The One True Path
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
— Sir Winston Churchill
There is a road sign up ahead. It’s a little blurry sometimes when you envision it and see it in your mind’s eye. Sometimes it begins with the letter S, sometimes with the letter F. Strangely enough, each of these words is seven letters in length; seven, the number so often associated with fortune, gambling, chance and random, uncontrollable events. And with luck. Either good or bad.
The existence and meaning of both words have always been clear to you. But the path how to reach the one and avoid the other has often lacked clarity. Except for those times you have self-motivated, instilled confidence in yourself and reaffirmed your commitment, the path has been uncertain. Yes, you did well in high school and college. And transitioned well from intern to apprentice to assistant to team leader and then to manager. But now where do you go? And how will you get there?
Well, for me, the road sign achieved total clarity several years ago, not to brag. And becomes ever clearer as I continue forward. I can’t say I had it easy, however. Adversity and new obstacles are never far off. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. For life is boring without challenge, change and purpose.
Here are a few of some of the lessons I’ve learned along the journey that is my own life path:
– Create the path you want to be upon, don’t search for it.
– Read everything you can get your hands upon and learn from every source.
– Learn to listen more and speak less.
– Mind your own business but know when to be helpful.
– You need more than just a dream; you need a plan to implement the dream.
– Always be encouraging to others, never discouraging.
– Lead from the front and from inspiration and example. Not from the middle or rear; nor from a place of fear, anger, anxiety or desperation.
Stay focused and keep your eyes on the prize that clearly defines and declares your purpose. Your job or job title, salary, material status or position of authority is not your purpose. The purpose is building character and self-improvement. What is character, you ask? Duty, loyalty, kindness, fairness, hard work, commitment, honor and integrity. Build these and you build character. And will continually grow as a person and as a leader.
The purpose is also accepting new challenges and adversity. And doing the right thing, the brave thing, the best thing to overcome these and whatever else life will throw at you along the one true path that is uniquely yours.
The road sign that lies forever ahead of you has only one word imprinted upon it. Embrace it and confidently reaffirm it every day to your inner being and core values. And with confidence and conviction always know that it is not and will never be that seven-letter word that begins with the letter F. And even if it ever is, it’s not final!