There’s More Than One Way to The Top
I used to think there was a formula to success. There is not. There are common attributes that successful people have in common, but there’s no single path to success in any field or discipline, just like there’s no single path to the top of a mountain. Some paths may be easier than others, but there isn’t one path that leads to the mountain top of success. The key question, do you have the desire to succeed?
Sometimes folks will ask me, how did you get in to West Point? I always answer the same, “on my legs.” I don’t answer that way to be trite, it’s the truth. I got into West Point because I was fast. I was an accomplished high school cross-country and track athlete. The West Point coaching staff desired my talent and so they offered me a spot at West Point. I always tell parents of children aspiring acceptance into West Point, that my path into the Academy was unique to my story, their child’s path will be profoundly different. If they have the desire, they will find their way.
Lately, fledging professional speakers ask me for tips on how to get more speaking gigs. They hope I will provide them a formula that will help them discover success and gain the momentum they need to start a successful speaking career. I even had one gentleman ask me for a list of all my event planner contacts so he could contact them and book gigs. I replied to his request with a short and simple answer, “No, you must earn your own referrals.” I gave him the same encouragement that I give most aspiring speakers, like what I say to young folks that desire to go to West Point. “If you have the desire, you will find your own path.” That is the true essence of success and the pathway to the top.
The key to anyone’s journey is to not try and duplicate someone else’s success. That was their path and will never be yours. The desire for success proceeds all success. If one has the desire and is willing to grind it to the top, the path will become apparent along the way.
I used to believe in formulas. I purchased courses and resources that promised a formula and always came away inspired, but ultimately disappointed when success alluded me. It wasn’t until I began to take ownership of my journey and understood that my journey was unique only to me and that success would be mine if I continued to move towards it and continued to learn and grow. Moving forward was my answer and I knew by doing that one simple thing, I would ultimately find my own path.
I’m still on my journey, but the path is becoming clearer. There’s no one else on this path, because it’s mine. This path will lead me where I want to go. I’m sure it will have many twists and turns and sometimes it will be hard to make out, but I’m confident I will endure because I’ve stopped looking for a formula. I replaced it with respecting other successful people’s journeys and discovering ways I can learn from their success, and ultimately making their success principles my own by applying those principles into my own reality.
How about you? Are you looking for the secret to success? Are you looking for that special formula that will finally unlock those obstacles standing in your way? Or, will you just start moving and climbing that mountain, knowing that if you continue your journey with a grateful spirit and a spirit of growth that you will find your path along the way and when you do, success will be yours. Don’t wait, stop searching, and start moving!