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In May, 2014, a group of coal miners in China were excavating an old mine that was abandoned 17 years ago after an earthquake. In one of the galleries, they found Cheung Wai, a 59-year old survivor from the 1997 accident. He was immediately taken to the hospital to recover.

He had been trapped underground with the bodies of 78 of his dead coworkers after an earthquake of a caused the wooden support structure of the mine to crumble and collapse, and was was saved by the fact that some ventilation duct still connected his underground prison to the surface, allowing him access to air that was sufficiently pure to keep him alive.

He managed to survive on an emergency stash of rice and water, stored in an underground depot, conceived especially for this kind of case. He complemented his diet by catching and eating the countless rats that populate the mine, as well as collecting large quantities of some sort of phosphorescent moss, which constituted his only source of vitamins. Even while suffering from great physical and mental stress, he managed to give proper burials to all of his comrades, spending almost a year in this great selfless act.

Think what you have done in the past seventeen years – how much changed in your life from birth to the age of seventeen; seventeen years is a long time! And living in a dark mine, trapping and eating rats and moss, burying your friends for a year? Unbelievable.

Now while this man had no option except to lie down and die, we always have options. In most cases, we can suffer in relative comfort. But when you decide it’s do or die, no compromise, no turning back, no other way but to reach your objective, anything is possible. Commitment opens doors. Persistence brings new opportunities to solve our problems. Winners never quit. What seems impossible becomes possible when one commits unconditionally to a goal.

Robin Elliott LeverageAdvantage.com