What if the Extent of Our Success Is Determined By The Length of the Climb?
We’ve all heard of the one-hit wonder rock band. They come out of nowhere, have a huge hit and then we never hear them or their songs again. How about the people who win the lottery who simply end up back where they started financially?
My theory behind these sharp inclines and declines sits atop an appreciation or understanding of the shoulders stood upon. Without this wisdom of knowing how to sustain, we squander the opportunity. But, it’s hard to know the ingredients that led to our success in these scenarios unless we're mature enough to dig in when we don't know what we don't know.
It’s part of why I’m a fan of organic growth as a method of moving towards success. The slow climb allows us to learn along the way, make sense of what is happening, and most importantly know how the growth is cultivated. As we track our progress, we'll grow to our limit allowing us to learn and break through. When we fail, we can debrief that failure and adjust our course and actions to more effectively arrive at our destination.
While on the set of American Made as a movie extra, I spoke with a fellow actor on set about his aspirations in the movie business. During our conversation, he explained his goal was to slowly and surely work his way forward and upward becoming a successful actor. His belief was the faster someone rises to success (one-hit wonder), the shorter their time is at the destination (success), and the steeper the fall when it comes to an end.
If you knew this principle were to be true, would it change your zeal in climbing the mountain of progress? Or would you prefer that one-hit wonder?
These tensions act as filters for separating the lucky from the skilled artists that have the ability to consistently create quality outcomes. The challenge of slow and steady growth also acts as a purifying fire to root out our distracting intentions while effectively grounding us in a stronger motivation for doing what we’re doing. And, the process refines what matters.
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