Stay the Course

We all have our goals, dreams and ambitions. We all want to succeed at something, somewhere along the way in life. In most cases, it is rarely mentioned that the road to success doesn’t necessarily come easy. Flashed before us each day on television are an array of personalities labeled “the best that can be.” But as we peel back the covers, the stories are revealed to show that the climb up the ladder was not always smooth. Perhaps it is true “good things never come easy,” but they can and do happen.

I could sit here and say that once you set in motion a plan or a goal, that everything is going to go your way and family and friends will be so happy that they will leap for joy and unconditionally give their support. Yes, many of us do have friends and family that do smile with approval, but just as many don’t. That’s just plain reality. As the Bible quotes “The Truth shall set you free.” Once we accept this scenario, the defense mechanisms are in place to protect us from most surprises that come our way. Our expectations stay grounded. An example is a story I heard from my local convenience store owner, Jack. About ten years ago one of his customers won three million dollars in the state lottery. The first thing his customer did with his winnings, believe it or not, was to purchase the most expensive, best-looking hairpiece for his head. It always bothered him that he had lost his hair at an early age. So Jack said to the lucky-winner “Oh boy, I bet you lost alot of friends since you’ve won the money.” A sadness came over the winner’s face. He said, “Friends I have, it’s family I lost.” He went on to mention, “You would not believe how many people hit me up for money in my family. I never expected this to happen…..but if I realistically gave everything that they asked for all the money would be gone. Not only do you hear from brothers and sisters, but also second and third cousins whom you’ve never met.” What the winner eventually decided to do was to set up a living trust fund for his children and grandchildren. He had to accept the fact that from here on in some in the family would not have a kind word to say about him. Many of us, once in awhile, purchase a lottery ticket…but do we ever stop to think, or are we prepared, for what can happen if we win? The same can be said for our own successes….just be prepared.

The backbone of most endeavors is hard work, planning, and determination. Sometimes we may feel like we have a hundred people with us….other times we feel totally alone. What keeps us going is faith, belief, and focus. These are the ingredients that can sustain us through any storm. Hell may break loose around us, but if we “stay the course” we will not lose sight of our destination.

We’re really not much different from trains, boats and airplanes. They start their journey toward a destination…..and onboard are maps, time schedules, weather information, etc. Before setting off they must know where they’re heading and expect to arrive. To the best of their ability, they are determined to get there.

Life IS a journey…..choose the ride wisely.

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

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