Easy Street

Wouldn’t Easy Street be Good?


I was recently driving through Nashville TN to visit a client when I noticed a pickup truck with a bumper sticker on the back window that said “Where the Hell is Easy Street?”  I had a good chuckle over it but it stirred me to ask “would living on “easy street” really be good?” 

If we look at nature and humanity the answer may surprise us.

  • A recent study by researchers at the University Hospital San Raffaele found that with just 2 weeks of piano lessons or music exercise the gray matter in the brain is increased. (And if you’ve ever taken piano lessons you know that’s not easy).
  • Dr. Bernard Croisile states” To achieve an effective brain training, the brain must be challenged with the right degree of difficulty”
  • Wind is important for trees. Wind-stress strengthens trunk fibres and over-protection may weaken the tree.
  • A Killer Whale’s dorsal fin stays straight and strong while in the ocean because of the pressure of the tide and deep water but if the Killer Whale is kept in captivity for extended periods of time the fin will collapse and fall over due to weakness.
  • The human muscle must be pushed and strained to become strong. When worked hard, it actually is being torn down so it can rebuild itself to be stronger.

The difference between successful and unsuccessful is easy. It’s easy to sleep in and skip the exercise routine. It’s easy to eat whatever is available or looks good rather than eating what is good for you. It’s easy to coast at work rather than giving your best to add value to the organization. It’s easy to not set goals for your personal growth. It’s easy to not take the necessary steps to achieve the goals you set. It’s easy to blame others or the economy or the government or the rich for your situation.

Success doesn’t come easily, it comes to those whose passion, vision or mission is greater than the pull of “easy”. Here are 3 steps to achieving success that won’t be easy.

1.      Develop key goals for your success and be committed to achieving them. I coach many executives who have told me “I know what I need to do; I’m just not doing it.” Knowing what to do is easy; doing it is not.

2.      Balance your life. Success is not just at work. Your job or your career will end but your family is forever. Stay focused on the things that last longer than your job and don’t look for your identity in a position or a title.

3.      Slow and steady wins the race. We all want success today and you can achieve daily successes but long term success takes time, it takes patience and it’s not easy. That beautiful memorable oak tree you have admired sitting in the middle of a field is probably over 100 years old. It’s seen a lot of storms, floods and droughts.

Do you really want “easy street”? Would it really be good?