By: Ethan Maurice
Nobody can hand you your pot of gold. There is no magic pill, no trump card we can play in life that wins every time.
Every once in a while, I pick up on a certain dissatisfaction in readers, readers of this site and other sites that I read. They're dissatisfied because they want the answer, not a way to go about finding it. In their search, they encounter ideas, strategies, and guidance, but all they want is the end product. The solution to their predicament without the work. No matter where they search, nobody seems to be offering it.
On such a quest we may look to carbon copy others' successes, only to find that what worked for someone else doesn't work for us. Unlike Steve Jobs, it's no longer the 1970's, and we're not friends with a Steve Wozniak who's building an electronic device that could revolutionize the world. Unlike Tim Ferriss, we don't have a bestselling author like Jack Canfield to advise us in writing and promoting our first book. I've been told that I'm lucky to have almost died at sixteen years old because it gave me such a powerful story for my cross-country bicycling fundraiser.
It can seem unfair. Often, others with past success had these specific advantages that we don't. It would be much easier if we could just mimic someone else's success and achieve the same result, but it never seems to work that way. Though we may be trying to answer the same questions—how can I make a good living, write a bestseller, or raise a lot of money for a great cause—we're all unique individuals with unique circumstances. Each of our answers will be unique as well.
No two human experiences are the same. We all live in different places, associate with different people, and devote our time to different things. We're playing our lives out at different times over a continuously changing landscape. We can absolutely look to others for inspiration, strategy, and guidance, but we can't just copy them because their situation was entirely different than ours.
Someone's past success may have been completely based on some advantage that we don't have—but that's okay—because we too have our own specific advantages that nobody else does. It's for this reason that others can assist us, but we're ultimately going to be left to triumph in most trials ourselves.
At first glance, it might seem unfortunate that nobody can just give us the answer, but it's actually a good thing. And it's not just a good thing either, it's the whole thing. Because if we could just effortlessly copy someone else and with the snap of a finger be millionaires or bestselling authors or achieve any other meaningful accomplishment, it would be rendered utterly meaningless.
For what lies between the beginning and end (the part many are looking to skip) is everything—the action, creation, work, strife, ups, downs, and spaces in between. To somehow skip the journey and just arrive at the destination would be to miss it all.
Don't look for someone to hand over the answer. It doesn't work that way. Others can help guide us along the way, but we all must bring our own endeavors to fruition.
You have to find your own pot of gold. The secret is that finding it is the best part.