Jim Hofmann

The New Year is here. It is time to renew, recharge and resolve to make this your best year ever. No matter who you are, you can have a great year. Take heart! You can do it! You can be all you can be! We can be all we can be. (Note to the reader: Yes, this is a blatant pep talk, hang in there anyway.)

Every year many resolve to lose weight and every year many do. Unfortunately, they lose the same five pounds every year. Well, that is not the point. The point is if we dedicate ourselves to never give up, we will succeed. Oh, about those five pounds keep in mind, if a person didn’t lose the same five pounds every year he or she would have gained twenty-five pounds during the last five years. To add a twist to and old Bob Dylan lyric, there’s no success like failure and even in failure there can be some success.

Thomas Edison failed more than one thousand times when he tried to find a filament that would last in his light bulb. We know how that story ended. Don’t give up. Think about it. If they keep trying they may even be able to invent a more energy efficient light bulb that doesn’t require a Hazmat team to clean up the mess if it is broken.

How did the town of Moab get to be here in the first place? What did the settlers who planted the orchards, irrigated the land, grazed the pastures and started local businesses have that resulted in a sustainable town? How many years did it take to establish two of the most beautiful national parks in the world in our own backyard? What did the prospectors of the post war era have that turned this into a boomtown and, unbeknownst to them, leave the framework for the trails we enjoy so much today? How did Moab go from a collapsed mining economy to a major tourist area? What quality led to that outcome? How did Moab become a Green Community? How did Moab become a major off road recreational center? How did all these and so many other things happen that make Moab a great place to live?

Think of all those long distance runners who come to our town every year. Talk about a group of people who “talk the talk and walk the walk.” Well, in their case, its run the run. You get the idea. Each one of those folks set out to accomplish a certain goal and each one did. They did what they had to do. They put in the time and effort, they were out there alone, in the dark of night, going the extra mile, over and over again. They started out focused and remained focused until they reached the finish line. They did not quit. Did you ever watch them as they run? Very few of them are smiling. Did you ever watch them cross the finish line? They may be half collapsed, panting heavily, rolling to a sitting position but now they are smiling even though it hurts. These folks are an inspiration to us all. There are many qualities that lead to success but what is the one that is most important in getting a person to go from not being able to run one mile to being able to run thirteen or twenty-six miles?

What was the one quality those individuals and groups who built our community shared that make this the place we want to be?

What does it take to succeed?

What is the secret of fulfillment?

Well, here it is:

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” (Calvin Coolidge).

So, what do you want for the New Year? Do you want to find a job? Improve your health? Acquire new skills? Are you seeking inner peace? Do you want to become stronger in your faith? Do you want to serve others? Build a stronger family, community? Restore relationships? Whatever it is, keep the words of Calvin Coolidge in mind and remember this: If more people paid attention to Calvin Coolidge and less attention to Calvin Klein, the world would be a better place.