For some their path is clear. For them, the route may be planned out and already, somewhat, forged ahead before their departure. This would look different for each:
- For some, a family business or tradition that they continue to build with. They learn from seeing the successes of their loved ones and they learn to make changes with the changes in business, laws, society or even culture that alters the business in which they have grown.
- For others, they have learned they have a skill or talent that they are able to foster, to grow and to feel pride in their successes. Musical virtuosos, physical athletic specimens, an academic drive that few have the opportunity to control, ability to connect with people in ways that are not understood, often even by themselves, and others hold many other skills or talents that cannot be described.
- There are many people whose lives are assigned by the circumstances of their lives. Whether it be due to their families’ wealth or poverty, personal or family illness, or external forces being forced upon them such as enduring rape, being bullied, or a myriad of traumatic experiences. These obstacles or attributes may force people to have fewer options.
Knowing the path to achieve success, as it has been tread before them, does not mean there is an ease of accessing the goal. In fact, being bound by the chains of a path can be decidedly difficult for many. Just because there is clarity in which you are striving toward does not mean that the journey will be easy and without great difficulty.
Most, do not have a clear path or destination for success. In fact, the path may be a warbling wander of twists, missteps, bush-whacking, and grand elevation changes; physically, financially, and emotionally. Success may come sooner, they may come later; no one can truly tell and no one can assure that success will remain, it’s a continual effort to adjust and alter on your trail as the path does not always stay true. There is no way to be sure or to unequivocally predict, even for those who are set at a young age with how their successes will appear in adulthood.
The connection between success and happiness can be a tedious one. Different people will measure happiness in different ways, to be sure. The same can be said for their measurements of success. A person can be satisfied, feel successful and not be happy. A person could also be happy, feel satisfied but not be a measured success. Not surprisingly, another could be happily successful but still have an unquenchable thirst for satisfaction. As cliche as these sentiments persist, there are truths behind these statements. Truth is, it’s a personal perspective and opinion on how one person feels about their own personal success, satisfaction, or happiness
The quest for perfection can lead to a feeling of inadequacy, sorrow, and failure. These feelings may push someone to achieve higher, and hopefully, they can reach a state where they can feel success, happiness, and satisfaction. However, the feeling of failure may lead others to give up and delight themselves in mediocrity. The feeling of comfort in what you know and not take chances when on and opportunity, when it is presented, may track the right path for one person but not another individual. Taking a chance on a path because, from your experience, you can tell that what you see further on the divergent path has better prospects than the moderate path on which you have been traveling may be the right choice for others. Timing in someones’ life might and the responsibilities of which the individual may need to shoulder might both be held as factors in choosing to alter course or stay true to a path that will presumably keep consistent with the comforts of consistency.
“Success is not measured by perfection but progress.” That is something that I have been saying to kids for years. During the summer, I have been running a climbing program at a sleep-away summer camp in the beautiful Berkshires. Several years ago a young man who spent 2 years working for me said of the saying that he heard me repeat to campers who needed a pep talk, “You should write those down.” So I did. I laminated them and hung them in view of any participant in the Challenge Course area; I often hand them to someone who needs to be lifted up as a way to begin a conversation whose designation is to encourage and build. I press upon others that continued progress toward any goal will result in success. Success, in the end, may not appear as you might have envisioned what success was going to look like when you were looking at success through the scope of innocence and inexperience. Regardless of how difficult things are perceived, pushing forward, even slowly as it may seem, will produce positive results. Even walking on the same plain, the same level, and not turning from a straight path on which you feel comfortable; keep moving, in any direction.
Keep an eye on the horizon, learn from your footsteps and don’t let anything stop your progress toward your goal.