20 Reasons you’re not reaching your goals.

By David Joel Miller.

What is getting in the way of reaching your goals?

Finish line

Reaching Goals.

You started out with a lot of goals you wanted to reach, but along the way, something went wrong.

Things are not turning out the way you wanted them to and are taking longer than you expected.

Sometimes you may feel like that hamster stuck in the wheel, running harder and harder but getting nowhere.

What can you do to finally reach your goals?

Here is my top 20 list of reasons you’re not reaching your goals.

1. Chasing someone else’s goal takes you in the wrong direction.

Make sure your goal reflects your passion in life. Pursuing someone else’s dream for you results in you neglecting your own dreams. Examine the goal you are working towards, are you the one who selected this goal and will reaching it satisfy you. If you are pursuing a goal to make someone else approve of you, it’s not your goal. You won’t be able to put your all into building something that’s not meaningful to you.

2. You’re pursuing the wrong goal.

Chasing money will not get you to love or happiness. Don’t make the mistake of pursuing one goal when what you want is something else. Many people make the mistake of pursuing money thinking this will get them the love and respect of others. Everyone needs enough money to meet their basic needs, but beyond that more money will not necessarily make you happier. Don’t tell yourself your pursuit of money is for your family if it takes you farther and farther away from them.

3. Your goals are fuzzy.

Beware of nebulous goals that are hard to define. You need to write goals down and research them. If your goal is success, you need to know how that success will be measured. Do you want to have a lot of friends? Do you want to do important work? Which would more say success to you, spending years alone in a lab in finding a cure for a rare disease or spending night after night on stage with people laughing at your jokes?

4. You’re waiting for “someday.”

Make inertia work for you. A body at rest requires a lot of energy to get it moving, once you start moving it takes a lot less energy to keep the progress going. Most people, when they reached their retirement years, find that their greatest regrets are not the things they did that didn’t turn out well. The biggest regrets with the things they said they would do something but never got around to doing them.

5. You’re not clear on your priorities.

If the goal you are working towards is not your top priority, it’s likely to keep getting pushed back. What you spend your time on each day is how you spend your life. As the time passes, if you’re not working on the thing you say is your goal, you haven’t made it your top priority. If you’re too busy to act on reaching your goal, then what you have in mind is a fantasy, not a goal.

6. You’ve left out some steps.

You tell yourself your goals to become a professional, a doctor, nurse, or lawyer but you have left school. Before you can be a teacher or any other professional you first must learn. If you don’t seem to be making progress toward your goal, re-examine your plan and see if there are any steps you need to take that you’ve left out of your planning.

7. Trying to do too much.

Trying to rise to the top of a profession requires you to start at the bottom. Whatever you want to accomplish, you must put in the time practicing. Working on too many things at once dilutes your effort. Highly successful people weed out the unimportant things and focus on their top priorities.

8. Trying to reach your goals too fast.

When you look closely at overnight successes, what you often find are people who spent years learning and honing their skills. Don’t be disappointed when reaching your goals takes longer than you expected.

9. You’re using the wrong tools.

Looking for a better paying job, when you require more education or training won’t get you where you want to go. Are the skills you have the ones you need to reach your goal? The world keeps changing. If you’re not updating your skills, they are becoming obsolete.

10. Your goals are negative and punitive.

Set positive goals. The evidence doesn’t support the helpfulness of using negative self-talk or punishing yourself in reaching positive outcomes.

11. You failed to develop your team.

Everyone needs a support system. The journey to reaching goals involves many people. If you want to reach goals, look for teachers, mentors, and companions for your journey. Some things you will need to become an expert on, for other tasks you will need to learn to identify the experts who can support you in your quest.

12. The closer you get to your goal the stronger resistance becomes.

Don’t slack off when you get close to your goal. If you go to college for three years and then quit what do you have? You don’t have a degree. In my lifetime, I’ve known several people who always wanted to write a book. Some of them even had a manuscript tucked away in a drawer. What they didn’t do was write that last chapter, send that book off to the publisher, or learn the skills they would need to publish it themselves. In the early stages of your journey towards your goal you can see the progress but the closer you get to your goal, the more effort it takes to break through that resistance and reach the finish line.

