Want to be a more successful lawyer? You won’t accomplish it by sitting back. You have to “lengthen your stride” and get outside your comfort zone to take your career to the next level.

A friend sent me a series of quotes from former golfer, and now golf TV analyst Johnny Miller in Charlie Jones’s book: What Makes Winners Win. I had never read the book, but I might go back and read it now. I won’t share all the quotes with you, but I want to share this one:

If you want to be great, you have to lengthen your stride. If you just stride so that it’s comfortable, you’ll never improve. You always have to stretch the muscles just slightly. If you lengthen your stride and you even hurt a little bit once in a while, because you’re striving for one more level of excellence, your eyes will be opened and you’ll gain more intelligence and you’ll gain more understanding.

A high percentage of lawyers are content to play it safe. If you follow professional golf, how many times have you seen a young golfer trying to win his or her first tournament, play it safe and then mess up? I saw it happen in a tournament final on Sunday.

I believe the same thing happens to young lawyers who play it safe.