The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking spaces. ― Will Rogers
What does that mean?
I like this quote, and am familiar with more than a few of the parking spaces it mentions. However, I try to think of them more as ‘rest areas’ than parking spaces. The term used by the quote, ‘the road to success,’ implies the destination for your journey. But the rest of the quote is about the temptations that exist on the road, trying to keep you from completing the journey.
If you’re on your way to somewhere important, and you pull into a ‘parking space,’ your journey is pretty much over at that point, right? Since the journey specified in the quote is ‘to success,’ stopping before you can get there means you are giving up. You’re handing your dreams and hard work over for a comfortable place to park. I don’t know about you, but that’s not a good thing where I’m from.
Why is perseverance important?
In any journey, there will be obstacles to be discovered and overcome. There will be discomforts to be experienced and endured. There will be tempting places to park along the road that will call out to you and invite you to pull over and rest for a while to be resisted. There will be detours to navigate. There will be ‘short cuts’ with the siren song of ‘something for nothing’ to be ignored, or at least properly investigated and vetted.
I hope you feel a little tired after reading the prior paragraph. That was my intent. Life is a journey, and you must be willing to walk the whole road to live it fully. Some people pull over at the first rest area and never leave. To me, that’s sad, because they can almost certainly be much more than that.
But that leads us back to perseverance. There will be times when you are tired, and the rest area will be almost impossible to avoid. Just be sure you don’t park for very long. The journey isn’t going to take itself. Take a break, but be sure to persevere. Get back on the road once you’ve rested up a bit, and keep going.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare? The rabbit got off to a quick start, but it failed to persevere. It found a parking space and stayed too long. The tortoise persevered, and ended up winning, while the hare slept. That is the danger of failing to persevere, failing to get back on the road, ending up wasting large portions of your life just sitting.
Don’t get me wrong, we all need some time off every once in a while. A little R&R (recreation and relaxation, or is it the other way around?) is a good thing. However, the temptation is to park there long term. Getting comfortable and losing your drive is probably the biggest obstacle on the road to success that exists.
What are the biggest temptations you face on your road? Grab some paper and start writing down the worst of the offenders. For me, the biggest temptation was the television. It would simply suck my brain out, and I would sit there until I started drooling. OK, it wasn’t quite that bad, but lots of stuff didn’t get done because I pulled over and parked for a while.
Now that you have a list of your temptations, consider what the underlying common thread might be. In my case, it comes down to a combination of a short attention span and a general lack of perseverance. You might not have a common theme that tie yours together, but if you do, you can get more bang for your buck if you figure out what the biggest challenge is at the moment.
Now take a moment and brainstorm some ideas about what can be done to try to limit the time you spend on the side of the road in the ‘rest areas.’ Can you schedule in your down time, rather than run until you’re too tired, then rest too much? If I know I get a break later, it’s easier for me to keep going for a little longer, how about you?
Being aware of what tempts you is a big step forward in deciding when you will pull over for a rest, instead of just doing it at the risk of getting stuck. If you take it farther, you can plan your breaks, and limit your temptations either by less exposure (avoiding time sinks) or by finding ways to manage your responses to their presence.
From: Twitter, @AR_Foundation
confirmed at : http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/287461 but might not be by him, as several reputable sites don’t have this quote, or have it as Unknown… Still a good quote!
Photo by CountyLemonade