Based in Chicago, Omerisms is a blog by Omer Abdullah. His posts explore Ideas, perspectives and points of view across business, sales, marketing, life and (sometimes) football (the real kind).

The Path To Success Isn't a Straight Line

We tend to romanticize the path to success.

We have this perception that getting there is a straight-forward path. Particularly when we see others achieve it. This view that these folks took step 1, then step 2, and so on and so forth, until they achieved what they set out to do. That it was a clean path. That things just happened for them.

The truth is, that’s just not the case. It’s an illusion.

Nowhere is this more evident than how we mythologize the ‘overnight success’. With very few exceptions - exceptions related to peculiar market conditions, one-off events or sheer luck - those successes were decades in the making. If you look specifically at individuals, teams, and organizations that have endured over a long period of time (a requirement to be defined as “great”), the overnight success is rarer still.

The truth is, as Seth Godin put it, the myth of the overnight success is just that. A myth.

The real path to success is difficult, it lacks transparency, it includes setbacks and obstacles. The path to success makes you question yourself constantly, it pushes your mental faculties to their fullest, it involves sheer hard labor. There’s no getting around it.

We might yearn for the self help course or the latest 10 step solution that will change our lives in 30 days, but really we’re just looking for shortcuts. The easy way out.

The truth is, there’s no such thing.

There is only the reality that we can get where we want to go, but it will demand of us. Physically, mentally, emotionally. It will lurch forward, and backwards, sometimes (often) more one way than the other. But if we keep at it, we’ll get there.

That’s the truth.

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