Vail Daily column: Are you almost there or are you there? |

Vail Daily column: Are you almost there or are you there?

Michael Norton
Climbing to Success

“Almost” — it’s only a six-letter word, but it’s so very important. And its importance and relevance could be situational and maybe it even comes down to our own perspective and how we choose to view all of the “almost” events in our lives.

This past week while driving from Denver to Des Moines, Iowa, we “almost” made it into Des Moines in time to avoid the tornado warnings and storm. I mean we were about 25 miles from town when the radio alert interrupted our music and alerted us of a tornado warning and to seek shelter immediately.

Luckily it was just a very severe thunderstorm with high wind and rain, and we arrived safely. However it was a bit unnerving as debris filled the highways and trucks were sideways along the road. “Almost” there was just not good enough.


How many of you have experienced an event or situation where you avoided a serious accident or collision that could have left you seriously injured? You know the kind of near miss where we tell the story to a friend and we say something like, “You should have seen it. There we were just walking along when all of a sudden a rock slide came and almost wiped us out!” The good news in these situations is that we were “almost” in trouble, but we survived to tell our story.

The “almost” events can be very exhilarating for sure, as they get our heart rate going and stimulate our thinking and our actions.


But there is another kind of “almost” that serves as more of a demotivator in our lives that could be even more dangerous than those near misses and close calls. If you have ever found yourself saying, “I almost went to the gym today” or “I almost started reading that book,” you know as to what I might be referring.

It is these “almost” moments, the events and situations where we are caught in the trap of “almost,” that stand in the way of achieving our goals and dreams.


When this happens we have to look at the barriers, obstacles and excuses that cause us to “almost” achieve our goals instead of pushing past it and realizing success.

“I almost went to the gym, but my friend came by with a pizza and I just couldn’t say no.” Now that is an excuse that could have been avoided with a commitment to a goal of better physical fitness and getting in shape.

“I almost went to the gym, however, as I stepped out of my car I twisted my ankle and needed to go for an X-ray.” This is a real obstacle that needs to be addressed before moving on with the pursuit of our goals.

The point is this, we can “almost” do anything. And if we just shifted our mindset and took the emphasis off of the word “almost” and placed our focus on the word “do” we would increase our effectiveness and productivity in every area of our lives. I know, I know, living with an “almost” attitude is so much easier, it really is. It gets us out of any promises, commitments and expectations we have made to ourselves and others.

If we could just get past the “almost” mental barrier and get our heads and hearts around the “being” there or “getting” there success stories of our lives, there is no doubt in my mind that we can all meet with a higher level of personal and professional achievement.

How about you, are you “almost” there or are you there? Either way I would love to hear all about it at And when we move from “almost” there to being there, it really will be 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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