Secrets from the Mississippi

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"The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

Words from author Mark Twain could be amusing but pithy and wise. Just get started. I agree, and I try to face obstacles and challenges with that same attitude. My thoughts turned to Twain recently because he so loved the Mississippi River and I have been traveling it this past week. As we journeyed along, past plantations and small towns, tourist attractions and southern gardens, the people I encountered brought to life my understanding of those words.

I’m especially impressed by the hard work and ingenuity that went into taming the river into the wonderful commercial corridor it has become. I imagine the sweat and toil that went into using poles to push those first barges upstream against the current. How difficult, yet the determined workers knew the secret: to get ahead, you just get started.

I see the Mississippi River as a metaphor for life. Opportunities and challenges. Dreams and disappointments. Danger. Unpredictability. Knowing for a moment, but unknowing too. And change, which is our constant. The Mississippi teaches us to be humble. To live in awe and gratitude. To get started, so we can get ahead.

Are you longing to get ahead of something today? A goal or a dream? A life plan? Now you know the secret. I wish you much success.