I closely associate with the motto “The only time you lose is when you give up,” as we should steadfastly toil at our craft to reap ultimate rewards. Many individuals will attempt to control the outcomes of their efforts to no avail, since measurements and metrics impose a framework representing a thinly veiled veneer of control in the midst of ongoing entropy. Trusting the process and releasing our tightly wound grip on perceived control is a liberating practice intended to shift focus from daily minutiae to the vast landscape of our existence.
Not quitting, while fervently applying our knowledge and skills toward the service of others, aids in both honing our craft and emboldening others to grow in life’s journey. Some people may experience the fruits of their labor 10-20 years after their implementation or application of said work. We are incapable of fully understanding the reasoning and rationale for tragic events and continued strife, but must have faith that all facets are thoughtfully intertwined to empower, engage, and edify us during life’s journey. I concur that the myriad struggles in life help shape our character toward God’s vision. I for one am still indefatigably driven, yet my empathy and compassion has been raised following a near death Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), which was ultimately humbling in displaying the mortality of our existence. We must continuously learn from these watershed moments followed by continual focus on future events and dissemination of our knowledge by transcending a disjointed and fragmented societal culture to spur harmony and unity.
I certainly prescribe to Daymond John’s notion that we must follow our passion, which will automate the process of rising and grinding every day without forethought to actualize our potential in unifying and harmonizing society. Many will understand this message as strictly adhering to routines with utmost discipline, so one may eventually revel in the commonplace definition of success – extensive accumulation of wealth and material goods. The issues with this mindset are that a focus purely on an unsatisfying end goal is a self-serving and unfulfilling practice, a failure to learn and grow occurs when one focuses purely on the end goal while discounting or neglecting the journey (I just want that A in class or that high-paying job and forget the process to attain these goals), forgetting the process subsequently leads us to forget the struggles and obstacles we overcame to learn and grow, which diminishes any value we may provide toward others, and we experience a self-imposed alienation in favor of an outdated definition of ‘success’ over authentic ‘success’ in helping others grow through life’s knowledge to overcome setbacks indicative of the human condition.
As an avid watcher of the television show The Shark Tank, I noted that both Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran self-identified as dyslexic as evidence that arduous application of effort can overcome any supposed debilitation in a boon to the self-serving sycophants. Furthermore, Barbara stated she had performed 22 jobs before her success in real estate, and her husband left her after only 5 years in the real estate industry for her secretary. A combination of seemingly endless life struggles coupled with a societally-defined hindering and prohibitive disability should serve to dissuade the seemingly idealistic machinations of both individuals. However, both individuals entered into a conscious choice to not be defined by their vices and/or foibles and retain an unwavering focus on fulfilling their meaning. I am reminded of a quote that is especially applicable to this scenario:
“…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it…”-Charles R. Swindoll (Pastor and Author of The Grace Awakening)
A victim mentality will lead to unscrupulous behaviors like substance abuse, which provides a fleeting departure from life’s current woes and an escape into an alternate reality. Activities aimed at hedonism are short-lived and cause depravity of the soul yearning for growth, development, altruism, and companionship. Some may have seen these definitions, I believe the word ‘fail’ is an acronym for First Attempt in Learning while ‘job’ is an acronym for Just Over Broke. We should experience a certain level of comfort and safety devoid of potentially imminent danger to maximize elucidation for thought, as well as productivity. Moreover, our learning curve for any endeavor is expedited through mistakes and obstacles, and their related errors and setbacks, respectively, whereas learning either wanes or is non-existent throughout and following our successes.
Like Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran, I have either experienced, or been born with, supposedly debilitating conditions that only serve to strengthen my resolve. I believe we are tasked with difficulties, so we may expedite life’s learning curve to maximize our contribution toward society’s advancement. Be comfortable in following God’s perceptually disconnected plan that detaches from the status quo while concurrently guiding individuals beyond their comfort zone into unparalleled, authentic ‘success’.