Chapter 23 – How We Hide the Struggle To Success

Categories Be Inspired, Practical Advice

Chapter 23 is that magical place where you have achieved your goals. To get there, however, you need to grind.

Entrepreneurship is a grind. Law School is a grind. Learning a new language is a grind. Figuring out how to write so people will read is a grind. Coding is a grind. Constructing a blog is a grind. Making YouTube videos is a grind. Passing the real estate exam is a grind. Becoming good at anything is a grind.

Sadly, too many people are only willing to open their lives when they get to Chapter 23.

This is when the grinding has ended and when the lavish life begins. And they either forget how long and hard the road to Chapter 23 was, or their image and ego are built on no one finding out just how hard they had to work to be an “overnight success”.

Don’t be that person. Be vulnerable. Where you are in life RIGHT NOW is someone’s Chapter 23.

  • When I was a teacher, getting into Law School was my Chapter 23.
  • When I got into Law School, graduating was my Chapter 23.
  • When I graduated, getting an amazing fellowship was my Chapter 23.
  • When I got the fellowship, getting my Masters degree was my Chapter 23.
  • Right now, I have my eye on Chapter 33 and 43 (because great goals take great planning) but I must never ever forget that where I am now was once a place I could only dream of.

What does getting to Chapter 23 cost you?

On my way to my own Chapter 23, it cost me:

  • blood
  • sweat
  • weight loss (to the point that my mother cried when she saw me)
  • an episode where my hair fell out
  • sitting on a gorgeous beach trying to figure out how far I could walk into the water until I couldn’t walk back out
  • crying that I was absolutely not cut out to understand
  • being so depressed that I didn’t move out of my bed except to pee for 4 months
  • getting a headache every single day for a month while working all day in Spanish
  • dealing with sexual harassment from my boss
  • forgetting to eat because of stress
  • understanding the kind of mental pressure that would have lead Jesus to sweat blood
  • having my Grandad who raised my die and not being around for my family
  • not being able to afford a ton of stuff
  • becoming an expert on the most nutritious and least expensive foods in order to live in a foreign country
  • a massive breakup 4 days before my final year law exams.

What people fail to share however is that YOUR STRUGGLE IS PART OF THE PROCESS.

It 100% is. But because you don’t see anybody talking about the hard parts, when you go through your own difficult times, you feel alone and stupid because you are absolutely convinced that you are doing it wrong.

“Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”

Brene Brown

You are not alone.

You are not stupid.

You are, however operating from a place with very little information. Because so few people talk about their struggle years, or gloss over them like they were tiny blips on the radar, you were never given a realistic view of what the process looks like.

Of how much it sucked.

Of how badly they wanted to quit.

How they made it by the skin of their teeth.

How they aren’t truly sure it wasn’t God who pushed them over the finish line because they can’t remember doing it themselves.

How often they ran out of money.

How long they cooked and ate one turkey leg.

How they were sure this wasn’t the path for them.

How they tried to run away.

How much alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs were necessary to reach their goals.

How they found ways to self-harm to cope.

How often they went to see a therapist.

How they were put on prescription medication.

How they didn’t see the doctor for years.

How they didn’t go to the dentist for years.

How they could afford nothing new for themselves for years.

Chapter 23 looks amazing on paper but we do a disservice to others when we hold it up without discussing what it cost us.


Tell me in the comments below or email me and tell me what getting to your Chapter 23 cost you.

15 thoughts on “Chapter 23 – How We Hide the Struggle To Success

  1. I swear you looked in my soul when u said u sat on a beach n was willim to walk om water because that’s where im at.. but i kno my chapter 23 is my next page… Great job Yo

  2. It’s so refreshing to find people being this blunt and honest about how hard success is. Sometimes people like to pretend that they were only successful because of their natural talent and while that’s definitely part of it, it has the result of alienating people who start trying and then stop halfway because they think that if they were really meant to do it, it would be easier. Hell, I even find myself doing it sometimes, but recently I started doing something I love, and I was searching desperately for advice from people who’d done it before me about how to cope with the sucky parts, and while I found some who were very glib and witty about the hard parts, I didn’t find anyone who had sat at their computer crying and feeling nauseous, like I had. It made me wonder for a second if I was doing it wrong. Thanks for your honesty <3

  3. Man, 😢, my eyes got wet. It’s so true. The bible reminds us that ‘no sin is uncommon to man’. My mentor told me years ago that I’m to remember nothing I experience is unique. It has helped so much. I’m still on the brink of Chapter 23, and Lord knows how many times people have dragged me from the edge, I’ve watched my family cry, I’ve lost my light, just much too much. It’s why I have to remain a Christian, I have to just trust ‘weeping will endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning ‘.

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