13. You aim low and hit the mark.

Your goals should encourage you to stretch. Many people self-handicap. The set their goals so low that they can’t possibly fail to meet them. If you repeatedly set low goals, you are planning a life of low achievement.

14. You’re not reviewing and updating your goals.

The goals you set in middle school won’t mean much when you are middle-aged. Some of the goals no longer fit you. Reevaluate those goals. If you are no closer, revise your plan. If you met them all, you might have set your expectations too low and need to raise the bar.

15. You’re using the wrong “worry process.”

Some people try to protect themselves from failure by considering every possible thing that could go wrong. They worry endlessly that they’ll make a mistake or something bad will happen. The worry-about-everything approach leaves you paralyzed in inaction. People who reach their goals consider the big possibilities. They use a “worry-enough” process. Once they have thought it through enough, they stop worrying and take action.

16. You talk about your goals rather than working towards them.

Psychologists discovered that people who talk about their goals a great deal get their satisfaction out of discussing those goals with others. As a result, they rarely take significant action. People who reach goals discuss them with fewer others. Limit your discussion of your goals to mentors, advisers and those who can support you in the process. Don’t tell everyone, but do have a few accountability partners who will encourage you to keep working towards your goals.

17. You don’t recognize what you accomplish.

Many people who feel they’re not reaching their goals have failed to recognize all the things that they have accomplished. Your big goals need to be broken down into smaller segments, and you need to recognize each of those smaller goals as you accomplish them. You don’t get a college degree by taking all the classes at once. You take a few classes each semester, and at the end, your payoff is the degree. If you’re writing a book, you write it one chapter, maybe even one paragraph at a time. Pay attention to the things you accomplish. Don’t dismiss your achievements as unimportant. Not giving yourself credit where credit is due will leave you too discouraged to continue your journey towards even larger goals.

18. You have not learned from the mistakes of others.

Whatever goal you are pursuing, make it a practice to look at how others have tried to reach similar goals. Learn from their mistakes, so you don’t have to make them all yourself.

19. You can’t picture what reaching your goals would look like.

High performers can picture what their life will be like once they reach their goal. Olympic athletes practice imagining that perfect performance, then standing on the gold medal stand. If you don’t believe you can succeed, you sow seeds of doubt in your mind. Your mind is likely to protect you by creating that failure you imagine. Avoid fantasy images of sudden wealth and fame. Picture the very real results of long, hard, work towards your goals.

20. You haven’t become your own best friend.

If you don’t like yourself, no matter how many goals you reach, it will never be enough. Spend time getting to know who you are and work on accepting that how you are right now is adequate. Self-acceptance doesn’t lead to complacency. Negative self-thoughts become obstacles in your path to reaching your goals.

Take another look at your goals. Re-examine your plans and your attitudes. Change the things you’ve been doing that are not working and head back out there in your pursuit of the life you want to have.

You will find related posts under –

motivation 

success

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Why you shouldn’t have goals.

By David Joel Miller.

Not having goals makes life simpler.

Have you noticed how many books and blog posts there are about goals and

Setting Goals.

Setting Goals.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

motivation? I can’t even read all the materials on how to set goals, the steps you need to take to reach your goals, and why you may be pursuing the wrong goals. Despite all the efforts to reach a lot of goals everybody who is pursuing those goals seems to be unhappy. Then I run into people who have no goals, and they don’t seem to be in the least bit concerned about their lack of goals. Is it possible that we have it all wrong, could this constant emphasis on pursuing goals be the cause of a great deal of insecurity? Maybe the people who have managed to convince themselves they are incapable of reaching goals are onto something. Here’s a short list of reasons why having goals may not be all that desirable.

Goals take effort.

One of the easiest ways to avoid reaching goals is to avoid putting any effort into them. Don’t set goals in the first place. If by accident you discover that you have some life goals, make no effort in that direction. Especially resist anyone in your life who tries to suggest that you need to have some goals. Ignore the advice and encouragement of parents, partners, family, friends, and especially helping professionals. Avoiding all this goal hoopla will save you a whole lot of effort.

Success in reaching goals comes with responsibility.

As long as you have no goals or if you can convince yourself that you could never possibly achieve a goal any way you could avoid all the responsibility for your life. Success comes with responsibilities. The more you have, the more bills you’ll have to pay. If you have a job, they will want you to show up on a regular basis. Being successful in relationships means one more person you must care about. If you want to avoid responsibility in life accomplishes as little as possible, and the easiest way to avoid success is never to try.

