I just spent most of the past two days at a virtual “Dream Summit” event where a dozen or so motivational speakers shared words of wisdom about how to achieve “inspiration and empowered dreaming.” A theme of the conference was overcoming failure and persisting, even when obstacles come your way.

A poem by Katherine MacKennett shares much of the sentiment:
Now, every time I witness a strong person,
I want to know:
What dark did you conquer in your story?
Mountains do not rise without earthquakes.

 In my fieldwork as a Census enumerator, I’ve had plenty of occasions where my GPS has rerouted me as I traverse the Iowa farms. I don’t get upset by this, rather am grateful for the guidance that sets me on the right road. We need to treat bumps in the road to our goals the same way. Expect them. Take the detour. And keep going.

No path to success occurs without challenges. Hearing others share their stories of setbacks, failures, misfortune and changed focus reduces the stigma about such diversions and disabuses the myth that there are some lucky ones who have an easy path to success.

No one has a straight road to achievement. Those who reach their journey are the ones who persist through the rerouting.


About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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