Success [sac•ri•fice]

What success is depends on the person who hunts it.

Success can be true love.
Success can be wealth.
Success can be humility.
Success can be power.

Success can be so many things, but no matter who you are or what success is for you, one thing is common to everyone: success is sacrifice. You can look at anyone who has achieved his or her dream and find sacrifices at every turn in their path. There’s a theory that says life always gets harder right before a breakthrough or a great success, and we hear this everywhere. In their song “Shake It Out,” Florence + the Machine tells us that “it’s always darkest before the dawn.” J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” We read all the time on the internet that failure is the pathway to success. The list is endless.

The Bible even follows this arch of worse before it’s better. There’s the Garden of Eden, the First Sin, the depreciation of humanity before the flood, further struggles and sins, Jesus and his crucifixion, and finally Jesus’ resurrection and eternal life for all who choose it. In fact, this is the arch for 99% of literature and media art. It’s as if the world has adopted this mantra and made it so, because it is indeed the greatest and maybe oldest truth of life.

Sacrifice and failure are too often referred to as negative things instead of necessary things. Earlier this year I wrote a workshop on chasing dreams, and one of my main points was Failure is Fuel for Success. Continuing with that train of thought, sacrifice could be called the road to success. This week, if you’re facing difficulties, weighing sacrifices, or dealing with failure, then just keep your eyes on the goal and your heart open to growth and change. Life’s tribulations are the weights that, when we figure out how to lift them, only make us stronger.

I’ll end this post with a question for you to ponder: When someone falls short of their goal, should we measure them by the height to which they climbed or by the height from which they fell?

 

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Here’s this week’s writing prompt:

Twenty-three years later, she woke up…

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