of life, that we fail to reach outside of the comfort zone. I make no judgment regarding that; I simply state fact.

I want you all to, at the very least, consider what possibilities lie in front of you, waiting for you to reach for them; then I want you to reflect upon what it is that keeps you from striving for higher ground. If you can honestly say that you have reached your potential then it is truly time to celebrate. If, however, there are still goals that have not been met; if there are still challenges that are left to be challenged; if there are still chains that need to be broken, then your time is short and perhaps you might want to take the first steps.

I had a baseball coach who once told us that, at the end of the game, it was important that we had left everything we had out on that field. Every ounce of effort, every skill that we possessed, all must be expended during the game so that we didn’t look back with regret. That is how I feel about life!

We have been given the gifts necessary to attain greatness. An entire universe of possibilities awaits us.

Are we going to conquer our own Oregon Trail, or will we stall out, turn around, and head back to the safety of our comfort zone?

Man was not created to be average! Man was created to achieve greatness! Are you ready? Are you willing? If so, then take your first steps today, for there are no guarantees that there will be a tomorrow!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Natashalh profile image

      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Interesting. I literally just listened to a podcast about finding one's purpose and passion. It must be that kind of day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There must be something in the air, Natasha! Thanks for the interesting vote and have a great day!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 4 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Beautiful, Billy!! I am a dreamer and an achiever..... I don't let go of things thinking that it's not possible! And your hub is an inspiration, and what a journey!! I enjoyed the read, and felt I was riding the trails with the pioneers! Very uplifting hub, Billy, thanks!

      Voting up and awesome.....

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Wow, it is like you read my mind this morning. I was just writing a blog entry about what I have learned from writing and if I was up for challenge for learning more and being the best writer I can be. That said I know I can and am more than willing to do just that. But you truly were like the personal cheerleader I needed today. Thank you for that!! Have of course voted and shared all over!!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, this is an amazing one billybuc. So much passion, and even a history lesson. The percentage question about how much time we have left really gets one thinking. I enjoyed this tremendously and voted it up, useful, awesome and interesting. Wonderful writing.

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

      Its an useful hub for sure. I have wrote one on the same issue of infinite potentiality to go up in life. Thanks for sharing this one. All votes up and away.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LaThing, thank you! As you can tell, I have always been fascinated by the Oregon Trail, and I believe strongly that we have unlimited potential. I appreciate you dropping by and leaving such a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, you will be a great writer for sure, and I know this because you have talent, willingness, and passion...the Big Three! Thank you my friend and have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Karen, the percentage certainly woke me up....I'm running out of time. :) Thank you my friend; great appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dghbrh, if you wrote about this subject then you are a very reflective human being. Well done and thank you!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I have always been one to forge forward...not knowing the outcome and trying many things. Aswe know most things don't work out in the sense of total success. I have had enough good things happen to always try again. Giving up means it is over. And I love having new projects, ideas and dreams. Well written as always. Always appreciate you sharing real thoughts, feelings and ideas. Still bent over at the beach.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      As I grow older in the Autumn of my life, I realize I have not achieved all that I wanted to do. I do still strive to achieve new and challenging things. This is a wonderful Hub of encouragement.

      I voted it UP, etc. and will share.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, I remember my grandmother telling me stories of her family coming to Arkansas in a covered wagon and the trials of getting there. Today we have often forgotten the commitment and hard work it takes to achieve what we dream of...we want things quickly and easily, don't we?

      I'm learning to play the guitar from my son, and I have been tempted to give up several times, just because "it's too hard". Boo hoo. I had to remind myself that anything I really want to achieve takes hard work and dedication!

      Thanks for this beautiful reminder. I just bought your ebook and look forward to reading it. I also just published mine on Amazon "To Love and to Cherish...facing sexual abuse in marriage" by D. Anne Pierce. Hope it is helpful to other women in that situation.

      Thank you Bill for a lovely Hub that once again reminds us of what's real.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      What an encouraging hub Bill. There are so many reasons that people do not set their sights on the possibilities but one person, saying something encouraging, can make all the difference. We never know when our words will be the catalyst but we should see encouragement of others as a responsibility. This was beautifully written!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, a beautiful comment...thank you for that, and thank you for taking the time at the beach to write a comment so lovely. You are greatly appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I'm in autumn right alongside of you, and like you, I still do strive to achieve. It is the essence of the human spirit and I love it!

      Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, that's why we write, is it not? To say that one thing that will affect others, and make a difference. That's what drives me each day....to make a difference! Probably goes a long way in explaining why I like you so much. :)

      Thank you my dear; have a great day!

