The Path to Success

by Lance Ekum on · 82 comments

“Suc­cess means doing the best we can with what we have. Suc­cess is the doing, not the get­ting; in the try­ing, not the tri­umph. Suc­cess is a per­sonal stan­dard, reach­ing for the high­est that is in us, becom­ing all that we can be.” ~ Zig Ziglar

It’s a warm Sun­day after­noon.  The breeze by the lake quickly dis­ap­pears as we wan­der into the for­est.  Under the canopy of trees, it’s cool though.  With a bounce in our step, we begin our ascent toward the most pic­turesque view in the park. 

{…the easy moments on our path toward success…}

Some rocks to climb on, a large hawk fly­ing over­head, a few other fel­low journeyer’s on this hike.

The Climb

A turn and we are mov­ing upward.  The for­est begins to give way to a steep upward climb — a climb high­lighted by large boul­ders and open skies.  A nar­row path leads upward, large stone steps.  We curve back and forth, slowly get­ting higher and higher.

{…the suc­cess jour­ney often has moments where it becomes an uphill climb…}

We pause, replen­ish our bod­ies with water.  We pause, and reflect back down to where we have come.  We pause, and take in that moment — see­ing where we have reached to.  A look for­ward, and we see con­tin­ued steps, no end in sight.

{…when we stop on our suc­cess jour­ney, we give our­selves time to reflect and re-focus…}

The climb con­tin­ues.  We are hot, our legs not want­ing to take that next step.  We con­tinue on.  It’s easy to think about what the view will look like once we’ve reached the top.  What about each step along the way, though?  We notice the trees grow­ing out of the rocks.  We notice a chip­munk near another tree.  We see that hawk again, this time much closer.  We see the rocks — all these rocks.…

{…suc­cess is in the whole jour­ney, not just some per­ceived peak…}

We reach the top.  Sur­rounded now by foliage, and no majes­tic view in sight — there is still this sense of joy, of accom­plish­ment, of bliss.  Even though we fully expect that our jour­ney (on this path) is not reached, we still savor the accom­plish­ment of the climb we have made.  A glance back, at these steps we’ve just climbed…a smile…a know­ing that we have per­se­vered, a know­ing that we did not back down from the chal­lenge of this climb.

{…take time to savor the path you have trav­eled, and the steps you have taken to get where you are…}

The Sum­mit

We con­tinue on, the path now much eas­ier.  Soon we reach a gor­geous rocky over­look.  For many min­utes, we just explore the area…climbing, sit­ting, walk­ing.  Oth­ers are here also — a stop­ping place to take in the amaz­ing views. 

{…soak in the suc­cess that you have created…}

The Jour­ney Continues

Our jour­ney doesn’t end, though.  We can­not stay here for­ever.  We move on, work­ing our way back down a dif­fer­ent path.  Many peo­ple are com­ing up, to see that view we saw.  We offer encour­ag­ing words here and there. 

{…share your knowl­edge with oth­ers, so they may too expe­ri­ence their own success…}

We reach the trail head, our bod­ies sill warmed up from this hike.  The nearby lake is call­ing out.  It’s time to play, to splash, to have some unstruc­tured fun! 

{…take time to reju­ve­nate and have some extra fun…}

Later on that day, we again explore another trail.  This time, we take a wrong turn, and soon find our­selves in the mid­dle of the for­est, no trail in sight.  We wan­der, look­ing for the trail we had started on.  Even­tu­ally we find that trail.

{…some­times you will get off track.  That’s okay.  Take time to adjust your bear­ings.  And remem­ber, also, that these off-track adven­tures often lead to new discoveries…}

We return home, our day filled with mem­o­ries, and with all sorts of moments we’ll treasure.

{…wher­ever your jour­ney takes you, remem­ber that this is YOUR jour­ney.  Savor what you are creating…}


Note:  This story was devel­oped from actual moments spent together as a fam­ily at one of Wisconsin’s true trea­sures — Devil’s Lake State Park.  If your jour­ney ever brings you through cen­tral Wis­con­sin, a day (or longer) at this park is joy and fun all wrapped up together!

Lance writes sto­ries from his heart, aim­ing to inspire and moti­vate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he’s not here, you can find him hang­ing out with his fam­ily, rid­ing a bike, or just gen­er­ally act­ing goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Tree­house newslet­ter and get addi­tional inspi­ra­tion in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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