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Sitting in the back row at a funeral last month, the minister described life as a tapestry.

On one side, someone’s life can look beautiful, perfectly planned and woven seamlessly. Flip it over, however, and you see that life is messy with strings in all directions.

This is true for the happiest of happy people just like it’s true for the saddest of sad. We’re all complicated and interconnected. Some more than others. And some of the most beautiful are also the messiest.

I thought of this often last week because success is like this, too – a beautiful tapestry we want to hang on our wall and say: “I did that.” Meanwhile, the path to success is a jumble of strings.

Lucky for us, there are well-laid plans we can follow to make the beautiful side appear seamless. And there are people who can help us cut unnecessary threads and weed through the mess when we need it.

But the important thing to note is that when we look at the experts – the Kyle Wagners and the Jen Stevens… the Efrain Padros and the Lise Gagnes – we remember that even though their success seems so clean and beautiful, it’s really not. Their tapestries look just like ours. And therein lies the key.

We’re so eager to jump ahead to that beautiful tapestry of success – to take pictures like Daniel Nahabedian or publish our fiftieth travel article like Noreen Kompanik – that we ignore all the messy threads underneath. And in doing so, we short change our happiness.

Mastery isn’t what makes people happy. That’s the finish line — the clean side of the tapestry.

Instead, it’s the journey from the start to finish where you find real happiness. It’s in all those messy strings. And it’s actually quite liberating when you think about it… You’re not the only one whose life goes in a million different directions… you’re not the only one who doesn’t know which path to choose. Even the most successful among us have a bunch of messy strings underneath.

I’m glad to be on this journey with you. Here’s to making something big out of 2016!!

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