The winding road to success

When you think about successfully completing your goal, whatever that might be, do you think about a brilliant, shiny, exciting outcome?

Success isn't always so lovely. It doesn’t follow a straight line and it doesn’t respect your hopes and dreams.

At the point you set your goal you probably haven’t faced any setbacks and you probably haven’t even contemplated the myriad of things than could take you off track.

However, you have a vision, you’ve set your goal and you know that you're capable of achieving it.


In a perfect world, we set goals, plan them out, and then follow a nice straight path towards a successful outcome. You don’t face any physical or mental issues along the way.

If you’re honest with yourself you know that it won’t be an easy straight line to success, Yet we assume that it will be.

Things come up; injuries happen; work gets in the way; you have a mental implosion; you fall ill. Some of the things we can prevent (not being prepared enough, not taking care of ourselves better, etc), others we can’t (family drama, illness & injury).

Suddenly the path to success meanders a bit. Sometimes the journey becomes less attractive.

There will be setbacks, roadblocks, detours and family emergencies along the way, many of them we completely did not anticipate. 

Have you ever heard people assume that a minor setback is fate and that their goal was no longer realistic and never was. They let the first bump in the road get in the way of their success because they stop at that point.

If that’s you, you need to get out of your own way. Learn what you need to learn. Find the path again. Re-plan and move on.

I think I’ve learned more from my unsuccessful swims than I’ve learned from my successful ones. Of course the unsuccessful ones have been devastating, but you dust yourself off, learn what you need to learn and move on to success.

When I reflect upon my path of failure to success, I actually think my outcome was better than it would have been if I had a simple journey to success. Where success has come easily, I tended to assume that it was easy and therefore it meant less. I certainly learned less.

I’ve said many times before, and I will almost certainly say again, I am very glad that I failed my first attempt at the channel. The journey to that swim had been fraught with stress, mini failures and tears. It was traumatic. Had I somehow been successful I would certainly have walked away from the sport with relief, but would no longer be involved. Just think about how much I would have missed out on. I shudder at the thought. I certainly wouldn’t be writing this today.

Are you ready to take on your imperfect path to success?

Do you need help planning (or re-planning)?

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