Overnight success stories rarely happen overnight. If we look into people’s stories we will typically find years of hard work, persistence, and consistency. We might also find people who positioned themselves for opportunities. Most importantly, we tend to find people who have failed their way to success.
Success is not a straight road. There are pit stops and pitfalls, and traffic jams and detours. Sometimes we’re coasting in the fast lane, while at other times we’re struggling just to get to the on-ramp. In all of this stay mindful. Remember to keep the destination in mind, yet enjoy and learn from the journey. The moments we experience along the road to success are designed to help us not only get there, but also maintain that point while getting ready for the next level of success.
My doctoral journey is one example. It was a 10 year (13 if you count the first program that I flunked out off with a B-) process. During that time I’d moved on several occasions across two states; was employed, unemployed, and underemployed; changed relationship statuses from single, to married, to divorce; and was physically and emotionally unhealthy at different points. I was excited, confused, overjoyed, and overwhelmed during the journey. There were also moments when I became discouraged as people who started after me finished well
Those who don’t know my story may only see where I am now, and that’s okay. Others may only know a portion of it, and that’s fine too. I have reached a level of success, and I am continuing on to reach many others. Thankfully, I have family, friends, colleagues, and sometimes even strangers to help me along the way.
We must all go on our own journey. Give yourself permission to fail forward. If Plan A doesn’t work out move to Plan A-2, and when necessary move on to Plan B, and continue until you have achieved that level of success. Surround yourself with people who will act as guide posts along your journey to success; people who will support you in the ways that you need, even if you need tip receive constructive criticism. Wherever you are in this process, I urge you to continue one failure and one triumph at a time. You just may be the next overnight success story.
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