Vail Daily column: What’s stopping you? |

Vail Daily column: What’s stopping you?

The golf ball rolled across the green on its way to the hole. It seemed like a perfect birdie putt, and then just as it was looking as if it would fall gently into the cup, it stopped one rotation short of going in.

The golfers let out a group groan as they watched in confusion wondering how the ball could have stopped so abruptly. As the golfer approached his ball to tap it in, he noticed the barrier to his birdie … a tiny ladybug.

Now the average weight of a ladybug is 0.021 grams, and the weight of a golf ball is 45.93 grams, that’s more than 2,000 times larger than the ladybug. And yet in the battle for the birdie, our little red speckled friend was able to stop the rolling advance of the ball.

In previous columns, I have written about the “Goliaths” in our lives that need to be defeated or the fact that we need to be dragon slayers and conquer those fire breathing beasts. The focus was on the perceived bigger problems and opportunities in life that need to be tackled. But how often are we tripped up by the little things?

So what are our ladybugs? What is it that is standing in the way of us reaching our goals and dreams, completing our tasks and making the most of the opportunities before us? Is it the simple fact of getting started and avoiding procrastination? Could it be as simple as getting better at the details? And maybe it’s just as small as not following through on an action or commitment.

For our golfing buddy, that ladybug may as well have been a brick wall. And for many of us, myself included, at different times in my life, have allowed something so small to become so huge that it prevented us from success. And there is a saying in golf that goes like this, “100 percent of balls that never make it to the hole will never go in.” And I think that can be said in our personal and professional lives as well. If we leave everything short, if we continue to allow something little to stop us or slow us down, then we may miss the opportunity to be better than average or mediocre while rising to greatness.

Having written this column for the past five years, I have gotten to know the community really well through the letters and emails I receive and the back and forth correspondence with you all. And I can share with you that just like my buddy Caesar who shared the golf ball killing ladybug story, I know that you are all wanting to realize your truest dreams and desires, not just almost reach them. Not just come close, not settling for par or average, but meet and even exceed your own expectations.

So what’s stopping you? Is it a brick wall or is it just a ladybug-size issue that could easily be overcome? I really would love to hear all about it at, and when we recognize that the only thing that can stop us from success is us, it really will be a better than good week.

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

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