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      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, this was awesome my friend. We share yet another common interest, The Oregon trail. I have done a great deal of reading on this subject and it is all interesting and fascinating.

      I suspect those who took this hard and dangerous journey were a mixture of desperate people, dreamers, and just plain adventurers.

      Those who toiled day after day to eke out a mere existence had visions of an easier and better life. The dreamers had heard of all the possibilities for a very good life at the end of the trail, making the trip worth it. The adventurer's had heard of the dangers along the way, and the rough and lawless towns at the end of the trail. Of course there were others who were mixed in with these groups, but most fit one of these categories.

      They were all risking everything they had including their lives to make this journey. The hardships they encountered along the way were almost beyond our imagination. Many were able to use this determination and pure guts to create vast empires when the settled in their new locations. Others found life at the new destination just as miserable and hopeless as the place they had left.

      They all made the trip for different reasons. It turned out that even in the new location those with no drive or ambition were no more successful or happier than they were before they made the journey.

      Great job on this hub Bill, we could talk for hours on this subject over a nice campfire and a steaming hot cup of coffee.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is an awesome and inspirational article Bill. Truly the only limits we have are the ones we place on ourselves!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      We should all know take time to truly think about what our purpose in life is and do what ever we can to reach it.I have run into crossroads so many times, gotten confused, gotten myself out of confusion and become confused again! Confusing! But what is not is, we need to stay true to ourselves and realize that we can be the best. Thanks for sharing, Bill!! I share and tweet.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Nice and uplifting hub my friend, we all have tremendous possibilities and unique potentials that fit right into thie gearing of life. We cannot compare ourselves with any, otherwiae we get burn. Thanks for the history and your magnificent feedback to all of us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mark; going back to my writing roots with this one....a little inspiration on this Tuesday morning!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for the share, Michelle, and for saying so eloquently what I tried to say in this hub. We have so much potential; I just hate seeing people limit themselves.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, I love HP, as you do, and I believe in uplifting and supporting, as you do. Maybe that's why we are virtual friends. :) Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, we could indeed. I spent a summer driving the trail and stopping at every site I could find....standing in the ruts, looking at the names carved on rocks....it has always fascinated me, the sheer guts and determination it took to make that trip.

      I love your comment and reflections my friend. Maybe someday we will share that campfire and coffee and have ourselves quite a conversation.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, bravo to you for publishing your ebook and for taking up the guitar. I think that is wonderful. And thank you so much for buying my ebook. I doubt I'll ever get rich but it is so cool to publish a book of your own....it is quite an accomplishment in my mind, and I am very happy for you.

      Thank you!

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. How do you do it? How do you write such inspirational work day after day? Another hub of depth and inspiration.

      Voted up and all.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, I don't know...it's just overflowing in me and needs to be typed out. I love life and I want everyone to love it too. :) Thank you my friend!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - A fantastic start for this hub, reminding us of the daily, hourly and even minutes of life's struggle for the brave early pioneers.

      As you know I have had some extra time on my hands on late and my biggest enemy is me. To fill some of those minutes I started volunteering with veterans for a weekly bowling excursion. It has provided me the reflection this wonderful hub has.

      I have had a mirror held in front of me when I watch the veterans overcome obstacles that would make mine seem like a childhood tea party.

      You did a wonderful job with this.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 4 years ago

      Bill, you can bet if I ever get around your area we will indeed have that fireside chat. Likewise, if you find yourself in Arizona we have firewood down here too. Occasionally, some great steaks even find themselves on a grate over a nice bed of Mesquite coals.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, it's a plan! Thank you Sir!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is a very uplifting hub and living each day to the fullest is surely the best and most fulfilling way to live life. It seems when I have had one door closed, another new possibility opens. I never thought I would be doing so much writing or trace my family back to the Mayflower when I was young. I don't know if I would have gotten on that wagon train, but I do relish new experiences, particularly since I started having health problems. I still have a bucket list! Awesome hub.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I have done a lot of work with the homeless and at drug centers, and it has always been a great reminder for me that things could always be worse.

      Thank you for volunteering to work with the veterans....no, bless you and thank you! It is a good thing you are doing, and I'm honored to call you a friend.

      hugs always,

      bill

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, I will be reading your book tonight! I agree that it is exciting to publish your own book and have something that is "yours" out there for others to read. Do you have other books published?

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      We will go where our minds take us, and achieve what we want to do. It is all different for each of us.

