Every Man, Every Woman
Stop Using Broken Cisterns

The Long Haul - "...nothing rises quicker than dust, straw, and feathers."


Arthur Rothstein This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID ppmsc.00241. Public Domain

Men think highly of those who rise rapidly in the world; whereas
nothing rises quicker than dust, straw, and feathers."
- attributed to Augustus Hare and to Lord Byron

There is a slow rise and a rapid rise. To these we must add, there may be no rise.

Fluff floats and then gloats in its meteoric success, but may not sustain under stress and testing.

Fame can make its name through crisis, accident, or blame when opportunities are seized.

But it is the long haul, the consistent call, the persistent hope and labor languishing in the heat of many days that produces steady growth in character and success.

Those who stay and stabilize their work for others to continue, stand and climb.

Those who rise quickly, must quickly act to build a foundation in the empty space beneath their feet, lest their decent be as rapid as their rise.

With far less fanfare and flair, others build their foundations step by step and step on the next step as they move toward their objectives.

As their circumstances change, they may not be aware that the greatest changes are within them. As they grow, their work grows.



Consider the Long Haul

While we are mixing metaphors, let us add another ingredient or two.

Consider the long haul that is most often necessary for sustainable success. It is worthy of its own acronym so that we can remember it.


L is Long

It is a long L.

The long haul in long. Will give the first letter and the first word its own special place. It is not called a long haul because it is one big short cut.

There are some short cuts. They involved eliminating superfluous activity, unnecessary errors that have been repeatedly made, and huge time-wasters. That is true, but skipping important steps will not shorten the process and insure success. 

If you miss some steps just to hasten the process, you will most likely have to go back and repeat the.

O is Over

We will make the O both a shape and a word. The word is over and the shape is a circle. Over and over, you will face some of the same challenges.

That is because, there will be times when you think you are going around in circles, repeating yourself, maybe even losing ground.

In those times, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" will not be, so much, a song off hope for you as one of despair. But do not despair. The circle really is one of hope.

Over and over you will meet the challenges until you become an expert in handling them. They will prepare you, as a creative and impulsive person, for the repetition necessary for sustainability.

N is Negative

The reason I will allow even the suggestion of negativity into my acronym is because you cannot spin every minus into a plus. A mess is a mess. Waste is waste or worse. A stink in a stink. Negativity will creep into every environment.

Some negativity will only become positive with time, commitment, tenacity, and long-term reflection.

So, expect the downers, the not-so-helpful criticism, and the losses. Anticipate it and determine to move past it. 

Shake it off and stay on track.

There will be much more to say about that later, but for now, in this short overview, take note that feces happens.

G is Get Going and Go, Go, Go

If you do not get going and keep going, you will go nowhere.

You may say, "Tom, that is so simple and obvious that I cannot pay you for that advice."

And that is why I am giving it to you, but it is the most valuable advice I can give.


Start now!

Keep going!

Don't stop.

Because it is a long haul, you will have to take a series of daily steps. Some days will be longer than others. There will be short breaks for rest and refreshment. But they will be followed by long days and more long days.


Get in front of your load and pull!

Now, the next word. It is a hard word too!


H is Haul

Again, we will do the whole word for the first letter because I want to emphasize it. 

This load is not going to move itself.

Your goal is not going to come to you.

Your work is not going to get done because you simply want it done. You will have to pull a load and it will be heavy. it will be work.

It will be a pull rather than a push. Pulling puts you out front. It also gives you leverage.

This weight that you are hauling is something you need to anticipate and accept. Count the cost before you start. If you are not willing to bear the load, don't start and do not ask others to join you. You will be wasting their time and your own.

A is Anticipation

Set many goals and move toward them. Anticipate and celebrate small, incremental successes.

Don't wait for the ultimate finish line before you congratulate yourself and your growing team.

The long haul is a process over time. It is has signposts, benchmarks, rest stops, and rewards along the way.

Set yourself up for success with mini-successes and many successes and measure progress in increments.

Anticipate a good and productive day and rejoice in it when you have one.

U is Understanding

Have a roadmap with annotations in your mind.

Do not be blind to your environment, to the social climate, to demographics, to organizational dynamics, to your own emotions, or to any other factor that may influence your success. 

Study your times and study your own efforts. Collect data. Analyze. Make your means of travel a university on wheels. Become and expert. Read, listen, ask questions, learn constantly. Share what you learn.

Understand more and more each day both the road you are on and your methods for traveling it.

Grow in understanding!


But I said that!

it needs to be said again because, by now you are either over-confident or discouraged.

Do not let either of these conditions develop.

You will keep going back to each of these points and renewing your commitment to the journey.

Then, one day, you will arrive, and you will discover that your journey has just begun.

Review and More

We have been mixing metaphors. dust rises quickly, but success settles in and goes deep. Success is a long haul. One more metaphor, well, maybe two.

Firsr, at 211 degrees, water is hot. But turn it up one degree, and it boils. 

If you are just hot, but not boiling, you may need one more degree of effort, another step.

Second, Chef Sally made the best apple cobbler in Polecat Hollow. Everyone wanted her recipe. She gave it out freely minus one secret ingredient. No one ever duplicated her cobbler. Everyone was confused except Uncle Bob. Bob volunteered to be her dishwasher for a week so he could watch her make cobbler and discover the missing ingredient.

He did and he made the cobbler for Christmas dinner to the delight of his family.

Watch successful people or experiment. It may just be a dash of something that is missing from your success cobbler.

Discover it and add it.

It will take you to the next level in your long haul.


One more pinch