“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life
as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
– Booker T. Washington
Built for Speed
I have been running for so long that I sometimes forget to realize that I can slow down a bit. But can I? Can I really? What might happen if I let down my guard? I have worked too hard, run so far to get to where I am that the thought of slowing down and taking a breath literally scares the crap out of me. Funny, yet somehow I find comfort in the race. I was built for speed.
Do this, get that done, the challenge is yours, are you up for it? You’ll never make it. You’re too naive. You’re too strong. You’re too loud. You’re too confrontational. You’re not aggressive enough. You have missed the boat and your deadline. You’re too old, too white, too nice, too shallow, not selfish enough. How did this happen?
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The perpetual broken heart in me says that the fight of life has taken its toll. The perpetual optimist in me says that I am just getting started. The perpetual student in me says that this is my greatest hour – that this challenge creates a better me. Success taunts me, laughs at me and I grab it by its surly hair and scream, “You are mine, say UNCLE!”
Built to Last
I have created my own personal succession plan. When the companies where I hung my hat failed to ignite the flame of the future in me, I struck the match on the box labeled tomorrow. “Your success is your own responsibility,” I scribbled on the walls where I slowly stacked bricks. And it was a truth I recognized. And that truth is still my foundation – where I built my life beyond abuse, divorce, foreclosure, and ignorance. Hello Me – I built you to last. Thanks for sticking around – it was a long haul with curves and bumps which tried to knock me off my bearings or break my axle.
Look for it. Seek it. Work for it. Strive for it. It will NOT drop in your lap. It will not appear at the end of the rainbow. Actually, it typically shows up at the end of a violent storm or after a long siege. I have stopped myself and asked, “What if you make it, will you be ready?” And that is when I picture what the completion of that particular pursuit of success looks like. Was it a diploma in my hand? Was it a regular paycheck? Was it being happy on a regular basis? <- Not valued enough, by the way. I learned to say yes, to take chances, and to work very hard.
Finding Value in Your Journey
My father taught me the value in loving your work and my mother taught me to appreciate the value of a job well done. With those two lessons combined, how could I not be Built to Succeed?Find the lessons in your life – you’d be surprised how quickly they can be twisted to fit into a biz teaching. Decide your destination and proceed. Note that the journey is more than just your walk down the path – it is where you can choose to learn and grow, change and evolve. You do have a choice. But you better be ready for the consequences of that choice or choices. “Will you be ready?”
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it!” – Jonathan Winters
That is the plan, Jonathan. That is the plan. RIP, sir.
by Rayanne Thorn