Shawn was walking home from school. As usual, he walked alongside a brick house with a flagstone path between two patches of grass. And that's when he heard a gruff voice shouting:
"Get away from here!"
Shawn froze in shock. He saw a man standing on the lawn on the right, staring at him. The man was tall, dressed in jeans and a black jacket. The hood of the jacket was over his head, and his face was covered by a silver hockey mask. His hands were clenched by his side.
"Get away from my house!" the man roared.
The 6-year-old ran across the street.
The next day, Shawn walked home from school. The man was standing a bit closer to the sidewalk. He was now wearing a blue denim jacket. A gray hood was covering his head. Brown bangs could be seen between the hood and mask.
"Get away from my house!" the man yelled.
Once again, the spooked first grader ran across the street.
This became routine for Shawn. He would walk home, have the man shout at him, and continue the trip home across the street. This lasted for two more days.
Today, Shawn decided he was going to face his fear. He walked the usual route home, and found himself on the block with the man. This time, he wore a red plaid jacket with a gray hood.
"Get away from here!"
Shawn did not back down. He was afraid, but he said that morning that he would no longer let this stranger tell him what to do. Keeping his eyes on the man and the hockey mask that hid what Shawn could only imagine, the 6-year-old stepped forward. The man did not move or say anything. Shawn took another step.
"Get away from my house!"
Shawn jumped at the sound of the man's voice. He stood still and considered running. Still, he took another careful step. And then another. By this time, he was halfway past the patch of grass that the man was standing on. He wondered why the man was not looking at him. Or for that matter, why the man was not moving at all.
As Shawn pondered that, he made it past the house. But the boy was too curious to go home just yet. Cautiously, he approached the back of the man. He flinched when he came within arm's length and heard the now familiar command.
"Excuse me, mister?"
Shawn tugged on the man's jacket. When he got no reaction, he tapped the man's arm. Still no reaction, but the arm was surprisingly stiff. That's when he noticed the man's right hand. It shone in the light of the sun. When Shawn held onto that hand, his suspicion was confirmed.
The man who had been scaring him all this time was just a Halloween decoration!
The moral of the story is, on your journey to your goals, there will be people telling you to stop trying, go back to your day job, and so on. Some will be strangers, some will be your own family and friends. Keep in mind that all of those people are simply obstacles set up to scare you away from your goals. Nothing more than props with voices that hold no real power over you.