Make lots of goals just don’t pursue them; you will accidentally reach some.

Be careful with that process of creating goals. Especially, don’t ever write down a list of goals. We used to think that the process of writing out goals would put the subconscious to work on creating those goals. Some professionals even believed in universal or subconscious goals that all humans might aspire to reach. Absolutely, do not think about goals and especially avoid writing anything down. Keeping any goals for life out of your mind reduces the risk that you might reach some of those goals without effort, purely because of your subconscious creating them.

Don’t waste time on goal planning.

People with goals get sucked into the whole planning their life process. Do your best to avoid thinking. You know that whole trying to figure out who you are and what you want process, is likely to make your head hurt. Save your time for important things like binge-watching television and frantically worrying about why you don’t have enough friends on social media. Planning and implementing goals will interfere with your vegetating time.

Efforts towards goals can be painful.

Effort at anything can be painful. Have you ever watched any of those exercise videos? Don’t you feel sorry for all those fit and trim bodies? Those people doing all that work, they could have saved themselves a lot of effort by just avoiding the work that is required to reach meaningful goals.

You shouldn’t have to choose your goals.

Choosing is hard. Do you want to be a doctor? Maybe you should be a lawyer? Or maybe you were destined to be a successful businessman. Why should you plan your future? Wait for the letter of acceptance from the medical school to arrive in the mail. Maybe the boss who wants to hire you and pay you lots of money will come knocking on your door. If you’re out going to school or hunting for a job, you won’t be home when opportunity knocks on your door and tells you which kind of success you’re supposed to be.

You were born unmotivated, why change?

When you were little, were there always people wanting you to do something. Somebody bugging you, first to crawl, and then to walk? Remember that whole potty training fiasco? You got through your childhood somehow putting things in your face and doing as little as possible. You probably have avoided a whole lot of work by telling yourself you’re lazy. It’s not your fault; you were born that way. Motivating you has always been somebody else’s job. If your parents couldn’t motivate you, your teachers in school didn’t motivate you, why are you going to try to self-motivate? The time for motivation is once you get a job, then it will be up to your boss to motivate you.

Stay unconscious so you won’t recognize when you reach your goal.

If all else fails, you can avoid any strenuous motivational thinking by staying as unconscious as possible. Drink lots of alcohol, do lots of drugs, and try to avoid straining your brain by thinking. But then if you are extra good at avoiding motivation, you probably didn’t read this, did you?

Still not convinced you should avoid goals? You may be one of those people headed for a successful, happy life. More posts on this topic are at motivation and success.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Ways you are preventing success.

By David Joel Miller.

Roadblock to goal

Roadblock to Success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How many ways are you standing in the path of becoming successful?

Some people rack up a lot of successes in life, other people find that mostly they fail.  Successful people always have a few failures.  But if you find that mostly your life has been a string of failures with few successes you may want to look at what is causing that.  There are some habits, which some people have, that we sometimes call self-sabotaging.  Some people are able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  If you find that the dominant theme in your life is failure, you may be engaging in some of these success preventing behaviors.

You blame others for your failures.

The road to success involves taking a lot of personal responsibility.  If you find that when you fail you are always blaming someone else, your lack of looking at your own part in these failures may be creating a repeating pattern.

You spend a lot of time doing things you don’t care about.

To be successful you have to put in the work.  Doing the practice that is required to develop skills takes time.  If you find that you are spending a lot of time to doing things that aren’t important and you don’t really care about, you are wasting valuable practice time on things that don’t add to your success.

You let your fears keep you from trying.

It’s possible to try and fail.  But you will fail at 100% of the things that you don’t try to do.  You will never have any big successes if you let your fears keep you from trying things in the first place.

You make a big deal out of your failures.

The more time you spend focusing on the things you fail at, the less time it leaves you for planning and executing possible successes.  Don’t stay focused on the things that didn’t succeed.  Devote your energy, your time and your thinking on planning for the projects of the future.

You spend a lot of time regretting the past.

People whose life theme is failure spend a lot of time rehashing the past.  To increase your success percentages, focus your time on planning for the future and work on your projects in the present.

You constantly worry about future.

