Success Doesn’t Come By Trying Harder




This is a true story.  “I’m listening to the desperate sounds of a life-or-death struggle going on a few feet away”, say Price Pritchett.  There is a small fly burning out the last of its short life’s energies in a futile attempt to fly through the glass of a windowpane.  The whining wings tell the poignant story of the fly’s strategy- TRY HARDER.

But it is not working.  Ironically, the struggle is part of the trap.  It is impossible for the fly to try hard enough to succeed at breaking through the glass.  Nevertheless, this little insect has staked its life on reaching its goal through raw effort and determination.

This fly is doomed.  It will die there on the windowsill.

Across the room, ten steps away, the door is open.  Ten seconds of flying time and this small creature could reach the outside world it seeks.  With only a fraction of the effort now being wasted, it could be free of this self-imposed trap.  The breakthrough possibility is there.  It would be so easy.

Why doesn’t the fly try another approach, something dramatically different?  How did it get so locked in on the idea that this particular route, and determined effort, offer the most promise for success?  What logic is there in continuing, until death, to seek a breakthrough with “more of the same”?

No doubt this approach makes sense to the fly. Regrettably, it’s an idea that will kill.

“Trying harder” isn’t necessarily the solution to achieving more.  It may not offer any real promise for getting what you want out of life. Sometimes, in fact, it’s a big part of the problem!  If you stake your hopes for a breakthrough on trying harder than ever, you may kill your chances for success.

Where are you trying harder in your business and in your life?  Where do you need to look ten steps to the side, to see another perspective or opening?  Where are you banging your head against a wall or window? Are you looking for a breakthrough but doing the same thing over and over?  I think they call that insanity, correct?

Attempting to succeed through “more of the same”, being narrowly focused and relying on committed effort, can blind you to better pathways.

This was inspired from the book by Price Pritchett, You2.



  1. I so needed to hear this message this evening. I do need to remember to look up and see the bigger picture and broaden my perspective. Message coming to me again and again, I think it is time to listen! Thanks, Victoria

  2. So often I have repeatedly banged my head against the wall (metaphorically speaking) expecting a result. Of course it doesn’t work, and I just end up feeling bad. I love the idea of taking 10 steps to the side. This reminds me of the old saying: When God closes a door, he opens a window. I’m looking for that window.

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