I want to be successful. If fact, I expect to be successful. I work hard to be successful. I’ll bet you do too. However, there have been many times when I have failed to achieve meaningful success. At other times I have failed completely. In each and every instance it was because I wasn’t getting just what I needed in order to succeed.
I was reminded of this just today as I was walking into work. Next to the sidewalk leading up to the backdoor is a weeping willow tree. It was a very small tree in a one gallon pot when planted over 15 years ago when the office was first built. Today, it is over twenty-five feet tall with many spreading branches (first picture on the right). It is still growing.
Contrast this tree with the tree way in the background of the picture just to the left of the trunk. It is also a weeping willow tree (second picture on the right), same species. They both started out exactly the same size and both were planted on the very same day. By comparing the two photographs you can appreciate the drastic difference in their sizes.
The second tree has a squat and stunted trunk with spindly branches. The entire tree is barely over five feet tall. So, why the big difference in growth of the two trees?
The answer is simple. The tree closest to the building, the larger one, is covered by the lawn’s sprinkler system. It gets plenty of water. The one in back of the lot is just outside the reach of the sprinkler system. It only gets water when it rains.
The lager tree was planted where topsoil was present. The smaller tree was planted in non-fertile, excavated ground which had been cleared of topsoil. Over the ensuing years the larger tree has been getting what it has needed for proper growth and development.
The diminutive second tree has not been getting what it has needed for proper growth. As a result, it couldn’t keep up much less compete. Individuals who feel burned out are no different.
Each and every time I have missed a deadline, made costly mistakes, failed to achieve a goal or meet head-on with success it was because I wasn’t getting what I needed in order to have a better outcome. Notice I said, “I wasn’t getting” instead of “I wasn’t being given.” It is always my responsibility to see that I have what I need to succeed.
Whatever might be lacking, whether knowledge, money, interest, commitment, time or a lack of help, it is always within my power to obtain what I need. Unlike the under-developed tree which is immobile, I’m mobile. I can change my immediate surroundings or improve my circumstances for a more desirable outcome.
I am no longer content just to wait and see if things aren’t going well with implementing a plan. I can stop and ask myself, “what am I missing? What do I need to procure in order to get this done and done right?” If I can answer the question then I can make sure I can get what I need to succeed.
Are you getting what you need to succeed? Do you view failure a series of tough breaks or a sign of something lacking?