The path from the valley to the mountain is paved with integrity, dreams, and determination.

integrityNo matter what happens in your life or career, you can never lose everything.  You always have your integrity, dreams, and determination.  With those virtues you will never be far from returning to success.


A person of integrity strives to do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of the circumstances.

Ray Lewis recently retired from a stellar NFL football career with the Baltimore Ravens.  He was a three-time Defensive Player of the year, made thirteen appearances at the Pro-Bowl, led his team to the Super Bowl twice and was voted Super Bowl MVP among many other accomplishments.

Lewis had his share of tough circumstances in life to deal with as well. He was raised by a single mother who worked three jobs to support the family.  His father was absent while he grew up only reconciling in recent years.  When he reconnected with his father, Lewis learned that his father’s father had also left his family and so had four generations of fathers before him.  Ray Lewis not only has been a devoted father to his children, but he founded several charities dedicated to providing personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth.

Ray Lewis is quoted as saying, “Don’t walk through life just playing football. Don’t walk through life just being an athlete. Athletics will fade. Character and integrity and really making an impact on someone’s life, that’s the ultimate vision, that’s the ultimate goal – bottom line.”


A person’s dreams are the vision of what they can become.

Lyman Frank Baum is best known for his hugely successful book and the subsequent movie The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Many remember the line penned by Baum from the famous song sung by Judy Garland, “Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true”

Raised in a wealthy family, Baum was known as a day-dreamer.  After failing as the owner of a theatre due to a fire, he moved to South Dakota where he opened a general store that ended in bankruptcy.  Baum then started a newspaper which also went out of business.

It was not until he moved to the Chicago area and published his first children’s book that he found the success that he had dreamed of.  In 1900 Baum published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which became the 1939 movie classic.


A person of determination will always pull themselves up again and succeed.

Gail Devers is a three time Olympic Gold Medalist runner.  She also won fifteen other gold and silver medals in world running championships.  Early in her career, two years before her first Olympic Gold Medal, Devers was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. The treatment caused her feet to swell and form blisters to the point where she could no longer walk and had to be carried or crawl.  Her doctor considered amputating her feet.  She was determined to run again and after the treatment ended she returned to training.

Gail Devers said, “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”

4 Responses to The path from the valley to the mountain is paved with integrity, dreams, and determination.
  1. Sumita

    I always believe , go ahead , keep going. This makes me at peace with myself. Really.

  2. williamjameslew

    I always believe, go ahead, keep going. Make mistakes and this keeps me at peace with myself.

  3. Amy Hagerup (@amyhagerup)

    Great timing to be reminded of determination. I just had not one, not two, but three problems to solve this morning in my business. (I’m on hold for one of them right now.) But I am determined to keep moving forward. Nothing can stop me. Praise God that I have Him in my life to hold me up through thick and thin. Blessings, AMy

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Amy congratulations. You have already succeeded by deciding to keep moving forward.