Success feels easy when you are on the right track

The truth about struggle and progress

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Paula May on Unsplash: You can see that there is a path that is way easier than the rest for the top of this mountain

What do you mean success feels easy?

You may feel offended by the word easy, so let me explain. I do not mean that you can have success by just binge-watching Netflix and hoping to receive a check in the post. I do not mean you do not have to work. Neither that you will not face any difficulties or obstacles.

  • From early on, you make progress, hit success milestones, and opportunities come your way.

“Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress. Working hard about something we love is called passion.” Simon Sinek

When success feels too easy

I also believed in the myth that success required excessive struggle. But way too often, my experience proved it wrong. I started blogging in April 2016. Within three months, one of my articles was picked up by HuffPost. This was an aspirational dream for many bloggers that was supposed to take years to come true. I started writing for them and other top publications.

“There is no such thing as failure. Failure is just life trying to move us to a different direction” Oprah

Looking closer at the adversity legends.

But, I was a sample of one. Did this insight, that success feels easy when you are on the right path apply to others as well? I knew this idea was contradictory with the “common sense” out there and I wanted to test it. I asked people to prove me wrong and give me some examples.

How do you know you are on the right path?

Some of you will approach this question spiritually. You will talk about purpose and meaning and doing what you were put on this earth to do. For the more skeptical of you, let’s define the right path as the one where what you are good at, what you like doing and what the world needs overlap. By the way, on your right path, there are many options of work that you could do. As you can see in the diagram below, the overlap can be significant.

Image for post
Image for post

“Achievement is easy, what’s hard is alignment.” Brendon Burchard

Why the myth of hard success is dangerous

The lie that we need to suffer for success is harming, especially to three kinds of people

  • People who stay in the “struggle” because they believe that is the way it is supposed to be. They do not trust their experience and their body that tell them that something is wrong. Someone said insanity is trying the same thing hoping for different results. The “hard success” myth drives people insane.
  • People who settle for less because they do not want the pain they associate with success. I see this all the time. Clients will often say to me that they do not want to get a promotion or a new job. They are afraid they will have to make sacrifices or burn out, and they do not want to. Often, the opposite is true. The higher you get or, the better aligned you are with your job, the easier your work feels.

Conclusion

We find stories where the hero overcomes rejection and adversity inspirational. They give us hope that even if we are in a tough spot, success might be in our way.

Executive Coach at www.theleaderpath.com. Former Google business leader. Fast Company & Thrive Global Contributor.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store