I’m at Chatsworth ready for their Country Show which starts on Friday. The house is stunning, and I can see why starting in 1708 it took 21 years to build with a further 20 years of additions a century later.
That’s 41 years spread over two centuries to construct a masterpiece. To create something that has lasted, something that will take your breath away as you come over the brow of the hill and see it for the first time.
In today’s world, we have little concept or appetite for projects on this scale. We want it now; we won’t wait, we barely want to save or invest for tomorrow. Our lives are all about today and instant gratification.
But this approach to life is a fools one. It won’t lead you to happiness, contentment or the fulfilment of your dreams.
Success and failure are slow processes. They never happen overnight, but instead with the drip-drip motion of water. Success arrives slowly, created through grit and determination, working on your craft day after day, month after month and year after year.
Failure is the same, though not quite so obviously. Failure doesn’t suddenly come from nowhere; it is preceded by many small events that finally culminate in the unmistakable snap of failure.
So, for example, the recovering addict never relapses out of the blue. There are lots of small events and tiny warning signals that indicate they are sliding back towards the “sudden failure” of a relapse into addiction.
So, whether you seek success or the avoidance of failure in your life, remember they are both slow and gradual processes, that may take a lifetime, and that’s ok.
Both approaches are defined by your dreams, keep them precious and sacred, think about them as often as is necessary. Remind yourself why they matter and never forget that you choose your destination.
You alone decide the life you lead. Remember, it’s possible to create a masterpiece if you are prepared to master your craft and work for as long as it takes.
Together, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.