It’s important to consider the future, to plan for it and to plan for all eventualities.  But there’s nothing you can do today but today’s work.  Worry doesn’t keep you safe.  Working, planning and preparing for the future increases your chances of success.

You can see the negative in everything.

The pessimist sees the negative everywhere they look.  Pessimists don’t create grand successes.  If you spend all your time focused on the negative, you have no time to create a positive.

You try to please everyone all the time.

Trying to please everyone all the time is playing to the lowest common denominator.  You can’t please everyone.  Innovative ideas require taking chances.  If you are creative few people will have thought of your idea before you.  Successful people get off the beaten track and do new novel things.

You believe goals are waste of time.

If you believe that goals are a waste of time you are not going anywhere.  Successful people have goals to direct their path.  The goals keep you from spending most of your time wandering aimlessly.  If you don’t know where you’re going you won’t recognize it when you get there.  Is your failure to plan a planning for failure?

You have forgotten how to have fun.

If the life you live is a life of drudgery, nothing will make you feel successful.  Life has its ups and its downs.  Make sure that you enjoy the journey or you will arrive at the destination worn out from the road.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Settling for easy – keeps success out of reach.

By David Joel Miller.

Is success out of your reach?

You have to stretch to reach the good stuff.

High fruit

Hard to reach fruit can be the best.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

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 the 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 others 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

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Being successful takes more than money.

By David Joel Miller.

Money alone won’t make you successful.

Success Ahead

Success Ahead
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Very often we hear about people who had far more money than the average and still, their lives turned out to be disasters. When you think of successful people do you only think about how much money they have?

Past posts here on counselorssoapbox.com have talked about having a successful life. After many of those posts, I get comments from readers that they are not concerned about success because their lives are not all about money. It is as if, in their own heads they so equate lots of money with success, they have given up on believing they can have money. This means they will avoid efforts to make their life a success because they think successes for them is unattainable.

Success means a lot more than just your bank account balance. You can have piles of cash and still, your life can be in ruins. Success comes from having and accomplishing goals. There are many worthy goals in life that have very little to do with money. Money is an abstract thing. It is a medium of exchange. What matters is not how much money you have but what you can do with it.

Money is a tool that you might use to increase your successes but money can also be a stumbling block to those very important successes in the other areas of your life.

Here are some things, other than money, you need to be successful.

Good relationships with family and friends equal success.

It is a dismal failure who has piles of cash and no one who wants to be around them for any reason other than that money. Having good friends makes you rich in spirit.

One of the great fallacies of modern life has been the idea that men should go out and work, make lots of money, which they send home to their family to support them. Men equated the things they give their families with being successful. What many men tell me is that they learned too late that buying their children things was not a measure of success. What matters more than what you buy them is the time you spend them.

Sacrificing those precious hours of your life for money is of no values if you gave up time with people to get it.

A purpose for your life makes you successful.

If you can find a purpose for your life you are well along the road to happiness. If your purpose is money then once you get there you will have no purpose. If your purpose is to be of service there will always more opportunities to fulfill your purpose.

At the end of your life, the things you owned will be gone but the experiences you had will remain. Invest in a life well lived and you will get many rewards that can’t be measured dollars or yen.

Having a purpose for living makes your life a success.

Self-esteem, feeling good about what you do marks success.

Self-esteem ought not to be based on what you have. Things come and go. You might lose your things tomorrow. But who you are and how you have lived that will continue.

In the recent economic downturn, a lot of people lost a lot of things. Homes and cars can go into foreclosure. You may need to make do with what you have. Having is not the measure of success. Doing those things that matter, that marks a successful person.

Success is maximizing your health.

Good health is not a universal gift. Money may buy you a good doctor or even a transplant but it can’t assure you good health.

Clearly, some people will do all they can to be healthy and still ill-health finds them. But you should never consider exchanging your health for cash to be a good bargain.

That need to keep yourself as healthy as possible is not exclusive to your physical health. If that job or career is harmful to your mental health the money you are receiving is inadequate compensation for a mentally unhealthy life.

Are you walking along the pathways to success? How will you know when you have reached it?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Are you successful?

By David Joel Miller.

What is success and how would you know if you were successful?

Successful children

Being Successful
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Success is a slippery thing to catch hold of. When you say successful, most people think first of how much money someone makes. Money and success are not synonymous. Think about all those famous people, actors, and musicians, that had the fame and the money but their life still ended up a disaster.

