Before I travel along the keyboard and along my own path to an answer, I pose that question back to you, dear reader, first.
From your life experiences, what would your answer be? How have your travels, your journeys, delivered you to your end destination – have they, in their crooked or straight path delivered you safely at the open door of success?
An old-fashioned inspiration…
I recently was gifted a motivational card (old school folded paper and envelope) that quoted “Proceed as if success is inevitable.” During the first minutes I held that card in my hands, I whimsically pondered that thought: would my attitude, my actions, my everything, change if I chose to start my day, live my day, proceed through every action, and believe down in the core of my heart, that every minute and every action I was either contemplating or enacting would eventually result in success?
That thought inhibited me for weeks. It allowed me to laugh and take on the challenge of tasks that in the past were overwhelming or deemed so serious that any mistake would just destroy them. That thought allowed me to live freer than I had in years. It did not, dear reader, grant me permission to f-up and say the heck with it. Instead, that quote granted me permission to fail while trying, recognizing that life continues and that another opportunity – whether of my own making or whether universally deigned serendipitous – was available. (And not only one other opportunity, but handfuls, bucket-loads of them.) And unintentionally, or as an added, bequeathed benefit, that quote allowed me to crisply identify what tasks where of importance and what were pure “fillers,” tasks that while providing an interesting experience where truly not aligned with major (or even minor) objectives.
Proceeding with a redefined mindset, this quote provided me with self-grace when I found myself in difficult situations, whether at work or at home. Again, providing me with the filter of priority and importance, I could choose whether to be fully, 100% angry and aghast, holding on to judgement of others or myself, holding on to disdain of the ghastly situation I found myself (often repeatedly). Or I could choose to look at who I was in that moment, what I had learned, what had irritated me, look at how responded in the moment – and assess how I could respond better in the future – and also walk away, step back, disconnect, and then sift through those minutes with clearer perspective and truly identify if anger was still a necessary response or if the option of honestly letting something go, and moving on, existed.
A way of living…
All of those small, daily exchanges with myself began to build up into a nice repertoire of experiences that leave me with grace for both others and myself, as well as a continuous desire to keep looking for the next win, for both others and myself. While I no longer consciously state the saying of “Proceed as if success is inevitable,” I do live it. I am a combination of wise choices and erroneous mistakes. And in life, whether the path has been, or continuous to be, crooked and twisted and high and low…or as straight as a tightly taunt arrow ready to launch, success – however you define it – is the stamp on the door at the end of as many journeys as each of as has taken. Life is a continuous lesson of successes; we not only need to open our eyes to see them, but we also need to focus our eyes on them, in spite of and because of the trials and tribulations that we survive.
Maybe you answered before you started reading…and if you didn’t, how would you respond to the question: Do all paths in life lead to success? Share your thoughts below.