    • samnashy profile image

      Sam Graham 4 years ago from Australia

      Excellent. I think you are well and truly growing into that mountain.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Bill - One only wishes that the challenges of the Oregon Trail were what faced us in this day and age. There are those that are living in the wilderness today, having as little to do with civilization as possible. Yet, even the taxes they must pay on their properties are a great burden. Just no way to truly escape, as there once was. Yet, we cannot give up our efforts to be something we wish to be. The Power Of Positive Thinking publication from years ago, and all that have followed it demonstrate abilities and talents we all have within. Another great hub, my friend!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Billy, another great inspirational piece. yes, man can move mountains usually, when there is nothing left to lose. Sometime, just to see if he can.

      But I do agree, the people on the Oregon trail were amazing, they must have had so much faith in a place they did not know, they knew there would be many dangers but still, they put the human spirit to the ultimate test and took the gamble, life or death. I believe the pioneer spirit is still alive and well. There will always be people who are only happy when they are pushing the envelope.

      Retirement does not have to be a time to sit back and wait for the inevitable, it can also be a new beginning, a time to really live the life you want to live, do the things you want to do.

      As always Bill, you are thought provoking and passionate.

      ,

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, never lose that bucket list. We all need to dream and reach for the stars. Thank you for your kind words, and for being the person that you are.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, I actually self-published a novel a year ago; I wanted one book that I could actually hold. It was a great experience and I'm glad I did it. Other than that, I think there are five other ebooks floating around. Thank you for reading my book; that means a great deal to me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, it is indeed, and my mind has taken me on wondrous journeys. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Samnashy, thank you so much! I hope my voice is being heard, and I wish you all the best as you progress as a writer.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rich, I agree completely, and I believe with all my heart that we can become what we believe in....but man oh man, it's getting tougher each day to pull it off. :) Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, I love your description of retirement, and I agree completely. As for your statement that we can move mountains when there is nothing left to lose, boy, did you hit that on the head. Desperation will bring about some great achievements. Too bad that we have to wait for things to get so bad sometimes. :)

      Thank you Jo!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      So true! But I wonder, how many of us feel as insignificant as a grain of sand? Thank you for another great and worthy hub!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, I would venture to guess a majority of people feel that way, and I don't mean to be cynical when I say that.....and I don't know how I feel about that quite frankly.

      Thank you my friend; enjoy your evening in Mesa!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      I just love your inspirational hubs ^_^ It's so easy to just cruise through life. Wake up, work, go to sleep... continue the same thing the next day. The real challenge is making life memorable, living to your full potential (I'm not talking money-wise) and keeping yourself and those around you happy. I think people have room to improve until the day they die and they should never stop trying.

      Voting this a bunch and sharing ^_^

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      Jordanwalker39 4 years ago from GA

      Awesome as always! voted up so hopefully everyone will read it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Jordan! Much-appreciated!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha,. have you written lately? I'll have to go check up on you. Anyway, thank you my dear, and I agree with you completely....the day we stop trying to improve is the day we ......well, we should always reach for the next rung on the ladder.

    • go-barbara-go profile image

      go-barbara-go 4 years ago

      Billy,

      Thank you. This is very inspiring. Up to now, I am still wondering what path should I be heading to...I am now at more or less 45% of my whole lifetime, but still uncertain about things. I think one can only be certain when everything comes to an end. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      barbara, I think it changes over time....I was certain that I wanted to be a teacher, and I was, but then it changed to writer....and now that's what I'm doing. Who knows what tomorrow will bring; I'm game for anything.

      Thank you!

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      crystaleyes 4 years ago from Earth

      Very Inspiring and Positive Hub.. We all have monotonous lives, work, children, household chores, business, family, but as long as we live, we should never stop thinking positive .. I believe in giving my 100% to everything that I do, and also facing challenges.. We are superior beings and should believe in achieving.. thanks for the offer of help Billy.. voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love your attitude, Crystal, and you are very welcome. Thank you for an inspiring comment.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an inspiring hub, Bill, with a dramatic beginning in the description of the travelers on the Oregon Trail and a very encouraging and positive message for your readers.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill...no need to ask you this...because I know you've done this....but, Have you ever had such a busy, difficult, involved and seemingly unending day....from 5 am to approx. midnight?

      I can confidently tell you I am ALL that I can be.....exhausted, delirious and achy. My head hurts, my eyes are burning.....my neck is killing me and my back is screaming.....

