While we were eating breakfast at a great little diner in Victoria recently, I was delighted when I looked up and saw this poster staring down at me. Around it, there were all sorts of kitschy things hung up on Pagliacci’s walls—pictures of celebrities who’ve eaten there, photos of mafia bosses, funny sings etc.—but this little jewel was front and center above our table.
With each bite of my breakfast (the most AMAZING eggs benedict I’ve ever had), I studied the poster, which is a road map to success.
Everyone starts at the same place: the gates of “Opportunity.” From experience, I can say these gates aren’t simply happened upon. To find true gates of opportunity, you have to hunt for them and you have to greet them with hearty preparation.
Once through the gates, you’ll immediately run into roadblocks or things that will mislead you: The Hotel of Know it All, conceit, illiteracy, the “I-don’t-need-a-system attitude, the Mutual Admiration Society, “hot air” balloon and the bohemian lifestyle. All these things flank the “Right System Railroad Station.”
If you’re lucky enough to avoid the above traps and make it onto the train, that doesn’t mean surefire success. On the train, there are plenty of ways to fall off or be mislead. These include: bad habits, vices, bad reputation, charlatanism, jealousy, procrastination, misrepresentation, short cuts, and the system. These snags lead to the river of failure and oblivion. For those who fall into the river of failure and climb out, you’re faced with even more potential trouble: bad temper, carelessness, shiftlessness, bad memory.
If you stay on track and get over the bridge, you’ll cruise through the tunnel of True Knowledge. At its entrance, though, lack of preparation can lead you astray, so be warned. Continue to improve yourself and prepare along the path, as this trail is a steep, rocky one and you may fall to your death.
Once through the tunnel, you’re almost there, but sprees, laziness, bad business methods, weak morals and being a faker may trip you up. If you stumble on any of these, forget about success. But if you’re one of the lucky ones who stays on track, or “right” yourself, you will be whisked through the “Gate of Ideals” and motor your way strait to the top of Success Mountain.