Have You Settled for Good When You Can Achieve Greatness?


I don’t know what it is about the human spirit that often finds itself restless with the status quo. I’m not talking about ingratitude, that elusive never-pleasing, never-ending quest for affirmation, money, power, control or prestige. That, I’m certain, is a condition of the human heart searching for fulfillment outside the Creator. I’m talking about reaching a point in your career, business or even in your relationship with your family that by most standards would be considered successful; however, deep inside you know you could do better. You’ve settled for good when you know you could be great.

I’ve been through this cycle so many times in my professional life: I reach a new comfortable plateau and decide that there’s nothing wrong with setting up residence there. After all, my reasoning goes, this is a much better plateau than the one before and some would love to have it. But in the process of establishing permanent residency “it” happens. The nagging feeling of restlessness grows to the point I know I can no longer stay. I must move on.

For me, the process has more to do with the potential than with expectations. After all, I have gone beyond my parents’ expectations, I have a very supporting, low maintenance wife, and a fairly comfortable life. But deep down, I know I’m not finished. I know there’s more that I can accomplish, there are dreams that I need to bring into reality and new lands to conquer.

Good is the enemy of great. You and I shouldn’t be happy with only good, if we know we can reach greatness.

I have been living on a plateau lately. But as I write this post, I know I have to move forward. It’s not good enough to look back and enjoy what has been done. I must seek what’s ahead and climb to the next level.

What motivates you to move on? How do you do it?

  • Excellent quote Daniel. Sometimes our "rest" becomes a permanent residency.

  • Linda Steele

    That's a great thought, Maurilio. I struggle with getting off the plateau because some might take my moving on as greedy, but once I check my motivation and decide I can do more and accomplish more to help more people, than I move without pause.

  • Tami Heim

    Fire up! I am in!

  • Jay Moyers

    I have dedicated my ministry to finding the new places and directions God is moving.
    Isaiah 43:19 "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

    Also been inspired by God's butt-kicking of Jeremiah (12:5) “If racing against mere men makes you tired, how will you race against horses?"

    • Jay, I love the Jeremiah verse. I'm going to print it out and post it somewhere. Thanks for stopping and commenting.

  • Maurilio,

    Great post! I use this quote in my speaking and coaching with clients that complements your thoughts:

    "Something in human nature tempts us to stay where we're comfortable. We try to find a plateau, a resting place, where we have comfortable stress and adequate finances. Where we have comfortable associations with people, without the intimidation of meeting new people and entering strange situations. Of course, all of us need to plateau for a time. We climb and then plateau for assimilation. But once we've assimilated what we've learned, we climb again. It's unfortunate when we've done our last climb. When we have made our last climb, we are old, whether forty or eighty."

    – Fred Smith

    My best,

    • Mike, I love Fred Smith. He died a visionary and young at heart. That's a great quote indeed. I want to climb until I die. Thanks for the comment.

  • ….guilty!

    I'm happy to say we are taking steps to improve our promotional efforts, which had been predicted, would be the first to fall by the wayside. (hello!! No promo – no customers!!)

    Creatively, this has been a great year for me. Once you start those "juices" flowing it's intoxicating!!

    Thank you, Maurilio! I needed this!

  • This is a really cool post.

    I call this the malaise of the middle. We're not completely satisfied with our accomplishments, but we're not miserable enough to want to change.

    I've just found your blog (via Michael Hyatt on Twitter) and really like your content. Keep it up.



    • Maurilio Amorim

      I appreciate it. Thanks for stopping by.

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