It’s that time of year when young adults venture off and begin the next phases of their lives. Some will go to college. Some will start new jobs. Some will sit and ponder what to do next.
Life has many paths, but no matter what direction we take, we need to take that first step to move forward.
Today’s fortune is by poet Judy Rae Grahn, and I thought it was great advice to give anyone questioning their futures. It sums up many of my previous posts on success, achievements, and courage.
When I first read it, Grahn’s quote reminded me of similar inspirational quotes such as:
Taking a chance in life can be scary and difficult, especially that first step out the door. But there is more to success than simply starting. Every journey has a beginning, middle, and end, and there is no use starting unless you know where you’re going and how you plan to get there.
Here is a little advice and encouragement for all of you, young and old, starting down a new path. Follow your dreams, have your destination set, and plan for the unexpected.
Zig Ziglar (1926 – 2012), an American author, salesman, and motivational speaker, gave many inspiring talks on how to succeed. He also said:
We have to have some goals in mind if we want to succeed. Otherwise, we are just wandering down endless paths.
Have your destination set
What is your dream? Do you want to be a doctor? Do you want to write a best-selling book? Do you want to own a home? You need to set your sights on something that you want before you start your journey.
Your goals don’t have to be enormous either. Even small goals can make a huge difference in the world. Maybe you want to pass a test, read more books, or put some money aside. These little objectives can help you along the way toward the bigger goals.
Imagine your path in life paved with stepping stones, and each one is a small decision you make towards your goal. Small, defined steps break the long journey into manageable parts and make a larger goal more attainable. The individual stepping stones also give you time to reflect on each moment. And by reflect, I mean cherish them as opposed to regretting them.
Plan for the unexpected
There are bound to be times when you make poor decisions or take a wrong turn. The mistakes you make in life are learning experiences that help you grow and make better decisions moving forward. Often, mistakes are unavoidable, and how you deal with them reflects how you will succeed. When you fall, get back up, brush off the dust, and keep going.
Don’t be surprised to find others walking along the same path as you. It’s at those times that you can help each other. Share what you learned, give each other support, and find comfort in walking beside a like-minded individual.
Even if you are competing for the same goal, treat others with respect, and you will earn respect. Remember that one kind word can change someone’s entire day. That kindness will come back to you when you least expect it, and most need it.
I’m still working on getting traditionally published, but other writers have worked just as hard and are finally seeing success. I am always happy to congratulate them, wish them luck going forward, and even buy their book if it intrigues me. I know how hard it is to reach that goal, and they deserve a little pat on the back.
Now I can’t guarantee that you won’t cross paths with bitter, judgmental people. They may see you and what you’re doing as folly, but that’s okay. If you’re honest, selfless, and hardworking, what other people think about you isn’t your business.
This is your journey. You are ultimately responsible for the goals you set, the paths you walk, and the steps you take.
So when you take that first step, make it matter, because you matter too.