Friday, April 9, 2010

No Shortcuts

There are no shortcuts to success: no quick-fixes, no get-rich-quick schemes, no true overnight successes. It takes work, and time, and hope to build your dream into the success you imagine. It is true that the journey means more than the destination. If you only want the end goal, you'll miss so much along the way.

When I was younger, I demanded instant gratification for everything. I couldn't stand to wait for what I wanted. One benefit of getting older is the patience that slowly descends into your spirit. I am developing eyes to see the long-term goals, and I find a deep satisfaction in knowing that I am making my way toward my dreams, step by step, inch by inch, and that is enough for now.

I do not miss the impatience of youth. The panic that I'm failing in some way, the fear that I won't "make it" in the way I've dreamed of succeeding, or the rollercoaster of emotions with euphoria at the height and devastation at the bottom. I didn't understand the pleasures on the journey before my mid-thirties. I was always racing to get to success, to achieve my dream, and I didn't pay enough attention to the day-to-day. I've changed in this respect, and my life is much richer as a result.

It's important to embrace the truth that we cannot take a shortcut to where we want to be. We look at successful people and think that they must have cheated the system in some way, but it's simply not true. The only way to become a success is to earn it, day by day and step by step.

We must plan and then do the work required to execute the plan. Enjoy the process. Try not to fight it in a wave of self-pity. And when you fall, stand up, dust yourself off, and keep going. Don't let failure defeat you. Put one foot in front of the other and keep trying. Soon you'll look back and see how far you've come, and realize your dream isn't as far away as you once thought it was.

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