It doesn't always go the way you want, and it doesn't always go the way it should, but it does always go. Success isn't easy, easily explained, or entirely predictable. Anyone who tries to paint too clear of a picture of their success is being a little misleading, albeit perhaps unknowingly.
Here's the thing: it's true that success is hard, but failure is hard, too. The choice is where you choose to have your "hard." Do you want the "hard" of self-discipline or the "hard" of the consequences of failure?
And here's another thing: success usually goes to the crazy.
That's right, the crazy. Those who are whacked enough to believe they can achieve something, stubborn enough to stick with it, and dogged enough not to cave in to excuses and the lure of lesser things. Remember, it's people who actually believe they can change the world who actually do!
So for the crazies out there, here's an honest look at the jagged journey to your dreams. It's not littered with rose pedals and candy, that's for sure, but it is one of the most rewarding journeys upon which you could ever embark.
Here are the Top 10 Realities of Success:
10. You will work your butt off - there is no definition of true success that doesn't also include the concept of earning it. Expect it.
9. You will feel like a dork - you cannot accomplish uncommon things without doing uncommon things. Automatically, that sets you apart from the safety of the crowd, and you will feel that distance.
8. You will run into knuckleheads - this one was the biggest shocker to me. Everyone isn't nice, kind, or encouraging. Prepare for a few knives in the back. The uniform of leadership is thick skin.
7. You will doubt yourself - if you don't feel multiple times along the way like you've lost your mind, you're probably not on the road to making it.
6. You will have reversals - failures aren't fatal if you don't let them be final. Get up and get going again. More adventures await the resilient.
5. Someone will preach to you - folks will come from everywhere to thrust their opinions and concerns upon you. Smile, nod, and go about your business. It's your life. Remember, no guts, no story.
4. You will have to make a million unforseen adjustments - don't get too concerned about the path, it will turn and twist more than you can imagine starting out. That's normal. Bob and weave as necessary, but keep your eyes fixed upon the prize.
3. You will compare yourself to others - it will be a natural instinct to look around and assume others have it easier, better, or whatever. They don't. God knows what he's doing even if you don't. Look to Him, not to them.
2. You will get frustrated by a lack of progress - frustration to an achiever is like that pesky neighborhood kid you can't move away from. You don't have to like it, but you do have to learn to deal with it on a regular basis.
1. "They" will call you lucky - I promise. No matter what you achieve, someone will explain it away by labeling it luck. At least I told you this up front. And for that, you're lucky.
The good news, however, is that for each one of these truths about success, the reverse is also true.
10. BUT it won't feel like work after a while because you'll love it.
9. BUT if you stick with it you'll eventually feel like a champion.
8. BUT you will meet some of the dearest people, too.
7. BUT you will grow to respect yourself.
6. BUT you will also have advances.
5. BUT someone will learn from you.
4. BUT you will accomplish a main vision (or two or three).
3. BUT others will compare themselves to you.
2. BUT you will become encouraged by progress.
1. You'll know you earned it (mostly).
Now get moving, your destiny awaits!