Gradual development toward achievement, be it a goal or a reaching higher standard, defines progress and hopefully is in the forefront of our minds as we go through our daily routines. We are a success oriented species in an epic battle between two ways of achieving success. In our effort to progress or succeed, we are faced with a dichotomy; progress through process and progress through deception. The one constant in both arenas is our greatest motivator played out in two different ways; fear.
Deceptive progress is our attempt to create the perception that we have achieved by eliminating our stench with deodorant. Our motivational response to fear through deception is to convince others then ourselves that fear does not exist and our achievement came to fruition through supreme confidence and skill. This mile wide inch deep mentality opens us up to corruption as we are constantly in search of the easiest and least ethical way towards success. Fear no longer becomes a positive motivator, instead it becomes us, dominating our every move as we do anything we can to mask its stench.
Progress through process is also a fear driven mentality, only through process we are the ones controlling our fears. In process we are not looking to mask our stench, we are looking to its origin so that we can eliminate it. By admitting to ourselves and others that fear is present, we allow ourselves to generate the support and internal fortitude necessary to take the next gradual step towards our higher standards. In acting with fear, not on it, we empower ourselves to use fear and not allow it to use us. In creating more personal depth, we embrace challenge and use the fears that are associated with progress, no matter how difficult progress might appear to be.
Success is a progression of learned behaviors, many of which are rooted in failure. Colin Powell once said “there are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure”. In order to learn from failure we first must accept its existence and learn how to respond to it. Our goal should not be to succeed once, but to succeed multiple times; gradually and with impactful purpose. In order to progress within success we must understand that if there is no fear in failure, there is no progress in success.