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We’ve all heard the terms of praise for the hard worker, the achiever: go getter, dynamo, spark plug, workhorse, mover and shaker, eager beaver.

But as you work hard and often, how much is too much? And in doing too much, do you really gain greater opportunity or lose ground?

Sometimes, in our enthusiasm to achieve-maybe even enthusiasm to please-we overdo it and ruin rather than encourage opportunity. Case in point:

Author of Thick Face Black Heat, the Warrior Philosophy for Conquering the Challenges of Business and Life, Chin-ning Chu speaks of her desire to get a book to print at one point in the text. In meeting the deadline of Feb 15, 1991 she pushed her publisher and herself to the limit. The result? Because all of the media attention was on Desert Storm her book disappeared in the war’s media maelstrom. Chu believes that if she had not rushed, if she had stayed on a steady pace, her book would have been brought to light under much more favorable conditions. Because she did not listen well to her anxious heart, she misinterpreted a need for calm as one for greater action.

In learning, I have often found a point of saturation. I read a lot to obtain insight and knowledge as to greater understanding of the human condition outside of that which I gain from my limited perspective and experience. Infrequently as I seek and discover, I obtain a point where enough is enough. At this point I discover that I have the insight I need for my message, my anxiety to discontinue inquiry a demarcation point of discontinuance.

Sometimes as we seek to achieve we ignore the message our anxiety is attempting to convey. Instead of doing less and accepting conditions we do more and feed the anxiety even moving ourselves to failure. But even in times of failure, we are often better off accepting it than wasting time and effort by pushing to do more to right an alleged wrong.

On several occasions in my attempt to achieve greater prosperity, I’ve chosen a particular path. For example, I’ve taken a job that I thought would tide me over until I was able to move laterally into a position that would allow greater upward mobility. Yet while in this situation, I have been fired from several jobs, often due to no fault of my own. Each time as I’ve remained calm and accepting, I’ve moved into greater opportunities than those I anticipated following my preconceived or more forced, unnatural plan.

Sometimes we do too much out of lack of control, but even through the greatest preparation in regards to success in business and life we can never know it all; there is a point where we must simply trust in the fates.

“Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be a fish.”– Ovid

And one must certainly push oneself to find the limits in ourselves, our plans, and life. For it is only in the doing, in having faith that all will ultimately work out that we stretch our intuitive muscle to learn of that which cannot be found in books but only in experience.

“Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done.”– A.E. Hotchner

Ultimately, success is part tangible, part intangible. The tangible is what which we consciously do in an effort to achieve. The intangible is what we listen for and feel along the way as we adjust for greater if not greatest success.

“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person we become.”– Jim Rohn

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”– Bill Cosby

Here’s to your success.