Have you ever reached for a goal… and failed?

Have you ever reached for a goal and failed? If so, read on:

Just before takeoff, the space shuttle would thrust toward the sky with nearly 16 million horsepower of force.  That’s the approximate power of 16 million horses all pulling at the same time!  Yet it goes nowhere.  It can’t go anywhere.  Something is holding it back.  Even with all of that power thrusting it to the sky, with a plan of going into space and traveling at 17,500 miles per hour, something more powerful than all of that is holding it back.

What is this massive power that is keeping the space shuttle from reaching its potential?

Eight relatively tiny bolts.

That’s right: Eight bolts, only about five inches in diameter, hold it from accomplishing anything but making a bunch of smoke and steam.

A launch was an amazing sight: The engines would scream a deafening roar.  The entire shuttle would shake in anticipation. The ground would quake as 12 billion watts of power attempted to propel this 4.5 million-pound shuttle out of our atmosphere.

And still it sat there.


At T minus 0 seconds, small explosive charges were set off in those bolts, and they were blown away.

They could no longer hold back that thing that was meant to soar.  It broke free of its bonds and accomplished the mission it was meant to accomplish.

And in so doing, it made a difference in the world, and inspired millions.

Have you ever felt like the space shuttle at launch?

You have all of these dreams, all of these ideas, all of these things you want to accomplish.

And maybe you’ve tried before.  Maybe you’ve worked hard, put in the blood, sweat and tears to accomplish something, but couldn’t quite get there.

Things seemed to always get in the way.  Setbacks kept happening.

Then, after time, the passion faded, and you find yourself failing to reach your goal… again.

Just like there were eight bolts that held the space shuttle back, there are 8 factors that normally hold people back from accomplishing their goals.

Over the next several weeks, I’m going to share what those bolts are, why they exist, and perhaps most importantly, what you can do about them.

Then, perhaps when you reach for your next goal, you’ll exceed even your highest expectations!

Tune in next time as we explore Bolt #1: Fear

Terry L. Fossum is a keynote speaker, self-made millionaire, leadership expert and author.  Visit his website at, or for booking information, call 509-979-4432 or

Terry’s brother, Mike Fossum, Veteran Astronaut, Retires from NASA

Two astronauts with a combined tenure of almost 50 years in the astronaut corps have retired from NASA. Mike Baker and Mike Fossum both left the agency on Jan. 7 to join private industry. Fossum first came to NASA as part of a U.S. Air Force detail to support the space shuttle flight operations in […]

BE the man you want your son to be, because he will.

Terry Fossum with wife, Michelle, and Eagle Scout sons Seth and Logan

A dad came up to me the other day and asked if I would work with his son.  It seems his son got caught sneaking a backpack full of booze to school, and was being expelled.   The boy is 15.  It didn’t end there, though.  The complaints were that he was cussing like a sailor, and bullying other kids.

I knew this boy personally.  He was  GREAT kid, with a GREAT heart!  But he was doing all the things he was being accused of doing.

“I’d be happy to talk with your son, I told him, but you have to understand something:  He’s learning it all from YOU!”

That wasn’t what the dad wanted to hear, but it was what he NEEDED to hear, because it was the truth.  The dad cussed continuously, and drank to intoxication often in front of his son.  He often talked aggressively to his son, as well as others.

I’m not saying his dad is bad.  In fact, I actually like the guy!  I just needed to address the way he acted in front of his son.


All too often, we forget that our children look up to us more than anyone in the world.  They may not act like it, but they do.  They are watching every word we say, and every action we take.  Do you complain about people in front of your kids?  Maybe about your coworkers, or other family members?  Then you’re teaching them to talk behind others’ backs.  Do you brag about things you got away with?  Then you’re teaching them to lie.

Now, listen, I’ve always admitted that I’m not perfect.  I drink.  To excess at times.  And my sons have NEVER seen me do it.  I’m former military – I cuss.  My sons have rarely heard me do it.  I try to be honest at all times, even if it hurts me.  And my sons watch every step of the way.

It doesn’t matter how we justify our actions.  No matter how tired we are, or frustrated we are, or anything else.  They WILL be the type of men that WE are.

(for all those who are thinking it, YES, I include moms, and daughters in all this as well)

So that’s my thought for you today.  You ARE setting an example every single minute you’re around your children.  Are you setting the example you’d like them to follow?  Are YOU the type of person you’d like them to be?