I am constantly discussing being prepared because preparation is the only way to live and learn through your life experiences. When you are prepared for what is to come, good or bad, you are able to take those lessons and apply them in future situations. Those lessons build upon the layers of your foundation and pushes you up the ladder of success. You may not make the same mistake twice if you can live, learn, and not go through the same cycle over and over again. Everyone is quick to prepare you for success, but very few people are willing to discuss the long hard road to success and the many failures that may come along the way.
Successful people are so quick to bask in the glory of the moment, that we fail to expose the anguish, steps, and missteps we took to get there. Many people fail because they want what others have, but can’t handle the heat that comes with getting to the glory. People assume that you have been given more, know more, or are just plain lucky. People want to believe that you are one in a million instead of one who fought to get ahead of the million.
I have made the mistake of believing that others were more successful than I was because they had both of their parents in the home, they were able to go home after college and save, or because they didn’t have to struggle like I did. I had to stop making assumptions and appreciate my own path to success. No matter how someone got to where they are, their circumstances wouldn’t get me where I need to be. I stopped focusing on others and focused on myself. I centered myself and put my goals ahead of me. My focus was towards the light and I thought I was prepared. I had tunnel vision, but I did not realize that the trek to the light would be so dark and full of unforseen ups and downs.
We understand we have to start somewhere and we can visualize our final destination, but no one wants to go through the dark tunnel. We do not want to go through the process. We just want to arrive at the light. We don’t know how long the tunnel is and many times we turn around and go backwards because the light seems too far away.
We start the journey with people who believe in us but the pressure of the process forces some to let go and we have to go through some of the toughest parts alone. When you have friends or family who continue with you even in the darkness, you have to honor and applaud them for their faith and strength. Everyone can’t survive the tunnel and you have to accept that at the beginning or you will waste time pulling people to a place they don’t belong.
The honest truth is that everything that is worth having is obtained through a process that is not comfortable. Furthering your education, changing jobs, changing careers, starting a family, starting a business, moving to a new city, and enhancing your life experiences comes with its own set of challenges. Once you lock your eyes on the prize and decide that nothing matters more than that 1 thing, prepare yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually for the road ahead.
Become in tune with yourself so that you can trust your gut and believe that the decisions you are making are productive and will lead to your end goal. Pray and meditate to help push out the noise that comes at every stage. Explain to your support system your plans and prepare them for the potential challenges. Learn to be okay with not being okay and have a plan to get the necessary help through those moments.
The tunnel is dark and at points can be lonely. Stay focused. Stay encouraged. Run to the light.
Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.