“Do not compare where you stand, with the journey someone else has traveled”

A lot can be said about a person with courage. A war hero, a mother who faces an abuser, to protect her children, a teacher disrespected, on the job, a student struggling academically, and asking for help, and a person willing to be vulnerable for the sake of forging a friendship of sincerity. All of these are moments of courage; it takes a lot for anyone to ask for help. A person can be successful and still need help just as much as a beginner, but what I find troubling are those who feel they are above helping others. In addition, I am also disappointed in those who feel they have a right to compare their journey to another’s. I am referring to individuals in our society, whether it is family, friends, or strangers, who try to define someone by where they are currently, and not by where the person wants to go. I believe no one has the right to define ones academic hope, or pinnacle in life. You cannot gain yardage in your life, towards your success, based on the miles someone else has traveled—it is impossible.

My journey is not your journey, we can be similar, but we will never be the same. As the saying goes, “if all people think the same, then no one would think at all.” I respect the path anyone takes, but I don’t respect people who try to take that path and the right for someone to pursue their dreams from them. My passion for what I want drives me—not your perception of whether I should have it. I had a conversation with a friend and I had to correct and remind her, to not define where she stands, by what I have accomplished. It annoys me when others take on that attitude, as we don’t know the uphill battles everyone endures on the road to success, it can take days, months, or years, but no matter how long, it takes, as long as you do not stop then you’re on the right track. If you continue to define others by what you’ve done and not by what they are doing, you are heading in the wrong direction. In fact, I don’t care how long it takes for one to realize his or her goals, no one cares when you get the degree, they care that you are steadfastly working on garnering it. Most often people are happy to know you have not given up on achieving your goals.

Without a doubt, for everyone who judges someone based on what they think that individual is doing, I have no doubt those individuals are doing the bare minimum to advance their agenda. One never knows where a person is going in life, all you know is what they say and what you choose to hear. If you listen to a person and don’t believe their story, then you have already decided, they are not going to amount to much, but if you listen, hear and respect them you will understand they’re heading in the right direction. Do not be the person, who sits at home and bases where you are, on where or what someone else is doing, you are only setting yourself up for failure. In addition, never use your power to hurt, but always to help another.

For those who can help, or have been helped on their journey, please do not ignore those who need your help, I love when students e-mail me about programs and what to apply for, and I am just beginning in my entrepreneurial endeavors, but I must say, I answer them. No matter what, I answer them, I give time to answer supporters, and donations are not always involved, it’s just positivity and to help others towards their goals. It costs nothing for me to reach back and help someone, when I can. My advice for anyone, help those when they reach out, and remember what it was like when others did not support you. One day, you will stand on the other side of the gate, and let us hope it opens for you, because someone helped you to succeed; whether it was, to become a CEO, a dean, a teacher, a doctor, or a lawyer, whatever success you have you were helped, and never forget that.

Thus, the next time an e-mail or letter comes before you, simply asking for help or guidance, make time, because the person you help today may lead you towards the next rung of your success tomorrow. Remember the door of success swings both ways in life. Therefore, always be good to people on your way up, because one day, you may need them on your way down, and what you do now, determines how long you stay down.

~ZC~

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