Success in the Road Less Traveled

As we toured Japan we walked many steps which all too often meant climbing upwards. Sounds easy and yet often we found ourselves challenged and out of breath beyond our expectations. On this particular climb within a helix shaped temple I was surprised at how much effort it took to get to the top. When we arrived at the crest of our steps we all stopped and rested and commented on how much harder it was than how it looked.

I see climbing these steps as a great metaphor for reaching success. Success usually ends up being much more difficult than expected. The climb takes energy out of you that you didn’t know you had, and all too often we have to stop and gear up to continue at a later date. Success requires sacrifice, endurance, long term thinking and an ability to keep going even when everything within you is shouting for you to stop! Success means you have to keep going even when the enthusiasm you had when you started has faded away.

While climbing the stairs we would check on each other and encourage each other to keep going. Handing each other water, words of kindness and empathy, maybe even a group rest while everyone took a deep breath before starting again. Much like success, we need to surround ourselves with people who will be committed to helping us reach the top. They help us process how we get to where we want to go and they encourage us along the way. Sometimes that means kicking us in the patootie in order to get us to move forward.

One of our group had been to this temple on multiple occasions and had never climbed to the top. It cost money to get in and they did not have those funds. This time we bought their ticket and away we all climbed. Success more than anything else will require money and resources that you may or may not have at the time. Never be too proud to admit you need help and be open to letting others provide what you need along the journey. You can pay them back or consider it an investment, either way be upfront about your needs and to others doing what you cannot.

We eventually made it to the top and saw the view, it was spectacular. Worth every yen and every step. We sweat, we hurt, we had to hang out at the top to get our breath back, and most importantly we did it. Never let the prospect of hard work prevent your from succeeding. Anything in life that is Wirth doing will take hard work, especially success. If it were easy everyone would do it.

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