Personal Experience: Overcoming Life's Closed Roads

by Robb Sutton

Over the course of everyone’s life, we come against closed roads. Somewhere in our carefully laid out plan, something goes wrong and throws a wrench in our entire system. These events can be everything from self inflicted disasters to health problems completely out of our control. Regardless, they derail our once steady track and throw us into a state of disbelief and confusion. The strong overcome these obstacles and find a detour in their path while the weak freeze and let the closed road control their path in life. In my life, I had to find a wide detour…and here is some of the story for inspiration in your own life…

Life Under The Arches

I graduated from the University of Georgia. For those that do not already know, the historic arches on the outer edge of North Campus in between the campus and downtown are historic. With all of that history aside, undergrads at UGA are not supposed to walk under the arches until they graduate. If they do, they are cursed to never graduate and fail out miserably, so thousands of students walk around these arches on a daily basis with the goal of one day walking under them as a graduate.

My story starts at the cocky age of 18 as I entered the university as a freshman. Like any “I know everything about everything” young scholar, I didn’t believe in hoaxes so my cocky ass danced under the arches specifying it would never happen to me. As time went on, I got myself into a lot of trouble taking in the party scene of Athens, GA until I eventually got myself into trouble that was going to be very hard to get out of. The result..I ended up having to leave the university in the pursuit of getting my life back together (I have written previously about it on this post) and the dream of leaving UGA as a graduate looked bleak at best.

After years of working my ass off collecting the wreckage and trying to assemble a life I could finally be proud of…I started taking classes at a local college to get essential hours and eventually returned to UGA with hopes of graduating. After hitting a perfect window of time, I reentered UGA with several more course hours under my belt and a new outlook on my education. I commuted back and forth from Marietta 3 days a week (1.5 hour drive each way) to take classes and get that degree I sought out during my naive, adolescent years.

After hard work and focus, I was sitting in the center of Sanford Stadium graduating with hundreds of other students from UGA still checking the list of names to make sure mine was there and it wasn’t a dream.

Why This Story..and Why Now

UGA Arches - University of GeorgiaYesterday, I had the chance to walk around the campus of UGA and take in some memories. Coming back with a fresh mind and a different outlook on the past, I was able to walk under those arches as a successful graduate from the university. I didn’t end up taking the cocky path that the 18 year old had in mind. Instead, through self inflicted hurt, I took a much different path that made me who I am today and extremely humbled the inner adolescent.

I use this story illustrate to myself and others that we do not always get to pick the events in our life’s path. It is our job to use our free will to make the best we can of the time we have. When we make excuses why we can’t do something or it is just too hard, we jeopardize the incredible things that can happen in our lives. Far too often, I hear people quitting. If you really want to go after the finer things in life, you have to work hard for them.

When you are going through tough situations in your own life, you need to remember one simple fact…

Just when you think you can’t take it anymore…you are just about to make it.

Great things in life do not come without sacrifices and those that consistently look for handouts will always be begging. Happiness in your own life is accomplished by pursuing the good. Everyone has a choice and no one is a victim of circumstances.

When you take ownership of your own life, your own problems and your own successes, you get to enjoy the victories over defeat. You get to walk under the arches and feel that chill go through your body knowing that you have accomplished something for you. You get to prevail over evil and make the life you always dreamed. Leave the complaining and excuses for those that are never happy with their spot in life because you are going to enact change through action.

You are going to detour around the road blocks with a positive outlook because this is your one and only life to live. There will always be someone who has it harder and someone who has it easier…it is up to you how you handle your own life obstacles…

Related Posts


Edwin May 20, 2010 - 6:52 am

This is really moving, and inspirational. Thank you!

Robb Sutton May 20, 2010 - 3:45 pm

Thanks Edwin!

pj finn May 20, 2010 - 8:50 am

Great post. You nailed down some hard truths — truths that many will refuse to accept. I guess that’s a big factor in separating out those who ‘can’ from those who ‘can’t’.

Robb Sutton May 20, 2010 - 3:44 pm

I have found that is exactly what separates those that can from those that can’t. You have to take ownership of the good and the bad.

TheInfoPreneur May 20, 2010 - 2:00 pm

Brother, The only thing people need to take from this post (if they don’t listen to anything else) is;

Just when you think you can’t take it anymore…you are just about to make it.

I’ve been there man, top work!

Robb Sutton May 20, 2010 - 3:44 pm

Thanks man!

Mars Dorian May 20, 2010 - 2:05 pm

Inspirational – I remember one from Tony Robbins when he said he you have amplify your focus and fire in the moment when you feel like the least.

Having this outlook on life and keep going requires lots of self-discipline and a passion for future – embracing everything that comes your way with arms wide open…

Robb Sutton May 20, 2010 - 3:45 pm

Thanks Mars! You hit it dead on…have to have arms wide open.

Tony Grogan May 20, 2010 - 4:53 pm

Awesome story! Pushing through to conclusion is truly a freeing experience. I have some open loops in my life as well. Someday…

Curtis Chappell May 21, 2010 - 1:51 am


Great story, and as a boy from Jacksonville, I know the area well…

Interesting how we evolve with age to realize that although superstition can be quite silly, when generations of beliefs in a particular superstition occur, the superstition gains power, as it did over you.

Your story of losing the plot due to partying hard must reflect the experience of so many folks…and many unlike you who never recovered.

I didn’t start college until the ripe old age of 29, so I had a completely different experience of University, and the adversities I’ve faced, although quite different, also helped me to become an improved person…this evolution continues to this day…

I’m sure your story will provoke some great memories for many readers as it has for me!

Write On!

Real Blogging Advice May 21, 2010 - 5:55 am

Very well said Robb. These words were really true and real.

Thanks for sharing it.

– Felix Albutra


Leave a Comment