Being content with your life or where it's going might be a measure of success.Unfortunately, I truly believe it's that same feeling that holds people back from their true potential.
When I began this article, I looked for a quotation that would embody those remarks. What I found is there are many quotes suggesting that a person is a success in life if he or she is happy with themselves and circumstances. The flip side to this ideology is that success is obtained through a series of failures.
As in life, I think it boils down to a balance between the two. I truly believe that if you have good situational awareness of what your goals are in life, and you make daily strides in life towards those goals, you can, in effect, work through a series of small successes and still have enough balance and well-being to be happy where you are just long enough to "smell the roses," as they say.
I think the danger in becoming content in where you are in life (staying too long to smell the roses), is if you have not reached your goals, the feeling of contentment canslowly erode your resolve to reach your final destination. To me it's akin to planning a cross-country trip, but because of poor planning and lack of direction, you run out of fuel. Once that happens, you decide that where you have become stranded isn't so bad, and that is where you pitch your tent for the night. The next morning you decide maybe you'll stay awhile, and your residence should take on a more permanent aspect. A couple of months later you've built a house, and then it makes no sense to uproot what you've created in this accidental destination,so you become content in just settling in for the long haul right where you are... But what happened to your original final destination? It's not like it moved. But now it seems like amythical place you never will get to. But in fact, it's really still there. It's always been there. It's just that along the way, the methods you used were not adequate to get you to where you needed to go.
I think life for most people is very similar to this situation: You start out with the intent to get from point A to point Z, but you settle at point M. And once you settle at point M, the reasons to get to point Z start to erode and wither away. Intent alone will not get you anywhere. You need a plan.
Now, if you had a plan that included a series of steps to get from A to B, and then from B to C, and so on, that would be a start. If your plan had contingency plans so that when things go wrong (and they will), they can be addressed, then you can stay on course. If your plan recognizes that all the steps in between might not be equally ashard or simple (for example, if point M was a mountain top, it might take a bit more effort to get there and across it), then you havedeveloped the framework of a proper plan.
Your plan, in my humble opinion, should also include associating with like-minded people—folks that want to get to point Z maybe evenmore than you do, but who can also tempertheir zeal with a good dose of reality. There'salso no point in starting on a proverbial tripto point Z with someone when their final destination is point B. Having said that, it seems to me there can be a "chicken and egg" aspect to beginning your journey. Sometimes when you start the journey others will join. That's being a leader. However, if you are out in front being a leader and no one is following, then you are simply going for a walk. One way or another though, with your plan in hand, you have to start. There may be course corrections along the way, but with that in mind, you'll be better prepared to recognize the difference between point M and point Z.
Here's the beautiful thing. You can always reassess where you are in life, and then do something about it. If you haven't arrived atyour life's point Z, why not come up with realistic plans to get there? Put a series of steps into place to get to those life goals.Find a few others to take the journey with you. Add persistence and consistency. Understand there may be a few detours to navigate. Put yourself in the mindset of enjoying a journey that will have both ups and downs, and you just might get to point Z.
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