Success is not defined by the amount of money we make, where we live or the power to skillfully manipulate the circumstances of life. Success cannot be quantified for it touches the depth of who we are through our highest and best contributions. The boundaries of success reach beyond self-satisfaction as we leave our mark on humanity. Success provides genuine wealth that affords us the liberty to accelerate justice on the earth—just by being who we are!
I remember hearing a humorous story of a young man speaking to his girlfriend. He said to her, “I love you so much and I would do anything for you! I would swim the deepest sea and climb the highest mountain for you…and I’ll be over on Saturday if it doesn’t rain.”
Every person aspires to be successful but not everyone is willing to make the difficult choices when inconvenienced or challenged by extenuating circumstances. Guaranteed true success can be actualized by anyone that daily chooses the high road!
“Sometimes you have to take the high road. Even if you are the only one on it.” Unknown
What do high road choices look like?
Look for opportunities when inconvenienced. The disruption of plans and unforeseen situations can be the justified excuses for lack of follow-through and failure. On the other hand they could also be the opportunity to confirm the extent of our purpose-driven devotion and internal character. We’ve been awarded the opportunity to build self-trust and affirm courage while demonstrating to others that we can be trusted. Inconvenience will undoubtedly reveal itself so use it for your good.
Be secure in uncomfortable situations. The journey of personal growth always leads us into unchartered territory. We feel awkward and uneasy because we have never been here before. We feel uncomfortable when we are thrust into unfamiliar surroundings and are called upon to perform without prior preparation. When we face this uncomfortable feeling, rather than backing away into our comfort zone, it becomes our prime opportunity to run to the roar.
Be true to who you are. The moment I copy another I hide behind an invisible mask that squelches my gift to the world. Every day that I bury my ability, silence my voice or retreat to a place of perceived safety I sabotage my opportunity to shine. The first step to validation and peace is when we become comfortable in our own imperfect skin.
“The high road is always respected. Honesty and integrity are always rewarded.” Scott Hamilton
Pay the price for self-development. Public opportunities come from private preparation. Expecting others to open doors for us when we are inactive is entitlement and a recipe for failure. The challenges of the journey empower success because the process itself brings maturity. Reality is not found in the fantasy mindsets of overnight successes or getting rich quick. Self-development will cost us time—lots of it! It will require our hard-earned money! It demands personal sacrifice and the challenging task as we make hard choices to reject self-destructive, toxic thoughts and establish boundaries in unhealthy relationships.
Avoid the vacation mindset. Designated times for fun and family are beautiful celebrations of a beautiful life. Vacations are tremendous—especially if they fit your budget and they do not hinder your purpose-driven opportunities. What needs to be avoided is the destructive vacation mindset! It carries the need to escape because life is so very hard. It supposes the thinking that, “I have to leave town to have fun because daily life is so boring. I have to break out of this rat race prison to feel free.”
People will go into debt for a vacation but don’t have enough money to invest into self-development or building opportunities. Success is found when we choose to enjoy our life and relationships on a day-to-day basis as we work hard and play hard simultaneously!
Look at your sacrificial investments and you’ll see what you truly value. Let’s not look at the proverbial success story or live vicariously through another’s achievements, but consider how we live our everyday lives for it is the prophet of our future.
Dr. Melodye Hilton