For most of us, the answer to the question, “Are you pushing yourself hard enough?” is “No.”

If we’re honest with ourselves, there are parts of our lives, including our careers, our relationships and our own personal development, where we are leaving progress, achievement and satisfaction on the table.

We rationalize the amount of effort we’re willing to put forth to move forward in these areas, and we set a cap on our own success. Recognize any of these?

  • Just one little bite of that dessert.
  • I make enough money. I want balance in my life.
  • I’ll do it later.
  • That was just a dream.
  • The competition was too tough.
  • I can’t…
  • I don’t know how to…
  • I don’t have time…
  • I’m good with myself
  • I don’t have time to read/study/go back to school/learn something new…

We often settle for good when with effort, great is within reach.

Getting Beyond Good is Often Uncomfortable:

Strivers…those that pursue growth and personal achievement every day,  understand the interplay between the variables of effort, commitment, action and their combined impact on outcomes. They live according to this math.

Strivers understand that metaphorically, there’s always more gas in the tank to draw upon, no matter how hard they’ve tried and how tired they’ve grown.

And Strivers understand that parts of their journey through life will be on lonely and uncomfortable stretches of road. They are happy choosing discomfort in pursuit of growth and development. They understand that the conscious choice of striving and struggling in pursuit of something that is important is a profoundly personal issue.

Good is never good enough, when great is comprehensible.

The Bottom-Line for Now:

We need more strivers. Until the balance of the news in our newspapers and on our screens shifts in favor of successes versus failures, goals achieved and exceeded versus problems created, we don’t have enough people striving for success.

We all seek inspiration in our own ways. The best way I know to move towards a goal is simply to stop thinking about it and start moving. Action begets more action, and with progress comes learning and growth. Before you know it, you’ve moved from your comfortable position on the couch to the uncomfortable and exhilarating position of knowing that success is within reach.

How many parts of your life might benefit from a bit more effort on your part? If there’s even one, it’s time to start moving forward.

About Art Petty: Art mentors high potential professionals and develops and delivers powerful and pragmatic workshops and programs on leadership, professional development and building high performance teams. Contact Art to discuss your needs for a program or keynote. And whether you are an experienced leader seeking to revitalize and develop as a professional, or, a new leader looking for guidance on starting up successfully, check out Art’s book with Rich Petro, Practical Lessons in Leadership at