Dr. Rich Patterson

Determination Meets Opposition

Determination can and will meet opposition.  Opposition is resistance usually expressed in some type of action or even an argument. How does this play out in our life?  Often, we give, we work hard, and nothing comes our way.  But we need to remind ourselves that our 5th year is coming (see the previous post on Determination).  You need to press through those thoughts of doubt, press through your circumstances, press through your obstacles until you real your goal.

We will meet opposition from ourselves, life in general, and likely from others who don’t believe we can achieve our dream.  When I graduated from high school I decided to go to our local college in town.  as a freshman at the college majoring in music, I was already the best drummer at the school, but I knew I wasn’t that good, just good for this school.  I longed to go to a college where there were lots of drummers much better than me.  That school was The University of Iowa and the chance to study with Thomas L. Davis.  But the school was in another state and nearly 800 miles away.

I didn’t have the money to go to school there, but I had this burning desire, this determination to make it work.  I found opposition at every turn, my parents were against me going to school there, my brother was against it, even my friends said, really why are you doing that?  You can’t do that.  You’re not good enough to do that.  On and on.  But those comments just drove me to a higher conviction to somehow find a way to make it work.  I applied for admission, made an audition tape for Mr. Davis, and was accepted into the University of Iowa.  There was just one big problem, how was I going to pay for it.  My parents couldn’t pay for it and I had little money, very little in comparison to what I needed.

I found ways to make it work by borrowing money for college from a local bank, working while going to school (not really a good idea, but necessary), and playing my drums with various bands.  It was tough and many times I wondered if I could make it through those tough times.  Long story short, I did and graduated from The University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree and certification.  The journey wasn’t without self-doubt, and critics were abounding, but I was determined to persevere, to press through the difficult times, to combat my loneliness for family and friends to make sure that I was successful.

All those add up to a strength that goes beyond ourselves.  It is like building a building where a great deal of time is spent developing, engineering, and installing the foundation.  Not much seems to be happening, but that foundation is the strength and stability and governs whether or not the building will stand and last.  By doing your best, pushing yourself to go beyond what you know you can do, being good to others, that foundation is being built.  Rest assured that it will serve you through many difficult times and one day, people will say, I don’t know how you did it.  And you can think–I know how it happened, it was determination and an understanding of opposition and how it applied in my life.

Best of luck with your dreams,

Rich