Skip to content

Thoughtful businesswoman reading sticky notes on glass with colleagues in background

“Easy short-term decisions lead to difficult long-term consequences. Difficult short-term choices lead to easy long-term consequences.” – Rory Vaden

Have you ever noticed that success always looks easier from the outside peering in?

The truth is, however, that whether you’re observing successful businesses, marriages, parenting, health or faith life: The common strand that weaves them together is that it was much harder to achieve – and to maintain – than it appears.

I was reminded of this truth when meeting a young man recently. He shared that he has a story he wants to share as a speaker and asked how to make it happen “quickly.”

I thought it might be worthwhile to share this list with you, too. So here, my friends is a list of my top ten recommendations to build a ‘quick roadmap’ for success:

  1. Spend five months in a hospital.
  2. Endure 18-months of therapy and 36-months of recovery.
  3. Advance through 16 years of schools. Then, start three businesses in 10 years.
  4. Invest in career coaches and commit to being a lifelong learner.
  5. Deliver your first speech to three unresponsive Girl Scouts followed by two years speaking in church basements and dimly lit halls.
  6. Write two dozen book proposals; receive rejection letters for each.
  7. Write newsletters weekly (even when only a few friends receive them at first).
  8. Contribute on social media (even when your network is small).
  9. Host a radio show on a small AM channel for a year that has three listeners (two are your parents and the third is a lady who writes-in that she doesn’t like you.)
  10. Faithfully remain focused on why you started in the first place and what drives you so that you remain hungry and humble going forward.

I share this list – these challenges – not as a way of scaring you but rather setting you up to find something you are so passionate about doing (personally or professionally) that no roadblock will stop you from your success.

So frequently we want the quick fix. We want great abs in four minutes, perfect health in three pills, success in two easy payments, fixing the marriage with one vacation. But all of my experience as a husband, father, son, business owner, chaplain, speaker, writer, and radio host informs me that real success never comes easy.

(On my most recent Live Inspired Podcast I interview someone who understands the journey of real success better than most. Rory Vaden may have grown up poor, but the lessons he learned as a child fuel his success today. You don’t want to miss Rory’s story – check it out here.)

As we step into another week, begin the race of the holidays and prepare to launch into the New Year: Remember to choose a path that lights you up and sets you on the right path for your long-term success. [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

No, it’s not a quick two-part plan, pill or payment to get you fast results. But I promise it’s the surest way to live up to the fullness of your promise and enjoy a life of true significance.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.