Success Is a Journey

The following is an excerpt from an article that ran in the March 1979 issue of SUCCESS, written by Ben Sweetland. The simple truths revealed here are still just as true today as they were 30 years ago.

A questionnaire sent to 1,134 men and women asked the simple question: "Is success a destination or a journey?" The result: 926 said it was a destination.

There, in a single dramatic example, is the reason why so few men and women have the courage to attempt the climb to success. Viewing success as a destination gives us the feeling that, to reach it, one must ascend over tortuous paths and that the journey will be a long and trying one. This, of course, is not true. Success is not a destination. It is a journey.

If you are taking a cruise--to Hawaii, let us say--does your enjoyment come only after you have arrived in the islands? Not by any means.


Your joy comes the moment you decide to take the trip. As you go to a travel agency to get descriptive folders, you are happy in anticipation of the journey. Packing your bags gives you a thrill because as you carefully insert each garment, you visualize yourself wearing it, either on shipboard or after arrival for some festive occasion.

On the day of sailing, you reach the ship early and, with a group of well-wishing friends, go to your cabin where you joyfully inspect your bon voyage remembrances.

The ship sails, and each day is replete with a wide variety of fun-packed activities, which keep up until the guy ropes are tossed ashore at Waikiki.

And does your enjoyment end as you reach your destination? Not a bit! It's not only the things you do in Hawaii that give you happiness, but the return will also be packed with pleasure.

Upon arrival home, the chapter is not closed by any means. The memories, the conversations regarding your cruise, your increased knowledge of other places beside your own, all tend toward returning tangible dividends of satisfaction as a result of the trip.

Attaining success is not a destination; it is a journey. You start your journey the moment you determine to be a success. This means that it is not necessary to reach the pinnacle of success before you begin enjoying it. You gain happiness after taking the first step toward success.

Here is a little-understood fact: You are a success the moment you start on the road to success. Therefore, you do not have to wait until you have money in the bank or your bills all paid before you are a success. You can be a success right now.

I Can Versus I Will

It has been said that the basic difference between one person's success and another's failure is that one person thinks in terms of "I can't" and the other of "I can." This is partially true.

To be successful, you must know that you can be successful. This is important--mighty important. In fact, it is absolutely necessary. But knowing you can do a thing is no indication that you will do it.

I maintain that you can do anything you make up your mind you want to do. You can climb high in your job. You can build a successful business of your own. You can become a great writer.

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