Sometimes Your Best Isn’t Going to Be Enough

Sometimes Your Best Isn’t Going to Be Enough

I have an opinion about life and success with which I know a lot of people disagree.  I know this because every time I have stated my opinion I get countless emails telling me how wrong I am.  

There are many levels to success-losing weight, making more money, being a better parent, becoming more organized, etc.  My opinion is that those who do not succeed simply do not try hard enough.  I can hear the roars now, but stop for a moment and think about your failures or shortcomings.  Those things you truly desired you worked hard and reached your goal.  Those things you didn’t achieve you had waning desire and did not work as hard.  I have experienced it and so have you.  


So when I get emails from readers asking why they haven’t been able to achieve a certain goal I always ask them about their effort level.  And this is the time when people get defensive when they should really be focusing on introspection.  I’ll give you an example.  

Several months ago I posted that I would be closing my furniture business and beginning the search for a new career path.  And that process was frustrating as the good jobs seemed to be far and few between.  One day I was lamenting to Evelina and she questioned my effort level. To her it didn’t seem as though I was committing myself 100%, yet I was complaining about the difficulty in finding a new job.  Of course I was immediately defensive, but after I had spent some time thinking about what she had said I realized she was correct.  The following week I decided to commit 8 hours every day to finding a new career and to send out 10 resumes every day until I found employment.  Soon I was contacted by the newspaper and after a few interviews I had found my new work family.  

I did not like listening to the harshness of her words, but my wife was correct.  I had spent a couple of months half-assing my job search and my results reflected my efforts. Once I was honest with myself and upped my efforts my results changed completely.  In past posts I have used the phrase “change your mind, change your life” and this is exactly what happened to me.  

So any time someone says to  me “I have been trying to lose weight, but I just can’t seem to remain committed” the first thing I think of is desire and effort.  There are many things one can do to stay committed like joining a support group, Weight Watchers or sessions with a counselor.  If someone wants to make more money or get a better job they can take night classes to further their education and become more qualified.  Sometimes your best isn’t going to be enough and you need to learn to invest in the help of an expert(s).  This is where many people fail because they get to the end of their knowledge and when that isn’t enough, they quit.  You have to push through.  Those who want to achieve will utilize every and all resources to get what they want.  If you need to lose weight and you can’t seem to get over the hump, then go speak with a counselor and get it sorted.  If you want that job, but can’t beat out the competition, then go take night classes and get some additional education.  I can hear a few of you saying these words are easy to say but not easy to do. The truth is it’s not easy and that’s why many of you fail and quit.  

Ultimately you can do anything you want to do.  The factors involved will be desire and effort.  You have to find the thing(s) you really want and then work your tail off to get those things.  But sitting around and paying lip service does nothing and at some point you are going to have to exhaust every possible resource to get what you want and if you don’t it falls directly on you and no one else.  For many this personal responsibility is hard to accept, but it does not change the truth in this principle.   The difficulty for me is I cannot implant desire into other people and I cannot convince others of this truth. Personal responsibility is one of those things that each person must learn for themselves.    

Those who get results simply out work and out desire everyone else-period.  

It would be easy for me to use MS as my reason for not doing a lot of things and not one person would challenge me.  I could sit around every day, claim a disability check and ride out the rest of my life.  But I don’t want that life. So I choose to work hard toward specific goals I have set for myself.  I choose hard work over pain.  I choose achieving my goals over making excuses.  My body hurts every day I get home.  I am overtaken some days with exhaustion.  

The pain becomes a heavy burden, but I would rather deal with the pain that comes from taking action than become a person who allows excuses to rob me of achieving. Eventually you have to try harder.    



89 thoughts on “Sometimes Your Best Isn’t Going to Be Enough

  1. I couldn’t agree more. There is far too much molly-coddling surrounding achievements (or not), especially in our school systems and the way we instruct our youth. The competitive edge and desire for success seems to be being knocked out of people in favour of something far gentler. Well, sadly the world is not a gentle place and grit, determination and hard work are required for success of any kind. Pushing oneself to try harder, work harder and be better is the only way to see improvement – nothing worth having comes easy!

    1. I understand your point but also have to say that sometimes it is good to not make everything about competition. Kids especially lose desire to try new things because they may not be the best or for fear of having to please others with their performance. I have had kids that played sports and sometimes it is just about winning and who is the best. I don’t think there is anything wrong with celebrating personal achievements, even if they may seem insignificant to others.

      1. Absolutely – personal achievement is incredibly important and should be treated as such. No one is the best at everything and learning to deal with failure is just as important – if not more so – than learning to achieve success. Success comes in many forms and being committed to giving one’s personal best is what matters, I think. You don’t know what you can achieve unless you push yourself and that can be uncomfortable for youngsters – but it doesn’t get any easier in the grown up world either, so a little practice can’t hurt here and there.

