Imagine getting in your car and all of your family, friends, associates, and even a few strangers are beaming with excitement as they hop in and strap on their seat belts too. You've just sat in the driver's seat and your destination is the city of all of your dreams!!
You've all been talking about it for so long - a city of lights - even those you don't know have had this wonderful trip on their mind and they are just as thrilled as the rest to be on this ride. This amazing city out West is like nothing you've ever heard of; 24/7 fun, unlimited pleasure, and unparalleled opportunities. You know it'll take awhile to get there so you've mapped out a driving rotation for everyone to take turns at the wheel so you can get there faster.
You start out driving from somewhere along the East coast and everyone is amped; they are talking about what they want to do first and how wild a time they are going to have. But, eventually, the enthusiasm dies down and there is just the exhaustion of the trip. As you drive through Kansas your once excited passengers now have nothing to say. They just give you weird looks.
Some of your friends have decided to get off at gas stations and convenience stores and take the bus back home. Some of your family took the train. You haven't noticed until now but nobody really paid attention to the driving rotation and you are still the one driving, even though you're dead tired.
The drive across the prairie is long after an already long trip. More friends leave, some family members start looking up the train schedule and ask you to drop them off at the next stop. The strangers have gotten all too familiar with you. Now they are telling you which way to go and where to turn, just like your family and friends did, but they all still refuse to drive.
In Colorado they start questioning if you know where you're going and laughing at you. The closer you get to the destination the more they seem to enjoy themselves at your expense. You're driving so much slower now; you are so very tired. Between the jokes and the long road you've all but given up and started thinking about going back yourself. But there is one friend, one family member, and a few strangers who encourage you to keep going.
They won't take the wheel but they aren't laughing at you either. They won't sit in your seat but they aren't willing to abandon you. It feels strange but they are giving you the energy to continue. All the rest are still squirming in their seats, mocking you, and acting agitated and restless.
In Utah you can feel the anger in the car. The jokes have stopped and now you can sense growing resentment. Even though you know you aren't close to the destination, you're close enough. Your persistence is unnerving to your passengers and, although they've waited this long, you can tell they have all turned on you. Now you can feel them doing everything in their power to distract you and even stop you. Some are crawling all over you to make the car swerve...some kick your seat...some of the strangers undress...but you keep going.
By the time you reach the desert in Nevada, most have abandoned you. You've lost the confidence of damn near everyone who once believed in you or were just as excited as you to begin the journey. The car is about as barren as the desert you've driven through.
The few who are left are mostly strangers, one solid friend is among them, and just one family member. You didn't know any of the strangers at the beginning but here a few of them are still by your side. You got to know them along the way and realized they have other destinations to get to but they've been willing to stick with you on this one. You wonder how your other friends and family are doing and if all those associates are happy but you still press the gas to go forward.
When you finally get to Las Vegas to have the time of your life, you made it with fewer people than you had hoped but everyone who is there increases your joy. You realize that this was your journey and no one but you could have done the driving as badly as you may have wanted them to...this was your process and yours alone.
"Being right can LOOK wrong for a very long time."
You will lose some valuable relationships. You'll gain some too. You'll be laughed at and you'll be hated on. But with your vision firmly fixed in your mind - will you keep going?
T. Johnson-Bean, Founder
Author, Speaker, and Coach
Edited by: Michael W. Coulter
Man. Oh man. Oh man. Talk about commitment, perseverance, fortitude. They don’t teach that just anywhere…anywhere but the school of LIFE. It’s so hard to stay committed to YOUR journey in the face of such mockery and abandonment. Especially if no one else can see what you see. Especially when you begin to doubt yourself. I’m a huge fan of re-evaluating, re-assessing. Tweaking the plan if you need to, altering the route where required, making an unplanned pit stop….but continuing the journey. Success is not a destination. That’s why it’s so critical for folks to define success for themselves, so they can embark on and commit to their success journeys for themselves, regardless of the obstacles they will undoubtedly encounter along the way.
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