Many people believe that the path to success follows a linear path – a steady progression as you apply more time and effort.
David G. Allan from CNN.com argues that the idea that the path to success is linear is almost never true in his article “Success Path Rarely Travels a Straight Line”. Realistically, every trail is cluttered with obstacles that will undoubtedly set you back or alter your course.
David Brooks of The New York Times wrote a column on growth trajectories that illustrate various patterns of advancement. The most substantial goals in life, such as financial freedom or landing your dream job, tend to follow an exponential growth curve. It often takes years of dedication before we see any payoff. Other progressive goals, like losing weight or learning a new language, project a logarithmic curve. This means that as you get better it becomes harder to continue improving and sustain progress. Understanding the course of your path before you set foot on it will help you achieve your goals and prevent you from slipping back or hitting a plateau.
Of course, these examples won’t be exactly the same for everyone. Your growth pattern and path to success may follow a similar model, but the journey ultimately depends on you.