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Ordinary People Have a Secret to Success That Overachievers do Not

Stop struggling to reach the top — Aim for the middle instead

By Lynda CokerPublished 3 years ago 3 min read
Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ~Albert Schweitzer

The title of this article goes against all conventional thinking on how to reach the top rung on the ladder of success. But ask yourself one question. What are you willing to discard on your climb to the top? There is plenty of evidence that taking the conventional path will come with a costly price tag. What are some of the possible personal liabilities?

Cost of success invoice

  • Burnout
  • Depression
  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Your beliefs and moral values
  • Loss of relationships
  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Self-respect
  • A narrowed life-focus

Must Success Cost So Much?

If any or all of those invoice items are acceptable to you, then, by all means, take the conventional path. But if your mind is open to viewing a less hazardous approach, read a little further.

How ordinary people achieve success

Ordinary people generally aim for a standard of success that equates with and facilitates their desire for contentment and happiness. They are not willing to discard those two things to become a ‘success’ in the eyes of others. They have found the secret to true and lasting success — a level of achievement that satisfies personal dreams and desires without irreparable sacrifice and loss.

Aiming for the middle of the proverbial ladder-of-success

Aiming for a balanced view of success, ordinary people focus their attention on the middle area of the ladder. This area is where the level of success is based on inner values rather than an image of success.

An image-successful person lives a delusional existence. Why? Because the reality of the success achieved is never equal to the person’s perception of what success would deliver. Because their focus has been on the image, it often leaves them emotionally and psychologically empty.

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.“ — Henry David Thoreau

One secret ordinary people practice that brings them a true sense of happiness and success is to live in the moment.

“Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that is why they called it the present.” — Unknown

How ordinary people measure success

Ordinary people live in the moment with realistic expectations. They are not trapped into the ideology that — all we need to do to be happy is to follow our hearts and pursue our dream, no matter the cost. They are willing to work toward real and lasting success. What other secrets do ordinary people use each day to secure and maintain true success? Consider some of the following concepts.

  • Money and possessions are not true markers of success and do not guarantee satisfaction.
  • The ambition that supersedes the health and welfare of themselves and others will not bring true success.
  • Keeping work, health, and family life in proper balance is the easier road to true success.


Ordinary people may never be at the top of the ladder-of-success, at least not in the minds of some, but many ordinary people find an extraordinary level of success along with a kind of happiness that may reach higher than the top rung.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

And if by some chance you’re suffering from life's many disappointments, here is a short poem about moving forward that may soothe your heart.

Sail away my bleeding heart

Far from pain and sorrow

Let the stars lead the way

To shores blessed by tomorrow

The gentle breezes know

A willing captive you are

Toward the horizon’s gate

Steer straight, firm, and far

Hope will paint the skies

Reach for the crimson dawn

Seize the chance to dream anew

To build a life thereon


Originally published here


About the Creator

Lynda Coker

Grab a chair, turn a page, and read a while with me. I promise to tap lightly on my keyboard so we both can stay immersed in our world of words.

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