Triumph of Achievement

No doubt, the New Year is a reflective time – a time to take stock in our values, time, energies, successes, and failures. The latter is hard to admit but essential. With reflection, we circle back to those mantras that guide our opinions, serve as checks and balances in our decision-making, and help us move forward in our work and personal lives. One of my mantras is to be a questioner. If you do not ask questions, you will likely never find answers. Questioners proactively approach life.  Name one businessperson, one scientist, one artist, that did not question, yet found the next best invention or creative work.

Questioning can place you in brief states of unrest and lead you, as Robert Frost would say, down “the one (road) less traveled.”  But the further you travel, the more precise the path becomes. We revere athletes, inventors, political “greats,” because they achieved what the general populous did not dare to do. They questioned the known and sought something entirely different. Yet their achievements did not come without strife, courage, and grit. As Theodore Roosevelt said:  “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs . . . because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; . . . who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Here’s to a New Year of discovery, happy accidents, moments of reflection, and opportunities for high achievement.

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