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What is success?
03/29/2016|Co-opCultureDad LifefamilyGeneral thoughtsMoustachenessPlaceroutines

What is success?

This is yet another installment in the co-op blog posts from myself, LifeonWard, One Crazy Adventure, and Nease.


Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom. George S. Patton

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word success? When I hear the word success, I think of the people who I surround myself with. I am fortunate to have a supportive wife, friends and family that seem to always put life in perspective when I get overwhelmed. In other words, I cannot be a success all on my own.

Just recently, I was having a discussion about how overwhelmed I am with life… mostly my work, my future, and the day-to-day struggles. I am in the midst of going back to college to obtain my bachelor’s degree in Christian ministries with a minor in discipleship and counseling. I believe once completed, this will alter my path in life for the better. Although I am looking forward to this next chapter, it has not come without its difficulties.  There have been multiple roadblocks in the registration process. Everything from completing forms, being audited by the school during the registration phase, and now the extended time for obtaining my transcripts from the multiple schools I have attended.  These challenges had even gotten me second-guessing my intended path and myself.

I am also a part of a team going to Africa in the next few months.  While I am looking forward to serving in Africa, I am having trouble raising the funds needed to get me there.  I have difficulty in asking people for money directly.  I have been to Cambodia multiple times in the past and my friends and family have supported me both financially and spiritually in these endeavors.  For the trip to Africa I decided that I would use the income from my second job to pay my way. Unfortunately, it seems that every time I build up my savings, I am struck with unexpected expenses. Like my car that’s breaks just decided to stop working.  To help offset some of the cost of my trip, I also started a Gofundme account.  My hope is that this will also give people an opportunity to help without feeling obligated.

Between my obligations at home, work and church my judgment can sometimes get clouded and I start to think that my success is based on what I “do” and if somehow if I am struggling that means that I am unsuccessful.

During a discussion with a good friend, he reminded me that the hard path is what makes you stronger, once you reach the other side. He also reminded me that sometimes you have to step back and evaluate yourself both mentally and physically. Am I putting forth 100% into this, or am I doing it for the right reasons. The struggles also help to validate your story. I have thought about quitting before even getting started, but my family has encouraged me by pushing me to continue the journey. To top it off I recently had a friend say that I am an inspiration to him. Which brought to light that the difficulties are worth it. So, I think I will stick to my path, and keep struggling along the way.  Success may not come overnight, but I’m going to enjoy the journey on the way there.

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  • Barry Cottle
    03/29/2016 at 2:38 PM

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

    It is, of course, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Perhaps this will help you to see that you are already a success and that the road you are on is of your own choosing. Pray to ask God where you should be stepping next. Do not think that a hindrance is there to stop your progress.

    Love you my son,

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