      I just read your hub...and I'm positive it's fantastic.... they always are.....I just don't remember what I read......it all looked like a big blurr.......Oh yeah, I am all that I can be. ..and then some....hope to be back tomorrow when I'm human...........ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Alicia! If it is so, then I was successful. I appreciate it very much!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula,kudos to you my friend for even attempting to read this hub, and thank you! Now get yourself to bed and we'll start fresh tomorrow. I really appreciate you putting in the effort. :)

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Well, I'll think twice before complaining about a lack of rest stops on my next road trip.

      Sometimes it's not only a lack of confidence that holds us back, but also a lack of direction. Where do I go from here? What should I do? That's how I feel, anyway.

      Thank you for another thought-provoking hub, my friend.

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 4 years ago

      No Bill, I haven't been writing lately. I'm on a mini-hub vacation... only coming for an hour maybe two to keep up with comments, returning comments and making sure to keep supporting some of my best hub-friends -- no time for actually writing ^_^ I'm hoping to get my writing time back soon.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. I am satisfied, I only ask those I have touched to do half as much though more would be better.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub as usual, life is all about taking chances and achieving the best. Going out of our comfort zone and finding out what our real purpose is, here on earth. Wise words, wise thoughts, important things in live - all so well expressed. Voted up and shared.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Maybe many of us here at Hp understand this path more than anyone else? With those like you to encourage us on maybe we have chosen not to sit and wait on death but cut a path that although sometimes rocky, gives us hope to become the best we can be!

      Up and shared.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 4 years ago

      Hi Bill

      "We have been given the gifts necessary to attain greatness. An entire universe of possibilities awaits us."

      You have been given the gift of writing to inspire other through your words.

      I had a conversation with my Aunt recently. She told me that I had a talent. I thanked her and said I think it is a gift from God. She said, "Yes, but the gift is yours."

      Passing on your inspirational message

      Have a wonderful day. :)

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Sueswan, thank you so much for sharing that conversation you had with your Aunt. It is true that God gives us the talent but it is up to US to use it, develop it, and share it! Reminds me of the parable of the master who gave talents to his servants, some used it and multiplied it, and one fearful fellow hid it for safekeeping. Our talents were made to use and share, and to bless others!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Reading your article reminded me of the struggles of our ancestors. Very inspiring article. We can do more..Thank you..

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Radccliff, you crack me up! "Dad, are we there yet?" I wonder how many times the kids said that on the Oregon Trail? Thank you my friend! As for direction, I have found that sometimes it comes when we least expect it.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sasha, I'll be here when you start writing again, and looking forward to it. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, if they would do half, what a difference that would make. Thank you Sir!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you Vellur, and you summed it up perfectly!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I agree that the group on HP might have an advantage; by our very nature we are stepping out of the comfort zone when we put our work out there to read. Thank you so much; best wishes to you as you cut that path.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, you Aunt is very wise....the gift is ours and ours alone, to do with as we please. You, my friend, have not wasted yours. :)

      peace to you today, and always.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, beautifully stated, and thank you for that addition. I agree completely; a wasted talent is such a shame.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ruby! I think of our ancestors often; there is so much more we could be doing. I will start today!

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      the thing about you, Bill is that you're not afraid to live - and you're not afraid to die! You have a freedom borne of experience...trial...tribulation...and from overcoming almost impossible odds!

      You're like a kid in a candy shop - getting a second chance!

      Most will never know your appreciation until it is too late!

      I share in your joy de vive, Bill - and wish you many years to explore, discover and delight..

      Awesome, as per usuale!

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      Justsilvie 4 years ago

      A wonderfully positive message.

      My Husband and I were discussing this subject in bed last night.

      Like you we have had some hard times together and apart and went on and looked forward to the next challenge. We realized we were no longer afraid of death we just did not want it to be tomorrow, too much left to we want to do.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, you have me figured out, don't you? I'm not afraid to die....been there done that....when you get as close to death as I was, the mystery and fear are gone. Now I am like that kid in the candy shop (great simile) and I love every minute of this experience..

      Thank you my wise friend. I wish you happiness and may each day be an adventure.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Justsilvie, I don't fear death, but I'm going to be mad if it happens soon. LOL I have way too much I still want to do, so death is going to have to wait for a little while. :)

      Thank you my friend; I hope you and your husband are able to experience it all in a spirit of wonder.

