Chutes and Ladders, Hills and Valleys
by Michael S. Tyrrell
April 6, 2021
Hey there Wholetonians!
Life is often compared to a journey. But to me it’s more like a rollercoaster!
Life is full of ups and downs, ins and outs, many unpredictable curves, and it goes by really fast. It’s easy to celebrate the mountain top, and exhilarating to ski down it, but if we focus only on those two elements alone, we will most certainly miss the essential lesson of life completely!
Here is a quote that really moves me… “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” And believe me, it’s a spiral staircase, there is no short cut, and the only way you can fail is to stop climbing.
You see, the climb creates the character, not the time we spend at the top.
Have you ever spent any time on a mountaintop? Although the view is breathtaking, the air is thin, and not much grows there. That’s why farmers plant in the valley. As humans, we’re mesmerized by a mountaintop mentality… we’re obsessed with the notion that being there is the most important thing in the world.
As a young musician, all I could think about was getting a record deal (recording contract) and I would always say, “one day I’m going to make it.” And one day, I got that elusive record contract, and it was nothing like what I had envisioned. In fact, instead of the freedom and fame I imagined, I became the property of a record company and made very little money at all. As I grew older, (and hopefully, wiser!) I began to realize that it’s really easy to dismiss the essential process of preparation (character building) in order to prematurely arrive at your destination.
In the movie “Click,” Adam Sandler finds a remote control that has the power to manipulate his future. Sandler uses this remote control one too many times in order to get what he wants, when he wants it. Instead of letting his destiny arrive in real-time, the device gets stuck in fast-forward and wastes his life.
Every moment of life is precious and the daily lessons learned as lifetime students are priceless!
What is success?
Before you answer, consider this…rarely is the success of a human life accurately measured on a linear (point A to point B) scale. The true impact of your life is truly assessed in a peripheral (non-linear) measurement, i.e., how does your life impact other lives around you in your circle of influence?
The answer is amazingly simple. When you become a part of something so much bigger than you that it radically changes the lives of others for generations to come, then and only then, have you found true success.
When you examine the lives of truly successful people (Mother Teresa comes to mind), you will find at their core a servant's heart. No one embodied this principle to the degree of Jesus, who literally, gave his life for the salvation of the world.
Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
To be a success, one must first learn the servant is the master of all. If all those who carry the title “public servants” truly served the people, the world would be a better place.
Every morning, during my time of contemplation, I’m thankful that Wholetones will be around for generations to come, still making a difference in the lives of others.
Someone once asked me, referring to Wholetones, “you had this revelation in your heart for 20 years, why did it take so long to release it?” My answer… “I didn’t have the character to carry it.”
So next time you’re in a hurry to get to the mountaintop, farm your valley. It won’t be long until you bear the fruits of your labor.
Until next time…
Michael S. Tyrrell
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