Guest contributor Wendi Weiner gives us an insider story on the path to success.
On the day of my law school graduation, after I walked across the stage, shook the hands of the Dean, and took the obligatory family photos, my parents handed me a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
It seemed appropriate at the time since I was about to embark on the next chapter in my life: the start of my legal career. It was a day I had been dreaming of for as long as I could remember. The past seven years of my college and graduate school life were nothing but books, classes, exams and papers, all wedged in between a busy social existence.
It was exciting, yet it was also incredibly terrifying. On one hand, I was finally ready to get out there and make money. On the other hand, where would I begin? Where would I go? How would I get there? Intense fear and panic set in me. My hands began to perspire. I turned to the inside of the book and read the message my parents inscribed:
“Wendi, we are all very proud of you on this special day. You have just started to reach your shining star. Hold on to it tightly. The adventure has just begun.”
More than a decade later, I looked back at the message and thought about the star I'm reaching for today. It doesn't look exactly like the star from ten years ago, but instead is one of many I've seen, considered, and reached for along the way.
Unsure of my answer to those questions, I turned to a random page in the book:
“Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.”
The path to success is a long one. It has many twists and turns and bumps along the journey. It also includes a lot of failures, do-overs and new beginnings.
We tend to buy into the notion that if a job doesn’t work out or a career doesn’t work out that we are failures. We become self-deprecating in thought and develop a defeatist attitude. We begin to question our skills, our abilities, and the journey. But sometimes, losing a job or walking out on a job can wind up being the best thing that ever happened to you. You regain a sense of self-confidence that was hidden or buried. You then have an epiphany and an awakening to the fact that something better that awaits you and you are ready to go forth and conquer.
Success does not happen overnight. It takes years to build up to, to rise and to fall and to keep spinning the wheel with ideas. It takes dreams, goals and a willingness to give it all you’ve got. It takes the ultimate amount of self-confidence when no one else believes in you and all you believe in is yourself. It takes an infinite ability to close your ears to the negative noise of others who doubt you or who say it can’t be done.
Success is a powerful thing. It opens your eyes to the possibilities that exist within you and the potential that still lingers. The most successful people are often the ones who have failed the most. It isn’t about the destination. It is about the journey and the “road less traveled.”
Today, I opened the book and turned to the last page.
“And, will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”
Are you ready to get on the path? Are you ready to see all of the places you'll go? Take a chance and find out.