As you get older, you will learn like I did that achieving success is not easy. No matter what other people may tell you, and you will find plenty of them willing to give you some “helpful” advice on how to be successful, it’s a process that comes with ups and downs. If your friends or relatives mention anything different than this, in my opinion, take their advice with a grain of salt.
Listen, we all want to know the shortest path to success and so are willing to hear people’s advice on how to get there. Occasionally, you will run into people who will tell you that “it doesn’t require all of that” to get ahead. To them, all you have to do is follow a few small painless steps to achieve your goal. I’m sure that you’ve run into some people like this in your life because I know that I have. In hearing their suggestion, you are being told the sugar coated version, which is advice that makes the process sound much easier than it really is.
As I mentioned earlier, the process of achieving success is much more difficult than just taking a few steps here and there. I know from experience that the process will require hard work, dedication, consistency, and a few other superlatives, but I believe you get my point. Achieving success is not obtained by going through a sugarcoated process, because if it did, people wouldn’t learn all the lessons that are needed to get ahead. Most of the time, you have to experience some form of failure, before you can make it.
For example, when I was in school, I have trouble picking up what the teacher was trying to convey in class. At first, I thought that the problem was her poor teaching style and not me because I had noticed there were other people in the class who were having problems retaining the material as well. However, when I looked around and found out that others were getting A’s and B’s and I was still getting C’s, I realized I should have asked for help. Most of the time, when situations like this occur, we get upset with everyone except ourselves. I know this all too well because that’s what I did. To be honest, that situation has happened to me more than once, and I didn’t handle it correctly in the beginning. When you are younger, you always want the sugar coated version because it’s an easier path to follow. But in the long run, the sugarcoated version only hinders you from learning what you need to know.
I later learned from speaking with others like myself that we all don’t pick up every subject material easily. Some topics will require us to study more in order to get it. When we stop blaming others, admit that it’s our fault, and put in some hard work, that is when we will get it.
In another example, I struggled badly in my foreign language and chemistry classes, but I kept working hard until I passed them. The process was hard for me because they weren’t subjects that I liked. A few of my classmates told me that these subjects were easy to get good grades in and so I should join them. However, they were just sugarcoating the process, as these subjects were hard for me to grasp. It can make you feel really stupid when you are studying and you just can’t get it. I felt this way about these classes and it frustrated me terribly. If you have ever experienced this lack of understanding of the material while everyone else is breezing through, you know the misery I’m talking about.
But, that is how life is when you are chasing success and climbing that ladder of achievement; some people will get it easier while others will struggle. But if you want to obtain success on any level in life, you have to be willing to work hard to reach that level of proficiency. You can’t give up if others pick it up easier than you do. You have to know your own abilities and keep trying until you get there. I learned this very valuable lesson later on in my career, and I don’t want you to waste any of your time doing the same.
In moving forward to today, this message is still relevant for the many challenges that we are facing in our respective lives. There are still people who sugarcoat the path to success by saying that it doesn’t require that much work. If you ask any very successful person about their journey, I believe that they will tell you that it was their ability to work hard and be steadfast that allowed them to achieve their goal.
The last life lesson I share comes from when I bought my first house. I was in my early twenties at the time and thought that I was on my way to becoming very wealthy. The building that I purchased had multiple rental apartments and it looked like an easy transaction. The person who sold me the house said that being a landlord is so easy, “just come by once a month to pick up the rent”. He also said, if I continued buying these rental properties, I would be very wealthy within a few years.
Unfortunately, what I didn’t know was that having tenants was going to be a big headache for me. I had mistakenly listened to the sugarcoated version of owning rental property. Every time I came to the house to collect the rent, the tenants gave me one excuse after another for not paying their rent. I had to eventually hire a lawyer and go through all sorts of legal complications in dealing with those tenants. I was too young to understand that this was not the sugarcoated transaction the prior owner had promised, and I ended up paying the price. I was guilty of trying to “get rich” overnight and it backfired on me in more ways than I knew.
Personally, I’m retired now after having worked over 35 years and I know from experience that the success that I have obtained, have come from hard work and dedication. To climb the corporate ladder, I had to work long hours, often on the weekends and on some holidays in order to make it.
In closing, the real journey to becoming successful will require mental, physical and spiritual strength. The pain that you may have to go through is going to make you better in the long run. So giving up should never be an option. I didn’t accept it and I don’t want you to give up either.
If you have any comments, feel free to send them to me.