Vail Daily column: Pushed to succeed |

Vail Daily column: Pushed to succeed

We have all heard it before, and most likely we have even found ourselves saying it, too, sounding something like this, “Come on, I know you can do better than that.” Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Teachers use it to help inspire students, parents say it to encourage children, managers leverage it with their high potential employees, and coaches definitely use it to motivate their athletes as they push themselves to new limits.

And if you have heard this spoken to you or at you, or if you have found yourself making the statement, I am fairly confident it was not always heard or said with the most positive or encouraging tone, was it? Sometimes it is used as a manipulative tactic or statement meant to deride or demean the individual or team.

If we really stop and think about it, this is one powerful message and it depends on who delivers it and how it is delivered or received. For me, the most powerful person that could ever possibly deliver this message to me … is me. There is never a stronger voice in my head and in my heart than the one I hear when I am deep in a project, working out, skiing the bumps, or having an important personal or business conversation than my own voice.

This is good and bad. It is good because I push myself harder to succeed than anyone else can. It is bad because sometimes it causes an internal disconnect by being both my own worst critic, as well as my own biggest champion or fan. And that right there is why it is so very important to have people in our lives that can provide some kind of balance as we push ourselves to succeed.

Teachers, spouses, parents, bosses, nurses, physical therapists, and coaches who truly understand the meaning of “Come on, you can do better than that” wind up being the difference makers in: elevating the performance of students; creating deeper relationships; providing children with wings to soar; developing employees that become increasingly productive and grow into management; motivating patients to heal faster mentally, emotionally, and physically, and inspiring individuals and athletes in the pursuit of new goals and achievements.

Who pushes you? Do you have trusted people in your life that absolutely have your best interest in mind as you pursue new heights and goals? Do you have a strong and healthy internal voice that is inspiring and encouraging without being unrealistic? Really, who pushes you? You just might be very happy with who you are, where you are, and what you are doing and there is no need for anyone, let alone yourself to push you any harder than life is pushing you already right now. And if you fall into that category, consider yourself blessed and one of the few who can make that claim.

But if you fall into the category of striving for continuous improvement, make sure you balance your internal voice pushing you with the helpful and loving support of those specialists who can really make a difference in the achievement of your success.

Whether you are looking to be pushed to succeed or you are happy right where you are, tell me all about it at and together we will make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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