I heard a quote once that stuck with me.
“Once you get to the top of the mountain, all you have left is lighting. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you.”
Although I can’t properly attribute it, those words hold weight with me.
At this point, I fully understand that with success comes responsibility.
Sometimes, that responsibility feels daunting or can even be frightening – the lightning is crashing all around you, and you’re alone, at the top, without shelter. Almost always, that responsibility is inconvenient and uncomfortable.
But how you stand up in the face of those hazards determines your path forward, your character.
Look, I’ve been very lucky in my career. I had lots of success early on.
But there were certainly challenges and storms along the way. I didn’t always make the best decisions when the lightning bolts started striking around me.
However, there is one thing I can say unequivocally: I ALWAYS tried to do the right thing. Not just for me or my family but for those around me. And DEFINITELY for my clients.
Maybe that’s the real responsibility – how your actions affect those around you. They are the ones that experience the backlash or benefit of every step.
And if those clients, friends, family, and coworkers feel the shock of those same lightning bolts, that also means they are the ones who ultimately define our success.
As I look to my future, I see so much lightning.
I glance at the dark, rumbling skies every day, wondering when the lightning will strike next.
After all, I am ONLY 46, and I (hopefully) have a long and useful career ahead of me – a career in service to my clients, delivering value to those around me.
That said, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The lightning is part of the mountain top, and you can’t have one without the other.
So, savor it. Embrace it.
I’m very thankful for where I am now, and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing.
Bring on the lightning!