Have you ever noticed that movement and direction are two entirely different things? Even lost in the parking lot and going in circles, you're still moving, just not getting anywhere. Why? Because no one ever invented a compass that points in a useful direction, like toward the place where you parked your car.
The key to being successful in life is not shoot the bull, pass the buck, or make seven copies. It is finding and staying on the right path.
How do you find the path that leads to the top? You need a plan.
I heard about a knight who came in to see his king after a great battle. He rode in on his limping horse, leaning to one side, bloody, bruised and scarred with his armor dented and helmet skewed. The king said, "What hath befallen you, Sir Knight?" Straightening up as best he could, he replied, "Oh, Sire, I have been laboring in your service, robbing and burning and pillaging your enemies to the west." "You've been what?!" cried the startled nobleman, "I haven't any enemies to the west!" "Oh!" There was a long pause and the knight finally said, "Well, Sire, you do now." The moral to this story is enthusiasm is not enough. You need direction and a plan.
Many people approach life with fire, ready, and aim. It's like the grocery store. Aren't you glad there's a plan? Can you imagine if items were randomly placed? I have enough trouble when Penny sends me for peas and discover that there are seven different kinds of peas. Thank goodness they are all on the same aisle.
You have to plan but you also have to practice your plan. Some have taken the approach to life with aim, aim and aim. They are always aiming and never put anything into practice. They are aiming to do this or aiming to do that but they never actually pull the trigger. It's like a guy who brings in building materials but never actually builds a house. When you ask him when he will start, he describes the building materials he's just ordered. He will always be one plank short of a building
A path begins with the first step. You plan, practice, and then make progress. Where you are on the path is not as important to consider as how far you've come. Life is like a bicycle, if you don't keep going forward, you'll fall off. We have to continue to make progress.
A man complained he hurt his leg by falling off a fifty-foot ladder. His friend said, "You must be hurt badly." He said, "No, I was only on the second step." Progress means that other steps follow the first step.
Persistence is hanging in there. Anything worthwhile has struggles. There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. Edward Hillary, the first man to conquer Mount Everest, said, "It's not about conquering mountains, it's about conquering yourself."
How do you persist on the path when everything and everybody seems to be an obstacle? Remember the cartoon character, the Roadrunner. In every episode there was Wile E. Coyote. The Wile E. Coyotes of life want to put roadblocks on your path. They complain, try to stop you, and knock you down. In every episode the Coyote would set a trap only to be caught himself. If you are a coyote trying to keep others down, you'll end up in your own trap. The Roadrunners of this world are "Beep Beeping" for the top on the right path. When you are discouraged, think about the Roadrunner.
As you travel to the top don't forget to enjoy the journey. A man decided he needed to spend more time with his son so he took him mountain climbing. It was a tough climb that took all day long. Finally, late afternoon, they arrived at the top. The father was trying to teach his son the value of hard work and said, "Look at the view. Not many people see this view because they're not willing to put in the hard work to get to the top. We made it and now can enjoy the view." The son replied, "That's great. It is a beautiful view. But if you had just taken a little time to look while climbing, you would have noticed it was beautiful all the way up." Plan, practice, progress, and persist on your path. Go as far as you can but don't go so fast that you lose your joy.
Africa is called the Dark Continent. When some Americans were on a Safari they found otherwise. For several days the Americans were lead by the natives through Africa. They were always up early and moved quickly. On the fifth day the Americans were ready to go but the natives were still asleep. Not understanding, they asked why. The Natives said, "We rest and let our souls catch up with our bodies."
Make sure in your sprint to the top that you don't lose your spirit. The top with a view of the world can be empty if only your body arrives. On your path to the top, remember man does not live by sprint alone.