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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Flakes, PE

Never Give Up on Your Dreams: Inspiring Stories of Drew Maggi, Coco Gauff and William Stanford Davis

Patience and perseverance are important because they allow you to overcome challenges and achieve your goals.

Coco Gauff
Cori “Coco” Gauff (USA) speaks to reporters after losing her match at the Citi Open tennis tournament on July 30, 2019 in Washington DC (Rena Schild | Shutterstock)

Patience and perseverance are important in achieving success because they allow you to keep going when things get tough. When you are patient, you can wait for the right opportunity. You are also able to deal with setbacks and disappointments without giving up. When you are perseverant, you can keep going even when things are difficult. You can push through challenges and obstacles to reach your goals.

Below are inspiring examples of two athletes and an actor who have benefited from patience or perseverance.

Drew Maggi Makes an Emotional Debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates

After 13 long years in the minor leagues, Drew Maggi of the Pittsburgh Pirates finally made his Major League debut on April 26, 2023.

Drew Maggi by the numbers:

  • Drafted in the 15th round of the 2010 MLB Draft

  • Spent 13 years in the minor leagues

  • Played 1,155 games in the minor leagues

  • Appeared in 4,494 plate appearances in the minor leagues

Although Maggi struck out in his first at-bat as a pinch hitter, he got his first start at first base the next day. Despite not getting a hit in his start, Maggi’s story should remind you that you can achieve anything you want no matter how long it takes to keep working hard and never give up on your dreams.


Young tennis phenom Coco Gauff recently admitted to suffering from imposter syndrome

Coco Gauff at Wimbledon qualifying, Roehampton 2019
Wimbledon qualifying, Roehampton 2019

Imposter syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.

In a recent interview with WTA Insider’s Courtney Nguyen, 19-year-old tennis phenom Coco Gauff spoke candidly about her struggles with imposter syndrome.

I feel like when I step on the court the confidence is high, but I think throughout my life, even as a junior going into tournaments, I would get a lot of anxiety about where I was playing-wise, and then when I stepped on the court, I definitely feel like I can win the match.
I think it's just fighting those thoughts and understanding that I belong here. You know, imposter syndrome is a thing, so sometimes I get that, but it's something that I'm working on to realize I'm here for a reason and my ranking is here for a reason and I definitely deserve that.

According to an article by Kess Eruteya from Harvard Business Review, about one-third of young people suffer from imposter syndrome.

Gauff's admission is a reminder that imposter syndrome can affect anyone, regardless of age, accomplishments, or level of success.

Coco Gauff’s photo image is courtesy of Coco Gauff.


William Stanford Davis is an inspiration to us all, showing that it is never too late to achieve your dreams

Abbott Elementary is a critically acclaimed TV sitcom, and Mr. Johnson, the janitor on the show, is a beloved character!

Jenelle Riley of Variety recently conducted an inspirational interview with William Stanford Davis, who plays Mr. Johnson. In the interview, Davis revealed that he:

  • Moved to Los Angeles at the age of 33 to pursue a career in acting.

  • Did not make his first TV appearance until he was in his 40s. Coincidentally, that role was as a custodian on the soap opera The Bold and Beautiful.

  • Interviewed for Abbott Elementary over Zoom during the pandemic.

  • Did not get his first regular series (Abbott Elementary) until he was 71 years old.

Davis' story is a reminder that it's never too late to achieve your dreams. If you have a passion for something, don't give up on it. Keep working hard, and eventually, your hard work will pay off.

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