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. You are so right Bill always hold on to your dreams. But I'll tell you that right now until I get adjusted to the fall again it is so hard to how shall I say it be positive because the darkness come so early and the inky blackness seems to stretch to forever and well that gets me down and off the track. Will motivate myself more I promise and if I need a little push there is your video to listen to again. Passing this on and hugs from my dark corner of the world. 7PM and pitch black outside and soon we change our clocks and then it will be dark by 4PM. As you see I need a lot of motivating.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, I'm starting to feel the blackness as well. It is hard this time of year, and for the next four or five months. I really do understand. During the year I lived in Alaska, when it is dark for so many hours, it was almost suffocating. Good luck with that, and I wish you well.

      your grateful friend

      bill

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      picklesandrufus 4 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Awesome hub, Billybuc. It is inspiring, realistic and hopeful. Fear is a definite issue with anyone forging into the unknown, but some people have that spark of adventure or free spiritedness that pushes them forward, scared or not. Good read!!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Pickles, thank you; it's always nice to have you visit. I'll be by shortly to see what you have been up to.

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      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      What an inspiring hub billy, and such a brilliant message! we all need to tell ourselves this when we want to sit on our butts and say no, can't do it! lol!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell....been there, done that....now I have Bev to kick me in the butt when needed. :) Thank you!

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      Rosemary Sadler 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Bill when I first arrived in Papua new Guinea I cried. The hotel had cockroaches crawling up the walls, and I don't mean just the odd one or two. The footpaths were covered in 'beetle nut' which I thought was blood. Lol The natives looked scary. I could have easily got on the next plane home.

      But we stayed and made the best of things. Living was very basic. 5 times out of 10 the flour you opened would have weavels. At one stage the stores were almost empty because the ship carrying basics such as milk sank on the way and we would have to wait a month for the next ship.

      It was hard but you know they were some of the best years of my life because of the good friends who depended on each other and helped each other out, and this is how it would have been for those first pioneers, the community they created made them strong.

      We achieved some fantastic goals and did so much which made all the hardhips worthwhile.

      We never achieve anything if we just give up at the first hurdle.

      Thank you for this awesome inspirational hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, what great memories you have and I love your outlook on life. The experiences we have, especially the toughest ones, are the ones that shape us and remain ingrained in our memories forever. Thank you for a great comment, and for your kind words.

      Peace and best wishes,

      bill

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      agusfanani 4 years ago from Indonesia

      This hub really boosts my motivation to be in high spirit again. There are some important points I can learn one important thing is age shouldn't hamper our spirit in reaching goals, sky is the limit of our potential meaning that only death limits it.

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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      This is so true, Bill! We all have gifts inside us, some that we don't even know about. And most of the time we're afraid. And then we regret. It's time we started tapping into those unlimited possibilities and grabbing life! Great hub! :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Agusfanani, there are no limits.....soar as you were meant to soar.....and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, I have the feeling that when you tap into all of your abilities, that you are going to soar! Thank you!

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      I'm not so sure I'm destined to be a mountain, maybe a big hill....I don't have time to do all the things I'd like to do or even be all the things I'd like to be, but hubs like this give us hope and encouragement. Your insights always make us stop and think. I really don't know if I would've made it on the Oregon Trail but I would've given it a heck of a try! Have a good one Bill.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Fear is indeed a nasty obstacle that looms large all the time. Why is it so? I love to read your valuable insights and always come away feeling a little better about myself. My Mom always said "where there's a will, there's a way". I took that to heart when I was very young. It has stood me in good stead all these many years. Thanks for reminding me! Voted Way Up!

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Voted up and awesome! I hope I can teach my daughter some of your spirit!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I have always been fascinated by the Oregon Trail, and wondered if I could have made it. I think I could have on stubbornness alone. LOL Thank you and now it's time to go climb another mountain. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I hope you can too. I'm sending you some online and hopefully she will catch it. :)

      Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Grandma, I think we had similar parents. Giving up was not an option for me growing up, and now, looking back, I am very grateful.

      And I am grateful to you as well; thank you!

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I enjoyed the history of the trail and can see how it inspired the settlers to reach for their goals. Great coaching lesson today. The only limitation you have is not trying.

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      Yvonne Spence 4 years ago from UK

      I've never heard of the Oregon trail before, though I did know settlers moved out west, so I found that very interesting. Some of my ancestors relatives spread as far as New Zealand and Canada, yet I'd say the over-riding message I got as a child was, "Don't expect too much so you won't be disappointed."

      It took me a long time to challenge that in my own thinking, and I definitely think you are right that fear is the block that prevents most people achieving their potential. All those fears you list - of failure, ridicule or the unknown - do add up to lack of confidence and low self-esteem. And perhaps it's fear of ridicule that is the worst - or a sense of separation from the world and from life, whereas when we feel connected anything seems possible. (At least that's my experience.)

