The journey is what you make of it


When I was in school, I made the mistake of telling my parents my goal to become rich by the time I was 30. They told me that was crazy.

“You have to put in your dues,“ they said. “Things don’t work that fast,” they said. “Turn off the TV and finish your homework, “they said.

“Don’t rain on my parade,” I said, or would have if I had been as sharp as I thought I was.

They wanted me to stop dreaming and do what everyone else does. Work hard, endure the pain, and in twenty or thirty years, if I was lucky, I might get there.

That’s the message they grew up with and the message they wanted me to learn.

But I didn’t want to hear that. Twenty or thirty years of pain? That didn’t work for me.

My law school torts professor told us it would take five years after we pass the bar before we could expect to see success.

I didn’t want to hear that either, although I liked his number better.

But the issue isn’t how long it takes. It’s the idea that success requires suffering.

I reject that idea. I did then and I do now.

Yes, growth can be uncomfortable. We’re doing difficult things, making mistakes, and regularly getting out of our comfort zone. But that doesn’t mean we have to suffer and hate what we’re doing.

It comes down to your attitude, which is driven by your beliefs.

If you believe success requires years of pain and suffering and sacrifice, that’s probably what you’ll find.

But you can choose a different belief.

You can believe that while there will be a certain amount of problems and discomfort, you can enjoy the journey on your way to success.

When you hit a snag, when you are uncomfortable, you can choose to endure it and suffer your way through it, or, as they teach new recruits in the military, you can “embrace the suck”.

See the difficulties for what they make of you. Because they are not only inevitable on your journey, they are how you reach your destination.

No matter how long it takes.