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363 – December 29

“The life of man is a journey, a journey that must be traveled, however bad the roads or the accommodations.”—Oliver Goldsmith

As a teacher, I try to act as a signpost to others, pointing the way down the road to success. But sometimes as I lecture, I know I’m the one I’m talking to. “Oh yeah, that’s a good idea, Chellie; why aren’t you doing that?!” says the voice in my head. I know that people point to leaders and teachers, whispering that they’re “not walking their talk” and I quail when I know I don’t always walk mine. But I only learn to walk it after I talk it for a while and watch myself fail to connect, to measure up, to succeed at what I know I should do, what St. Chellie would do without blinking or thinking twice.

Talking with my friend Korey, I agonized over the road I have taken and how many foibles and failures marked the way. I regretted the many times I strayed from the road I knew to be straight and true, the path to health and well-being, to financial success, loving relationships, spiritual peace.

“Why did I leave the road so many times?” I moaned.

“You were still on the road, Chellie,” she told me. “You were just in the shitty part of it.”

I still laugh over that description, but with that one sentence, she changed my picture of life. I had seen the map of life as a series of roads, with highways and byways and detours, but always one clear shining path that we were supposed to stay on. If you were on that bright path, the path was always straight and the sun always shone. It was only when you left the road that troubles loomed.

Now I see that roads are not so straightforward. You choose your road for the promised destination but the journey is never what you expect. Sometimes the way is steep, lined with sharp stones; sometimes it is a walk in the park. On some parts of the road the sun smiles; on others the wind howls. Sometimes other roads line up with ours and we trudge for a time side by side with another traveler. When we stumble, another can reach out a hand to steady us.

Then the roads diverge again; our paths change; they keep north while we veer east. But always we are on our road. The one less traveled, the one we have chosen. The road beckons and we follow. We have chosen the destination and the road will take us where it wills. Its troubles train our endurance, strengthen our commitment until we are worn shiny smooth like rocks in a tumbler.

I stumble. I fall. I pick myself up. I repair the road. I learn. Success lies just over the next hill…or the one after that.

Today’s Affirmation:
“The road is clear and the way open to all the success I desire!”

In December of 1999, I had been working on The Wealthy Spirit for about a year and a half. Funny things happened sometimes – something outside myself would take over and write. I know this, because I will often read a page from the book and have no recollection of writing it.

One afternoon, a gang of City workers were repairing the street outside my house, and I was thinking about roads, and journeys. As I started to write, the words took shape as a poem. My publisher didn’t think it was good enough to include in the book, but my roommate Shelley thinks it’s the best thing I ever wrote. I like it myself. Make of it what you will.


“No parking” signs nailed on a tree

The road is closed for surgery

With huge machines that cut and churn

Spit gravel chunks and scrape and burn.

With broken skin that seems to weep

The bruises on the pavement seep

Awaiting asphalt acne cream

To soothe the sorrows of the dream.

Fourteen men in four-ton trucks

Rope the road that twists and bucks

They brand a hot new blue-black skin

Where once old pock-marked scars had been.

I, too, have shouldered such a load

With layers thick of rocky road

Buried deep beneath new skins

I paste on top to hide my sins.

Potholes, pits and deep scars ride

Just underneath the smiling side

They give me depth and shape and hue

Denied to those whose tracks are new.

And I will bear more troubles well

Because this road has led through hell

Resurfacing in brighter days

I slowly learn to change my ways.

No parking here, keep moving on

Where others trudged and then were gone

A million roads more millions trod

All wend their winding way to God.

It was only when you left the road that troubles loomed.

Prosperity is a habit. You have to practice it every day.

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Chellie Campbell is a Financial Stress Reduction® Coach and the author of The Wealthy Spirit, Zero to Zillionaire, and From Worry to Wealthy. She is one of Marci Shimoff's “Happy 100” in her NYT bestseller Happy for No Reason and contributed stories to Jack Canfield’s books You’ve Got to Read This Book! and Life Lessons from Chicken Soup for the Soul. Past president of the LA Chapter NAWBO, she was "Most Inspirational Speaker" by Women in Management and "Speaker of the Year" by the Association of Women Entrepreneurs. She does daily inspirational videos in The Wealthy Spirit Group on Facebook.

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