We all aspire to have our lives proceed like an afternoon of sledding on a snow-covered hill. We seek to position ourselves so that our lives effortlessly glide along at a pace so exhilarating that the wind seems to blow through our hair. Wwwweeee!!! And as we whip along, our networks grow and our personal brands seem to take care of themselves.
Certainly this is not to say that we are so naive as to think there will be no rough spots or tense moments in our lives – bumps on the slope or trees to navigate, in following the metaphor. We certainly expect them, but we do not expect them to last. At worst we figure these setbacks will be quickly overcome by the momentum of our forward momentum.
When life does not go this way, however, we become temporarily disenchanted. We cannot help but think that “life is not fair,” or wonder why the world is conspiring against us.
Life is like a day of sledding
The fact of the matter is that our lives can and will be much like a day of sledding. The problem is, however, that we tend to forget that much of sledding – and life – is trudging uphill with a sled in tow.
In sledding, while the uphill hike is tedious, hard work and even boring, the effort of the ascent puts us in position to take the ride. Life is no different. Every period of seemingly effortless achievement has been preceded by some degree of toil and drudgery.
The climb puts us in position to ride
This is why so many people long for the exhilarating glide, but never quite realize it. They are simply unwilling to pay the price or in sledding terms they do not want to walk to the top of the hill.
So we need to ask ourselves next time we feel that we are not getting the opportunities we deserve … or when our network is not growing how we would like … or if our personal brand takes a hit, have we honestly paid the price to enjoy the ride?
Frank Agin is the founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections. In addition, Frank is the author of Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust To Create A Lifetime of Extraordinary Success and the co-author of LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website and The Champion: Finding the Most Valuable Person in Your Network.