Success. Are We There Yet?
I reckon by now ya’ll know that Jon is on a hunting show with his best friend Chuck. It is called The Habit. (http://www.thehabit.tv) Friends, this is one heck of a journey we are on. And yes, I said WE, because we are partners. When God called Jon and Chuck to outdoor television, guess what? He called me and Nikki too. People say to me all the time, “Sondi, I just don’t see how ya’ll do it.” Well, God equips the called. He does not call the equipped. This crazy TV show thing has taught us 5 things about success. Ya’ll know I made a list.
- Success takes a whole bunch of hard dang work. I know that may seem like a simple minded statement, but ya’ll, we live in a day that folks want something for nothing. Folks want cool stuff, go to cool places, and dream cool dreams, but they ain’t willing to hit a lick of work to get it. I’m learning that hard work is the most important detail of the journey. It sets a foundation of gratitude and appreciation. I have always believed that God isn’t willing to bless you with anything you’re not willing to work for.
- Success comes through taking baby steps. For a long time, I kept thinking we were going to have a “TA-DA moment” where we were going to receive some incredible news and it would instantly change everything.*TA-DAAAA* We are now a SUCCESS! My idea was that maybe we would get a letter through the mail, along with a check of course, and it would say “Congratulations!! You made it! You succeeded!” Jon had another idea, that some outdoor TV star would appear out of nowhere and present him and Chuck with a big, gaudy, gold plated plaque with some sort of firearm on it, engraved with fancy swirly letters, that said, “Congratulations! You made it! You succeeded!” Oh, along with a big giant check like they give people for Publisher’s Clearinghouse. That ain’t happened yet. Our victories have been experienced a little at a time, over a long time, in the midst of hard dang work. See number 1.
- Success comes through perseverance. People ask all the time, “Jon, how long are ya’ll gonna keep trying?” I’d say the short answer is, as long as God continues to open doors, we will continue to walk through them. There have been plenty of times we have been discouraged. There have been times we thought the TV thing was all over. Next thing you know, a tiny opportunity would pop up. Sometimes the opportunity would feel insignificant, but it was an open door, and we would walk through it. One little door leads to a bigger door, and step by step you realize God is working out something amazing! But you have to at least try, and you can’t quit. If you quit, there is a 100% chance you won’t make it. However quitting may sound appealing because of the endless hard dang work. See number 1.
- Success comes from the help of others, the support of others, and others believing in you. Seriously, success takes a village. Because of God’s grace, our parents help, and the support of our family and friends we are able to try to make dreams come true. It also takes other people believing in you and giving you the opportunity to succeed. There is no such thing as a self made man. I think that is the second most important detail in the journey, to learn and recognize that you need other people. It will keep your butt really humble, I can tell you that. Nobody can do all the hard dang work alone. See number 1.
- People are going to talk about you. Notice I didn’t say,”people will talk about you if you’re trying to succeed.” No. People are going to talk about you regardless. You might as well aim high, shoot for the stars, live your dream, whatever you want to call it cause folks will run their pie hole no matter what. Here’s the thing. Some people will never dream bigger than weekends from their Monday-Friday 9-5 jobs. Do not expect them to understand. Just keep digging, keep dreaming, keep hoping, keep working, keep praying, keep trying because you can do the hard dang work!
So many times in this journey I ask myself, are we there yet? Are we succeeding? I’ve learned that success isn’t a destination at all. It’s the journey itself. It is winning and loosing. It is learning and growing in the struggle. It is sticking together in the good times and the bad. It isn’t about money and swag and Facebook likes and Instagram followers. It is about being satisfied in your marriage and in your family. Success is making the absolute most out of every opportunity God gives you, and seeing how far He will take you.
This is only part of our story. OUR story. We love our story. The fact that it is crazy, is what makes it so great. What is your family story, and how do you define success? It’s something to think about. I believe if you can define it, you can strive for it, and you may just find you are already there.