A few readers have responded to some past counselorssoapbox.com posts about success by telling me they did not care about being a success because they were not all about money. In my thinking money and success are not the same thing, but for some people, the thinking link between these two ideas is so strong they equate pursuing a goal other than money as not wanting to be “successful.” Some folks just can’t imagine being successful without having a pile of money. That seems sad to me.

People who live a good life, they are successful in my book. People who only have money and fame, eventually that goes away. It may come as a surprise to those who say they are not about money, that people who live a good life and have a proper relationship with money do not have to live in poverty to be a good person.

Successes are about achieving your potential. It is the result of being the best possible you rather than having the most other stuff.

Below are some ways to tell if you are living a successful life that is not dependent on how much you have in the bank or how many followers you have. Living a life of purpose and fulfillment is the best form of successes to my way of thinking.

How many of these ways are you successful?

You have good social skills – you get along with people

Highly successful people are able to get along with others. They enjoy diverse people and can interact with others regardless of that other person’s characteristics. Really successful people treat others well and do not need to feel better than others to feel ok about themselves.

You look forward to your day

If you hate what you are doing and dread going to work, you may have piles of money, but your life is a failure. If you love what you do and look forward to each new day you are living a life of purpose. People who hate what they do each day eventually find that no amount of money is worth giving up their precious time. Ultimately they quit that job or their mind makes them ill to protect them from doing that unpleasant task.

You have a future

The successful life is headed towards something, not lugging a load of things after you. Today should not be the end of everything. If you find you think that nothing in your life will ever get better, that life is just something you have to endure, then you are in no way a success.

You value learning

People who love learning can find something new to learn every day. When learning is a chore, a drudgery that you do only because you have to, your world grows smaller and less joyous. Money does not compensate you for an unhappy life. A jubilant life is a great reward in and of itself. People who live a satisfying life are a pleasure to be around and they attract others of like mind to them.

You treat people well

People who feel good about themselves do not need to treat others poorly. One sign that you feel like a success is the way you treat others. If you need to put others down and act rudely that says a lot about how you feel about yourself. You may be able to buy compliance with fear or money but to truly have others care about you takes more. It takes treating others the way you would want to be treated and then some.

You help others – being of service

People who are successful think from a place of abundance. They have enough and they can afford to part with some. People who are stingy and selfish think that anything they part with diminishes them.

You are truly successful when you think of what you can do for others to be of service.

Setbacks do not end your progress

Every road has bumps, some larger than others. If a single setback throws you off course your success is not very secure. Highly successful people have failures and setbacks. Those obstacles do not define them. They are successful because they believe they are. For them, success is the opportunity to pursue their dreams, not the number of dollars they get paid for the things they did.

You have learned to control yourself

A rich person with no control can make a failure of themselves in short order. If you have learned self-control, some portion of it anyway, you can count that you have made some progress on your journey to being a successful person.

You keep improving

Success is about using your gifts and developing your talents to become a better you. No amount of having should get in the way of your journey to being the person you would like to be.

There is something you care about

A life of passion is a successful life. If you care about something you can commit to it and that gives your life meaning. How much money you will leave behind to others who only care about you for the dollars does not impart any meaning to a life.

The great deeds of heroes and average people are fueled by deep passions for the things that mattered most to them.

You have learned to wait for the good things – patience

Patience is not only a virtue it is the reward of a successful life. When you have the peace of mind to be able to wait for things you are in a place of having what you need rather than chasing the wants of life.

You believe in yourself

If you need more of anything to feel you are acceptable you have not reached your fulfillment. Believing in yourself is a clear reflection that you are living your life in a fruitful way.

You do not need others approval to feel good about yourself. Your past is not controlling your present. Self-esteem is not about what you have it is about who you are.

You are able to freely make choices

Indecision is the opposite of a successful life. People who feel good about where they are can easily make choices. If you need others approval so much you bend your choices to please them you have not become all you might be.

You are able to accept help

Successful people know that everyone has the ability to make a contribution and they can easily accept help from others. If you feel the need to do everything yourself then you do not yet feel successful.

You spend your time on things that matter to you

If you are so short on time that it all needs to be spent on things and on pleasing others you are still poor in emotional terms. When you have the time to pursue things that matter to you then you have reached success regardless of the number of dollars in your bank account.

