Settling for easy – keeps success out of reach.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Fruit on the tree

Hard-to-reach fruit.
Photo courtesy of

Is success out of your reach?

You have to stretch to reach the good stuff.

If you drift through life going for the easy things you miss out on the exceptional life events. Settling for the things right in front of you keeps you from ever finding out what could have happened if you had just reached a little farther, tried harder, and kept at it longer.

Don’t create a mediocre life when aiming for higher goals would have taken you to places beyond the ones you see.

Just because you can does not mean you should.

One way you can cheat yourself out of great things is to aim for the things that are available to you right now. There are many easy things in life, the spectacular things are harder. Don’t cheat yourself by taking the quick, easy way now when the longer harder one would have taken you much farther.

The job you get because of a family member or a friend may be a great life start or it may be the beginning of settling for things that take less effort on your part. Quick pleasure can come back to haunt you for a long time afterward.

If you live your life looking for the “I can do that” things you may miss out on the “I want to do that” things. Meaningful goals take time, preparation, and effort. Don’t cheat yourself by taking the easy path.

Letting others set your goals means living their unlived life.

Having a parent or mentor that encourages you is a great thing. But trying to live your life to meet the things a parent wanted and never got is a way to live less of a life than you could have had.

Plenty of parents want their child to be a lawyer, doctor, actor, or enter another profession that parent never made it at. Ask yourself if spending your life chasing someone else’s dream will make you happy.

The world is full of stage mothers and almost famous, hoping that their child will become famous and they can bask in that reflected glory. If this is your dream also have at it. But if you find you are pursuing someone else’s dream, wake up and set a course that is right for you. Avoid eating someone’s spoiled meal, cook up your own dreams.

You don’t get to start at the finish line.

Many people expect to start at the top. If you pick a goal that is close and easy you may reach it but at the cost of never having seen what you might have been. A large percentage of people who start out training for any given field end up quitting. Even people with masters and Ph.D.’s drop out of their academic field.

Some find that what they studied did not fit them. Many more people become disillusioned when they find that your degree did not lead to the high paid job they wanted overnight. Building a career or perfecting a talent takes a lot of time and dedication. Pick a path you will enjoy walking.

Overnight success takes years.

Those stories about people who became overnight successes are mostly a myth. Those sudden stars often worked and practiced for years to get that one big break. When your chance comes make sure you have done the homework and the footwork that will sustain that good beginning.

For every person on the big stage, there are many, many more who are traveling the country performing to small crowds in small places. Some people rise faster than others, but we have all seen the One-hit-wonders who came and went. Long term lasting success in any field takes staying the course for a long time.

Great things take sustained effort.

You can’t go a long way by running fast for a few minutes. Successful people, in all senses of that term, put in the hours, do the work over long periods of time to reach those ultimate goals. To reach your dream you need to show up for practice every day.

You build muscles by lifting weights and doing the exercises. You develop job skills by doing the task over and over each time looking for the things you can improve. High performers never stop perfecting their skills. They also discover that you do not get better just by doing the things you are good at over and over. Practice also includes finding your weak spots and practicing to perfect those skills.

Obstacles are temporary, giving up is permanent.

Most obstacles to accomplishing something are only temporary setbacks. Look for other ways to reach your desired result. Go over, dig under, or go around. Look for ways to turn that obstacle into a solution. When you find a new unique way to overcome obstacles you get a long lead over those others who are still back at the start saying it can’t be done.

Taking shortcuts can get you on the wrong path.

There are shortcuts. They work sometimes, for a while. But if your way of winning involves cheating, dishonesty, or cutting corners, in the long run, that kind of accomplishment is fleeting. Once you get caught cutting corners you lose other’s trust and they take away the prize.

Don’t follow the path of least resistance.

Great people do great things. They do things others told them couldn’t be done. Stay within the rules but make sure those rules are really needed not just the conventional wisdom of people who can’t see the possibilities you can see.

Doing the easy thing does not build up skills. Repetition of your mistakes does not lead anywhere. Do the hard things and see if you do not develop ever-increasing levels of skills.

Make sure you know what success will look like when you get there.

If you set off chasing money when what would have made you happy is being a better person you will be way disappointed when you reach the end of the trail. Doing things only for the cash burns people out. Find something you can love doing and still make the income you want and need and you have the best of both. People who love a subject learn it. If you love what you do you will be better at it and the practice will be a joy.

Take a look at your goals and see if you have set them high enough.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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