Success is Not Linear

The phrase two steps forward, one step back epitomizes the difficult and sometimes random nature of success. Things can seem like they’re going well and suddenly a setback or obstacle comes out of nowhere and all the hard work to get where you are seems in jeopardy.

Scatter Chart 2If you’ve ever seen a scatter chart that is what success really looks like – some highs, some lows, and some direct hits scattered around a target or goal. As I embark on my latest What Next plan I’m seeing this in practice. Certain assumptions are being challenged or proven completely wrong while others are going as planned.

Sometimes one of the lows feels like you’ve taken two steps back but only one step forward. Get used to it because that is exactly what will happen. Remember, however, that there will be times that you also feel like you’ve taken five steps Scatter Chart Trend Lineforward and one step back. It’s the trend line that makes the difference. This same chart with a line running through the center shows that in spite of setbacks progress can and does continue.

It’s when the line begins to dip and there are more lows than there are highs that things need to change. Take setbacks in stride but keep a watch on the trend line.

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