You see the good not the bad in people and situations.

The failure sees failure everywhere they look. For them, the world is a dark and gloomy place. Successful people can see the good in others and the possibilities in life.

How many of these traits of a successful life have you cultivated?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Excuses that keep you stuck.

By David Joel Miller.

These excuses will keep things from ever getting better.

Are you stuck

Stuck
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Things in your life are not right. You know your life could be better but you talk yourself out of doing anything. Are you making excuses that allow things to stay the same? Are you cheating yourself out of the fulfilling life you could have? Here are some of the common ways people alibi their inaction and keep themselves stuck. How many of these thinking errors do you practice?

Things are not that bad.

Do you tell yourself that things are not THAT bad? That they could be worse. Clearly, the opposite of the best thing for you is not-that-bad things that could be better but you allow to stay unchanged.

I don’t know where to start.

That is a sneaky excuse. It tries to make you think there is something else you need to know before you can start on anything.  You always start where you are. You start at the beginning and keep going. Taking a trip to a strange place? Get a map, talk to a travel guide or someone who has been there. Ask questions.

Same thing for life. Don’t know how to begin? Seek out someone who can help you. A counselor or therapist a friend or mentor. The trip to recovery land begins when you decide to leave where you are.

You need to be born with talent.

Talents are like seeds. When you were born you were given a whole lot of seeds stored away in your brain. The ones you plant and nurture will grow. You will never know how much talent you have unless you practice a skill to develop it to its fullest. Some people discover, in their retirement years, they had talents they never knew they had. What could they have done with those talents is they had nurtured them sooner?

I will never be as good as so and so.

Probably not. But then you will probably never be as bad as some other people. Comparing yourself to others is an exercise in mental avoidance. (You thought I was going to use another word didn’t you?)

There is no point in comparing yourself to others. You will never be them. But then Benjamin Franklin was no Michelangelo either. Shakespeare was no Chaucer. No one is ever anyone else. You need to be you and do the best you can. You will never know just how good you could be if you don’t try.

Things are just fine the way they are.

If you really believe that try just sitting where you are for the rest of your life. Will that work? No. You need to get up and move around. You need to work and laugh and play. Life is about the journey. If you do nothing things are not likely to stay fine. They are likely to get worse. Keep making you and your life better and see where you end up.

I will do it someday.

There are seven days in the week and none of them are Someday. Someday never comes. It is always today. Do not wait till you can spend full-time working on your dream. That day may never come. Life is all those things you experience while waiting for Someday to arrive.

It is no big deal.

It should be. This is your life. You should matter. Start by making your life matter to you. Everything is a big deal when you can’t do it anymore.

Things might get worse.

They might. But then do nothing and I can pretty much guarantee they will get worse. Things keep going in the direction they are going unless something like gravity or time bends them. Your actions can be the force that changes the trajectory of your life.

I will probably fail.

Telling yourself you will fail does not protect you from failure. Want to fail big? Do nothing. Not studying is the best way to fail a test. Do not turn in your assignment and you get a zero. Do it and you will get at least some points. In life doing something is almost always better than doing nothing.

Not sure what the risks are? Don’t let your mind try to protect you by inventing humongous possible consequences. Talk with experts, coaches, and mentors and see what the real situation is.

I might have to give something up.

You will eventually have to give everything up. You will never know what you could have had if you had gone for it. Most people have a whole lot of things, physical and habit wise that are cluttering up your life. To make room for anything new we always end up having to get something out of our lives. Pick the things you want to jettison before you run out of room, and nothing better can ever enter your life.

Change is hard.

Staying the same can be hard also. Yes, change is hard sometimes, especially that first step. But once you step out you will find that the movement gets easier the farther you go. Anything worth doing talks effort and the most valuable things sometimes takes the most effort.

Do things over and over till they become automatic habits and they become easy. The alphabet and writing were hard in the early grades, for most of us, it is easy now. Skills are all hard in the beginning but you would be surprised how quickly you can learn a new skill.

I don’t have the time for that.

You don’t have time to not do new, valuable things to improve your life. You only have so much time and then time runs out. Spend that time budget of yours wisely before all your time is gone and you regret never having done those things that might have made your life worth living.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

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.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

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

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.