I’ve met many successful people who claim they worked hard and succeeded. That’s it. That’s how they achieved their goal. Don’t get me wrong, I believe success requires hard work and dedication; in fact, in most cases, it’s imperative. However, it troubles me when others express themselves as if they made it to this “advancement in life” on their own–failing to mention the well-placed circumstances, individuals, and opportunities that were all a part of the journey to this place called Destination Success. This facade can be so misleading when guiding others through the twist and turns of this road called life.
For the purpose of this post, the working definition of success is an accomplishment of an aim or purpose. It’s somewhat subjective but intended to meet all readers.
Do you believe everything happens for a reason? I had a hard time with this concept as a child, mostly because my childhood wasn’t so pleasant. So, I didn’t understand how negative conditions could transform into positive experiences in my life. However, I now know that because of the struggles in my past, I am far more empathetic when working with children and their families. Understanding where I came from, has helped me build relationships with those who might face similar situations. Also, my most favorite lesson learned from my youth is simple yet profound: I know what it’s like to overcome adverse circumstances; I’m an overcomer. Therefore, it would be foolish for me to discredit my upbringing as a part of the successes in my life’s journey. Overtly sharing parts and pieces of my life with others is important; it’s the REAL me.
As an educator, I realize that we are truly better together. It annoys me when others “claim” the work of another educator or profess their title to “fame” or “deserving of an award or status” as an act of their own hard work. Do we work hard? Oh, my goodness yes! But, doesn’t just about any professional in this field? Most definitely. If so, then all should deserve the status of the one mentioned in the sentence above, right? I think if we are honest with each other, there was someone (or many someones) who helped us along the way, and it was because of them, we are made better. Let’s not forget to set pride aside and mention this important piece of the puzzle when mentoring others on their journey to Destination Success.
No doubt, success does come from hard work and dedication to an accomplishment of an aim or purpose. However, you didn’t make it to where you are alone. There were many influential people, circumstances, and opportunities placed along your life’s pathway. Yes, some of these opportunities were handed to you; it’s ok. It’s what we do with them that makes the difference. Be grateful. Be humble. Give credit where it is due. There are no one-man-bands at Destination Success. We have all had many influences that shaped us into the person we are today. When mentoring students, fellow colleagues or others we lead, we would be wise to intentionally recognize who we are because of the influences carefully placed in our lives.
I make certain to call out the names of influential individuals in my life when sharing parts and pieces of my story with others. It’s important to me.
Side Note: If we are always setting new goals and seeking to achieve a more fulfilling purpose, do we actually ever arrive at Destination Success?