The road to success is not a meandering path. It is a carefully planned route. 

But planning a route takes you nowhere. It only tells you where you expect to go.

Getting there requires that you hit the road.

Before you hit the road, there are preparations to make. You have to pack your bags, make sure your vehicle is in good condition, fill your tank with petrol and make sure you have enough money for the journey.

Action usually comes at the end of a series of preparatory steps, best described in the starter’s words at the beginning of a race: “Get ready, get set, go!”

At the “get ready” signal, athletes assume a balanced stance that allows them to respond quickly when the action signal is given.

Successful people acquire balance too, in the physical, mental/emotional, social and spiritual aspects of their lives.

When you achieve this state of equilibrium, you are ready to accept any challenge and conquer any barrier between you and success.

Finding balance

To acquire balance means to achieve that happy medium between minimum and maximum that represents your optimum. 

The minimum is the least you can get by with.

The maximum is the most you are capable of. 

The optimum is the amount or degree of anything that is most favourable toward the ends you desire.

Let me illustrate the difference between maximum and optimum.

If you are running the marathon and you go all out for the first mile, you may take the lead, but the victory ultimately will go to the runner who strikes the highest sustainable pace. 

If the pace is too slow, the others will pass you. If it is too fast, you will run out of energy before you reach the end of the race. 

The objective of a marathon runner is not to lead after the first mile, or even after the first 25 miles. It is to finish the entire 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195km) at the head of the pack. 

The successful runner will find his optimum pace, which is the highest sustainable pace.

You need to strike that kind of balance in your personal habits and behaviour. 

Find the happy medium between minimum performance and the pace that leads to burn-out. Then you will be ready to succeed in the long run.

Getting set entails bringing yourself to a motivational edge that allows you to put your heart and soul into the effort once the action has begun. 

Acquiring motivation means developing a strong reason to carry your action plan to a successful conclusion.

When you are balanced and motivated, you are ready to respond to the signal: Go!

Article by Nido Qubein, an educator, international speaker, business leader and consultant. Visit his website at