The brick walls that block our way are there for a reason

Title Insurance with First American Title

Many years ago as a Police Officer I was chasing a young man who had committed a serious crime.  He was tall and fast; it seems almost movie-like thinking back on the chase.  I ran after him through an alley, over a dumpster, and through a convenience store.  When he went over a 12' cinder block wall I felt I had no choice but to go over it myself.  Just as I was clearing the wall he looked back and our eyes made contact.  He stopped running, he laid down, threw his arms out in front of him and yelled, "I'm not running any more". 

Back at the station during the interview I asked him why he had stopped running.  I'll never forget his answer.  "When you cleared that wall I could see in your eyes that you would never give up".  I chuckled a bit and repeated back to him, "When you cleared that wall I thought you would never give up". 

“The brick walls that block our way in life are there for a reason – to show us how much we want something”

 ----- Randy Pausch

Those who achieve their goals most often do so because they are willing to do what others won't do.  If you find you've hit a wall find comfort in knowing that we all run into them.  Those walls are there for a reason.  The question is how much do you want what lies on the other side?    

Posted by



 Max VanNatter


Comments (84)

Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I forget the exact quote or who said it... it might have been Zig Ziglar. But it goes something like this: "You can achieve more than most people achieve if you're willing to do more than most people do."

The mediocre stop at brick walls. The achievers find a way over, under, around, or through them.

Great story - thanks for sharing!

Aug 07, 2012 04:26 AM
Lou Zandy - Marco Island, FL

ATTA Boy Max.... love it !!    

If it were EASY, everyone would be doing it !!

Thanks for sharing !!!


Aug 07, 2012 04:38 AM
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Max- This is a great story and I like the comparison you made. Perseverance always pays off!

Aug 07, 2012 05:29 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Max, Randy Pausch was a wise man!  This is turning out to be a week of brick walls!  Great post!

Aug 07, 2012 05:34 AM
Ann Nguyen
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Truckee, CA
Lake Tahoe Truckee Homes For Sale
Wow...I can see this post resonates with a lot of people...give me a boost in the middle of the day :-)
Aug 07, 2012 07:48 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

Wow I never expected to get such a strong response to a blog post.  I've every one of your replies and I really appreciate the encouragement you each gave.  Scaling the brick walls that block our path are much easier when surrounded by people encouraging us along our journey

Aug 07, 2012 08:07 AM
Dimitri Matsis-REALTOR® (818) 599-6083
Troop Real Estate Inc. Westlake Village CA - West Hills, CA

Hi Max,

Loved this story. I was wondering, had he not given up and continued to run, would you have jumped down those 12 feet and continued the chase? I bet “yes”.

Thank you for the inspiration and timely post.

Aug 07, 2012 08:18 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Great story and life lesson. I think we all benefit, and learn, from the walls we have to confront and in finding ways to get past them.


Aug 07, 2012 08:19 AM
Max VanNatter
First American Title - Kingwood, TX

Dimitri - there's no way I would have stopped.  It's just not in me to do so.

Aug 07, 2012 08:26 AM
Momentum Realty
North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists - Yorba Linda, CA
Orange County CA Real Estate Agent

Hi Max,

Wow- what a great blog post! It's so true... so often people give up when they need to press on just a little further.

There's a wonderful quote that I love, made by a man named Jacob Riis. I've used in training manuals to help motivate our agents, and I believe that it speaks to this exact circumstance:

"When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stone-cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet, at the hundred and first blow it will split in 2, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that had gone before." 

Thanks for reminding all of us to press on & so glad to hear that you're in a safe line of work now. Well... kind of safe : )

Have a great week,


Aug 07, 2012 08:54 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Max,  Interesting post and comment thread.  Always great to read a little inspirational insight.

Aug 07, 2012 09:26 AM
Bob Marshall
Home Smart Ion Real Estate - Lynnwood, WA

Excellent Post.  It gives us all something to think about.

Aug 07, 2012 10:36 AM
Fred Sweezer Sr. CMI, LLC.
Hud Certified 203K Consultant - Long Beach, CA
Certified Home Inspector

Running into a brick wall have new meaning to me now, thanks for the post!

Aug 07, 2012 11:14 PM
Deborah Grimaldi
Grimaldi Appraisal Services - Cranston, RI
(401) 837-9633

Hey Max,


So true and wow, what an adventure.....walls will always be there just need to figure out the best methodology for getting to the other side.............

Aug 08, 2012 04:03 AM
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


As everyone else has said.  That is a great story which I will share with my office colleagues.

Aug 08, 2012 06:38 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Max, we guess that the taller the wall the more success on the other side!

Aug 08, 2012 07:50 PM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

That's funny.  Unrelated but one night as a kid we were out messing around.  (no cops chasing us) and I went to go over a wall about 5 or 6 feet; and almost did until I saw the drop on the other side was about 20 feet.  Look before you leap.

Aug 09, 2012 04:02 AM
Jo Ann Poole

Max, it's kind of funny when I read some of the comments...many focused on the criminal part of the story...many...including myself...focused on the positive side of the story...

The word perseverance comes to mind...

Aug 09, 2012 09:54 AM
Jamie King
Hoty Enterprises, Inc. - Huron, OH
Sandusky, OH

Max, that's the most motivational blog I've read in weeks. Thanks so much for posting it! It just reinforces my feeling that if something or someone pushes back, then I just push harder!

Aug 10, 2012 10:39 PM
Steven Pahl
Keller Williams Tampa Properties - Tampa, FL
Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423

Moving walls, stretching our limits...however said is all about growing and doing more.  Thanks for sharing this story!

Sep 16, 2012 12:25 PM