What drove you to make changes? These changes may have been for the sake of humanity or closer to home through investment in your future or extra bucks for the family budget.
Did pursuit of your ambition cause you to forsake lesser things? Did you reject to the opportunity to play with the kids after school because piano practice had a stronger draw? Did you face your fear of public speaking when you pitched your startup to a group of investors?
Our ambitions and dreams have a way of revealing our fears or weaknesses, and giving us a chance to face them head on. Those bold innovators we read about in the business magazines have been willing to sacrifice, invest, and chase their dreams until success was within their grasp.
The frustrating part is that our journey may be similar but not identical. There is no guarantee that after 831 nights on a brother's basement couch, and hawking your dream, you will be mentioned as one of Oprah's favorite things.
Our story is our own. Pursuing the dream is ours and ours alone.
I spent the day at Monticello, the beloved home of Thomas Jefferson the author of the Declaration of Independence. Surrounded by the Virginia mountainside, where he grew up, and informed by the view from his porch, his words are even more powerful.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." U.S. Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson was silent about any guarantee of achievement, only the right to pursue happiness. I would rather he finish the declaration to mandate I get what I want. However, the founding fathers understood the importance of the pursuit.
The dream, ambition, and pursuit are ours.
What have you learned from your journey in the pursuit of happiness? What have you learned about people? What have you learned about your perseverance? How has your character been refined? What eternal truths have solidified in your mind?