Recently, I heard a pastor share, "If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with other people." The problem is in finding people who will help you get to the place you desire. Most people make the mistake of asking others to guide them toward success but they have no success of their own. Financial expert and radio host Dave Ramsey advises against asking your broke friends how to get rich. If they knew how to get rich they would not be broke themselves. This concept speaks to all walks of life and every desire of the heart. The challenge starts when you have a desired destination, but no example in your life of how to get there. Here are a few examples:
You want to be a good parent, but every example around you is that of a terrible parent.
You want to be financially successful, but everyone you know is living broke.
You want to excel in business, but everyone around you works for someone else.
You want to be clean and sober, but all your friends use.
You want to be wise, but don't know anyone with wisdom.
The Bible gives many examples on how to "get" wisdom, but the one that speaks best to me explains two things you must do: Listen to someone who has the wisdom you seek and be willing to be corrected;
"Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days."
Wisdom does not come from unwise people who the Bible calls "fools." They do foolish things that don't make sense and will pull you in the opposite direction of your dreams. They will manipulate you, distract you, and lie to you for their own benefit. If you are not paying attention they can destroy not only your dreams, they can destroy you. These are the thorns in your garden, that if left to grow, will kill every beautiful thing you have planted. Wisdom comes from those who have done the hard work themselves. Many will say they have done the work but there is no evidence found in their lives to show they have success. Many will freely give you advise but it's up to you to determine if the advice is any good. Usually, free advice comes with a price tag and the payment comes when you learn the advice was bad. You will suffer the consequences for the recommendations of others and the lessons can be painful indeed. This is where the second part of the verse comes in: discipline.
In my counseling center, Encouragers Counseling & Training, I find mentors and counselors who have done the work and their lives shine with evidence of their success. They can show you the scars collected from their personal struggles along the way to success. You may say you don't want any scars, but those are the badges of successful people. If you think you can be successful without falling down and scraping your knees once in a while you are mistaken. The failures one makes along their journey to success is what creates character, commitment, and determination. One must fall down and get back up again to learn. A baby must crawl before it can walk. It will fall down a lot before learning to run. Knowing you will fail makes the journey easier. Self-Discipline means you are committed to push through fear and that makes you more courageous. Coming out on the other side of fear and looking back gives one a fresh point of reference and that measurement of success, no matter how small, provides the motivation to press on. One must constantly adjust on the journey to success and have a mindset that says, "I failed yesterday, but I learned a lot. That failure is what pulled me back on track so I can be successful today."
Be willing to go fast when the need is there. Be also willing to ask for help and to gain wisdom from others so that you can go far.