Failure doesn’t sell. Most articles on the web provide tips on how to succeed but rarely review the missteps taken to get there.
“You don’t want to miss the dash in between. That’s a good time. If you just go from point A to Z, there’s nowhere else to go.” — Nas
Who doesn’t want to be Michael Jordan or Eminem at the get-go? But both of them went through hell to the rise to the top. Easy is not a reason to do anything. If you enjoy learning and improving, struggles are really just lessons in disguise.
Success requires that you do the work right now to get what you want in the future. Don’t worry, your accolades will be remembered but the backstory is really all that counts.
The other day I tried to buy a $25 gift card for my brother’s birthday. The coffee shop had plenty of cards in stock but they couldn’t add value to the card because the machine was broken. After trying for 10 minutes, they ended up giving me the card for free.
Sometimes you don’t know you have a problem until someone else asks. The request is typically new but it can just as easily be about something old that should already be working.
Anticipating the use of fundamentals is a key to success. If you don’t use your basic skills, you’re bound to drop the ball such as what happened at the coffee shop.
Sometimes the things that break are the most obvious. Check or practice often enough to ensure everything is still working. Nothing just works by default.
Smartphones fit in your pocket, as do pens and small notebooks.
But lately I’ve still been carrying around my backpack. It’s my purse, a place where I can carry extra stuff like bottled water, snacks, a rain jacket, and a laptop. I just pack enough to avoid straining my back like a college student carrying textbooks.
Wearing a backpack makes me feel adventurous, prepared, and free. Sometimes I dump everything in my backpack, wallet and phone included, so I can walk with empty pockets.
The backpack makes me feel like a nomad, with the freedom to work and walk everywhere. You can’t possibly feel liberated carrying around a briefcase.
The backpack is ultimately my survival kit, and I almost always wear it with two straps instead of one so I can keep moving ahead without feeling like it’s there.