Hello SOTGC community!
We all, at times, fall into the trap of thinking that the only road to success is characterized by a clear and straight path. That if we do not have a flawless plan in mind and if things are not going according to said plan, we are somehow failing to achieve what we set out to accomplish.
I hope this post helps to ease these feelings and, in part, convince you that the road to success can definitely be a swirly one, full of ups and downs, unexpected twists and turns, and that THAT is perfectly alright!
In her recent book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg shares with her readers the following piece of advice: “Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” She describes how the journey to the top, so to speak, rarely involves a clear and straight path, but rather resembles a jungle gym in that there are many paths to achieving one’s goals.
We have all seen, time and time again, the diagram comparing the road to success as people imagine it to be (a straight line), with what the road to success really often looks like (a swirly and squiggly line).
Here are some reasons why next time you are zig-zag-ing your way to success you should not fret but rather sit back and enjoy the journey!
You are dynamic! As human beings we are constantly changing over the years. We are multifaceted in both our interests and skills and seek fulfillment from different things at different points in our lives. This makes it alright, if not completely natural and healthy, to change careers, plans, and goals over the course of our lives. This “career jungle gym,” as Sheryl Sandberg puts it, reflects our dynamic nature!
We learn from our mistakes! It may sound like a basic kindergarten lesson, but the truth of the matter is, we do indeed learn and grow from the challenges that we are presented with. Part of the squiggly path to success evolves from the challenges that, at times, send us off on tangents in the pursuit of our dreams. If everything always went smoothly then we would not be as motivated to develop flexibility and adaptability in life, both of which are very important skills. We would also be missing a great deal of growth that is nurtured through working through challenges.
The journey counts too! Sometimes we can easily get caught up in focusing on Point A and Point B; we focus on where we are and where we want to be and lose touch with the importance of the journey and growth that is to take place between the two. It is through acknowledging the importance of the journey that we are able to come to terms with and embrace the concept that the road to success may indeed be anything but straightforward. Think of all the people you may meet, the experiences you may have, the places you may see on your road to success! If anything, by taking a zig-zag approach, this road becomes even more enriched!
My dearest SOTGC community, I hope this post has inspired you to embrace the “zig-zag” to success! If this post resonated with you, share it with your friends, family, and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter! These are just a couple of reasons why it’s all right to be on a “swirly” road to success …. How do you cope with the ups and downs and unexpected turns? We’d love to hear all about your experiences in the comment section below!