      It interesting to me that my parents are also now expanding beyond their limits in ways they haven't before, so perhaps my challenging that message from childhood has also had a positive effect on them.

      This is a very important subject, and a thought provoking hub.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, you are oh so right....we are, at times, our own worst enemies! Thank you for stating that, and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, what a great comment, especially the part about separation from the world. We are definitely pack animals, and need approval.....you have given me food for thought today. As for the Oregon Trail....opened for wagon trains in 1843 and over the years about a half million pioneers made the trip from Missouri to Oregon, California, and Washington to settle the west and wrestle control of that area from Great Britain. We kind of snuck in the backdoor. :)

      Thank you Yvonne and have a great weekend.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      We have unlimited potential, the potential to achieve anything we want. We just need the drive, it's the inner fear that holds us back from achieving even the impossible. The achievers have been the ones who not only had the vision but had the gumption to keep going even when faced with heavy odds.

      Greatly motivating stuff, Bill.

      Voted up, useful and shared.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, it would be interesting to meet one of the great leaders who are able to conquer fear and not let it control them. Thank you Sir; you are greatly appreciated.

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      Joshua Nyamache 4 years ago from Kenya

      This hub is encouraging. I have always believed that each one us was created with a purpose.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nyamache, I agree with you; the trick is in finding that purpose, yes? Thank you for visiting me from Kenya!

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      catmalone 4 years ago

      Very awesome hub and inspiring.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      catmalone, thank you so much!

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Time is limited, so I have to give it my best shot, for it may be my last.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rasta, as we speak, time is running out! I am always aware of that fact. :)

      Thank you and Merry Christmas!

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      catmalone 4 years ago

      You're so right, we have to give it our best shot everyday because tommorrow is not promise to us. I believe we are all unique individuals with unlimited possibilities. We put limitations on our selves. They sky is always the limit. It's up to us to make that choice.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I couldn't agree more. It's amazing the limitations we put on ourselves and really, for no reason.

      Thank you!

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      FloBe 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for this hub. I have been feeling rather "invisible" lately and notice I am slipping deeper and deeper into a dark slump. I spent the first 6 months of this year caring for elderly parents. My Dad died in January and my mother followed in July. I didn't realize how automatic my life had become and how much I lost myself in all of it. The trauma is surfacing more now after the excitement of Christmas and I am dreading the next few months. Your hub is a helpful reminder of the difficulties others faced and survived! And, that no matter how overwhelming life can be at times, there are good things ahead as well. I have always been a pioneer in life, so this will not destroy me! Thanks for the encouragement.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flobe, I am very sorry for your loss, and of course it has affected you. We all need time to recover from such a loss.....our bodies and minds know how to recuperate even if we don't. :) When you are ready you will come out of the darkness and rejoin life. Best wishes to you, and I hope you have a Happy New Year in BC....we're neighbors.

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      FloBe 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks so much for your kind words, billybuc. And, yes, nice to meet you neighbor :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      FloBe, my pleasure. Peace to you and Happy New Year.

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      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      I just ran across this article. It is a great inspirational piece. I would like to share it as a link on one of my articles, if i have your permission to do so.. Many hubbers here do not want anything to do with my articles. I guess it is that old fear that you are judged by your friends and associates. Either way, i enjoyed this hub.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      d.william, feel free to link this and thank you. I'm curious why hubbers want nothing to do with you...now I'm curious enough to find out. :)

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      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      thanks for your permission. no great mystery here. I am adamantly anti organized religion, and pro equal rights, and that is a difficult concept for most people of religious indoctrinations to understand.

      We fight against the modern day cults because they brainwash adults and yet we fight to justify the brainwashing of our children into individual socially accepted cults (religions). That makes absolutely no logical sense to me at all.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      In truth d.william, it makes no sense to me either. I have found, when I write my controversial hubs, there there is always a core group that does not want to hear it....nothing I can do about that. I write for the individuals out there. If I can raise awareness or make a change one person at a time then I am happy.

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      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      thanks. i have had to adopt that attitude myself. Life is all one big learning process, and hopefully that which we learn is passed on as a positive imprint on society as a whole. We cannot survive only passing on the negativity, as seems to be the case; and the status quo is certainly not good enough to ensure any peace and stability.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      d.william...besides, I have found the status quo to be somewhat boring after a time. LOL Keep spreading the truth as you know it; people need a good shaking.

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      d.william 3 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      et tu william d

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks d.william

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