An old mentor of mine once said, “the best are not better than you, they just failed for longer.”
When we look at those we aspire to be like, we likely see them wrapped in a shining aura of success. What we don’t see is their lows, their struggles, and what they came from.
Some folks have more resources and help than others, some have more opportunities than others, but, nobody is without their struggle.
We like to idolize our heroes and put them on a pedestal , I’m guilty just as much as anyone else – what would you think if you saw them at their lowest? If you saw them bucked off in the dirt, or having a meltdown, or met them when their clients had all fired them, or when they couldn’t load a tough horse, or when they were mid divorce or after a loss or otherwise not on top of things?
We want vulnerability, but we praise perfection and punish the mess. We often don’t tolerate professionals making mistakes – but, we know that mistakes are essential to growth.
So this is a two part plea- one, to forgive your mess, to have grace in your bumpy ride down the potholed road to success. It will jar your teeth, it will make you cry, and you will fail. And that is all perfectly normal, necessary even.
And two, to forgive the mess of others, and when you see someone blatantly wrong, to know they can grow. When you see someone fall, know they don’t have to live there. When you see someone’s arrogance or anger or frustration or outright dismal behavior, it isn’t a free pass, but it’s simply a snippet of their life- a bump, a twist, a turn- and they don’t have to live that way in your mind forever.
Success is not a destination but a mindset, that every bump leads somewhere and has value, that the obstacle IS the path.