      2. Oh yes totally agree πŸ™‚ Young people especially should be exposed to many new things to try. They may find something they are really good at and also things they really love that they want to become better at. The more you expose them to try, the more likely they will try as adults too and really not care what anyone else thinks. Sometimes adults are guilty of not trying new things because they don’t want to look silly.
        I once had a friend tell me they would never try a road race because they could never win. ?? really? Kind of sad really that they would not want to try it. It can be a lot of fun. I certainly have never won anything! lol

      3. I guess I have issue with the word ‘ competition’ It assumes others who don’t live up to a standard are the ‘losers’ in the competition of life. I think there is a balance that has to be met, especially with kids, to let them know that there is nothing wrong with not being the best. To contribute to the good of a team and work to your strengths is good too. There is a danger in making all we do a competition. Takes some of joy out of just doing something whether it be half assed or given your best effort. I think that learning to not take life so seriously is important too. πŸ™‚

      4. I guess it also has to do with personality types. For me (highly competitive) competition is a great thing. I learn more from the losses than I ever do from winning. Especially in the world of sales.

  2. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve been feeling maudlin and full of self-pity lately, missing my late husband and just believing that my life is over at age 52. He was my world and my world imploded. I needed a pep talk, and you delivered! Bless your heart for overcoming MS (WOW) and the world’s sneering. We are always our own worst critics.

  3. I totally agree. Everyone faces different hardships in life. It is easier for a lot of people to simply give up, than keep going. I’ve tried many things and failed. I truly believe that a lot of people are just lazy. It’s much easier for them to complain that they can’t get anywhere than actually making it happen. I went back to college in my 40’s. I went to school full time and worked full time, plus our son was just a toddler. I maintained a high GPA, and have a much better job as a result of getting a Bachelor’s degree. Kids should be competitive, it’s what makes the world go around. Giving out prizes for merely showing up does not prepare one for life in the real world.

  4. I hope you find more people that agree with your viewpoint than disagree. Perhaps it’s age or experience or that fact that I’m an action-kind-of-gal, but I agree with you 100%. I also recognize that if I want to achieve something in my life, I must dedicate extra effort. I’m kind of balancing between wanting to “go for it all” with my freelance writing career and “being comfortable” working for someone else with my writing on the side. I know I CAN do more and typically WANT to, but until I’m ready to give myself that needed push, nothing will change. Time for a reality check…

  5. I think it’s important to recognize natural talents and potentials. That being said, someone of limited natural talent can always overtake someone who is naturally gifted but doesn’t make the effort to develop those gifts. It sounds great to say you can do anything you put your mind to, but I think there is a place for realism. For example, a lot of the people who have embarrassed themselves on American Idol auditions will never be able to make a living singing. That said, they surly have other talents and inclinations that would be more profitable, in more ways than one, to pursue.

    1. But pursuing the dream of singing might assist them in overcoming shyness which will allow them to succeed in something else. A perceived failure is most often a success if retargeted.

      1. I was never speaking of pushing a child. You and I were speaking about pushing ourselves or others pushing themselves. Pushing a child to do something against their own interests is a whole other conversation.

  6. Great post. I agree, sometimes we don’t see the results we think we should be because we are not 100% “in it,” mentally and/or physically.

    For example, I have friends that will share with me that they want to lose weight, like really lose weight this time, and “get fit” so I share with them how important it is to make sincere and consistent changes to how they eat. They comply- for a week or two, then I see on Snapchat or Instagram that they are right back to eating to their old ways.

    My point is, don’t complain about something and wish you had something so badly and envy others, when you yourself are not committed. Because when you are committed- all in, you will do what’s necessary to achieve your goals/dream. I myself, had to figure this out.

  7. I needed to read this. I am getting discouraged on so many levels and feeling like I’m not making headway in any direction. I’ll just push harder. Thank you.

  8. This served as a great reminder. I love your straight forward approach. Cut through the bull and say it like it is.
    In my opinion if you’re not willing to do the hard work, then you don’t want the thing you claim to want badly enough. Period. And for the record…I know this because i’ve been the talker without the action to back it up. I’ve also seen that i’m unstoppable if I want to be.

  9. I disagree. I use to think like this. And I kept trying and trying and trying. Then finally I got what I thought I put the hard work in to get.
    Only to find out it was God’s will for me at the time.
    Yes we have to do the work but we only going to have what God wants us to have.
    Take for instance the career job I have today. How much work did I put in to get it?
    Well filled out a resume on Moster. The job I was hired for required higher license that I didn’t have.
    Everyone asked me how did I do it I said I didn’t it was God’s will.
    There is nothing you can do that will get you what you want if it’s not His will for you.
    Also there is no company, rules or man that can stop you for having what God wants you to have.

  10. This is helpful, thank you. I can appreciate that often I can play the victim.
    Just one note — there is something called “the highest good”, where sometimes we don’t get things because it’s just not lined up in the Spirit’s perspective.
    Something to consider. πŸ™‚

    1. I can appreciate that but I always try to eliminate that type of pre-thinking because it allows me to use excuses to not try something. I only consider that once I have given my all and something simply did not work out. I do believe there is a difference between reasons and excuses.

      1. Congratulations I have picked this post as my post of the week. That means I will read out your post on my radio show. Check for my radio show post on Monday for you to listen. Congratulations once more πŸ˜ƒ

  11. Living your life by how others define success is probably not going to lead to fulfillment unless that helps bring the realisation that success is a personal, individual state of being. You can have great material and academic wealth but without contentment and peace of mind, what’s the point?

  12. Its a Great Effort made by You.
    As you say, it is Important that First, We Want / Like / Love the thing we are Doing. So to Achieve It, we Will do Our Best. We should be ready to “WALK THAT EXTRA MILE”.

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