Get a Map: Success on the North-side of Life
Subject: Success, motivation, independence, roadmap, fatherhood
I was talking to my friend Mark who lives in Las Vegas. I've known Mark from our college days at the "Institute". Like me, Mark was born and raised in Chicago. We were on the topic of empowerment and taking control of one's life and going out there and making things happen. We both agree that too often we become dependent on others either because of laziness (i.e., lack of initiative on our part) or just the plain, old fear of failure.
We've both learned over the years that no one is going to "hook you up". If you want something, you have to be willing to put forth the effort and stop leaning on others.
Mark gave me an example of this by telling me about his son who was visiting Chicago. While driving around that big city his son got lost. So what was the first thing he did? You got it,...called his Dad. Note: Again, Mark lives in Las Vegas and his son is in college.
Mark said the first time he called he helped his son out. A bit later his son calls again for more directions and Mark helps him out again. On the third call Mark finally advises his son of the obvious, "When you see the next gas station, pull in and buy yourself a map so you won't have to keep calling me."
I laughed when Mark told me this story. It exemplifies why so many people in life never seem to get anywhere. Let me highlight the obvious lessons here:
Creating Bad Habits
The absurdity of the phone call probably hit Mark when he realized he was giving directions to a college student thousands of miles away.
Over the years I'm sure that Mark has been a good father...one might say too good. When we do everything for our children guess what? They get use to it. I too have been guilty of this. Children learn how to depend on their parents and often times, stop thinking for themselves.
On a much grander scheme, as we get older, we let others do the thinking for us. The media tells us what's wrong with the world. Our family members tell us what we would be good at doing. The intellectuals tell us that you have to have a college degree to be successful. Our friends tell us how it's impossible and maybe we should be more 'realistic'. I could go on, but you get the idea.
Be a Deviant
All our lives we've been listening to others. We've been told if you do A, B, C and D, you will have a good life. Society tells us to follow the script...don't deviate...just follow the script.
The problem is you can't script life. Life is about adapting to situations. It's about overcoming adversity and finding ways to make things happen. Success is not a straight line...you have to deviate when necessary.
Here's a simple, visual example you should try next time you have a map in front of you. Place your finger anywhere on the map. I then want you to see how many ways you can find to get to that point coming from any direction on the map. Within seconds you'll realize that there are variety of ways (e.g., streets, highways, avenues, etc.) and combinations of getting to that point.
Success and prosperity are NO different...there are so many ways to achieve both.
So if you don't have a 'life map' and you can't ask God for specific directions, try using your internal compass. Stop listening to others, that's taking the easy way out.
I'm convinced that the day your firmly decide in your mind to set your own course, is the day you start creating you're own roadmap to success.
And yes, you will hit dead-ends and have to start again. You will go down the wrong way, and will have to turn around. You'll probably get flat tires and your motivational engine will hiccup once in a while. But don't stop. You have to get off your South-side if you want to get to the North-side of life.
p.s. Mark's son did do one thing right. He called his Dad because he KNEW that his father knew. If you're going to call someone to get advise (directions), make sure they know what the hell they're talking about. Don't ask stupid people for advise (see "Stupid People Poem"). Lastly, keep in mind that others can only help you with part of your journey...it really is up to you.
Please feel free to forward this article to a friend or colleague.
Victor Antonio G., one of America's top business motivational speaker and author of “The LOGIC of Success”.
Copyright © 2005 by Victor Antonio G. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio G.
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