The road to success is filled with disappointment, frustration, stress, anxiety, failure, problems, risk, heartache, sacrifice, loneliness, adversity, and letting go of dreams. Not a pretty picture. So why begin or take the trip? It is also filled with achievement, satisfaction, happiness, contributing to the lives of others, personal growth, valuable life lessons, recognition, peace, harmony and freedom.
The journey that each of us takes, as we travel through life day by day, is our own personal statement of the meaning and purpose of our life. We either leave behind a legacy of value or of nothingness and the benefits of lessons learned then shared with others for them to use as guidelines to improve their lives or a life of mediocrity. The outcome is up to each of us given the variety of decisions, actions and choices we make along life’s busy highway. None of us was given a written guarantee at birth that we would leave behind either of the above. We create our destiny one moment, one choice and one action at a time.
The old cliché says, “life is a journey, not a destination. ” Success is also not a destination – but a moment-by-moment trip through the stuff that life throws on our path. This stuff can strengthen us or derail us – it’s up to us. This journey that each of us takes is a very personal one and does not deserve the judgments, opinions, or interpretations of those around us.
It’s simple. If you do not want what I want, please do not tell me that what I want wrong. If my beliefs are different from yours please allow me the right to have them. Or, if I act or fail to act in the manner of your design, please let me be. If you do not understand me, at least let me take my own path without you feeling the need to change me into a carbon copy of you.
I am often reminded of that great Frank Sinatra song “My Way. ” This title alludes to the fact that each of us who have chosen to take a different path, often have a different outlook or even seem a little off the wall as we move into our personal futures. However, when you really look at it, each of us does it ‘Our Way” – even if our way is what the crowd expects, wants or manipulates us to take. Many people feel like they are stuck along the path to success. They reach mid-life and have a crisis because they haven’t done enough, seen enough, learned enough or become enough.
Others who have done more with their life than many of their fellow travelers will ever do and they still feel unfulfilled. What a paradox! When it is all said and done and our life comes to an end, your achievements won’t matter a bit if you have not helped your fellow man in some way during the trip.
Success is not about accumulating, but sharing; not about power, but humility; not about fame, but compassion; not about money earned, but money given; not about accumulating, but becoming; not about position, but being a servant; and not about learning, but teaching. Success, and the degrees we achieve, are up to each of us. Every one of us can teach someone something. We can all share a little of what we have with someone less fortunate. Every one of us can be a servant and not the master. And all of us can learn to understand that if success is about stuff – power, fame, ego, money and influence – we will never be satisfied with whatever we get, we will always want more or better. I do not mean to imply here that these things in and of themselves are not good or worthy goals. I am only suggesting that once you have them – if they are how you define success, you may never be able to quiet that inner urge for more and bigger.
Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That’s Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org , 704-895-1230 or visit his website at http://www.timconnor.com