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.


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