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Let's suppose there is a family including a sick mother who is about to die and a son who has no one other than the mother. Mother is making her last will to the son and wants to sympathize with the son and also, encourage him to do his best in order to obtain a good job and good life. Does the self-made sentence below make sense to you? Is it Natural? If not please help me to have a natural substitute for that:

  • Do your best to reach somewhere soon.

*** The word "somewhere" in the above sentence means a reasonable and fair situation in which the son could live comfortably in it.

Bringing up this question I am looking for a verb which can be used in this sense meaning "to achieve success and good life". What I wrote, (to reach somewhere) is a direct translation from Farsi which is exactly what we use to indicate the same message. I do not know what native speakers would use instead.

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The sentence given does not sound very natural. In this context, it is appropriate, but to a very small extent. This is because "somewhere" is used when that "somewhere" is known or defined. Perhaps a more apt and natural choice of words would be "Do your best to reach great heights" or something similar.

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"Succeed" is one verb for "achieve success and a good life", but it doesn't have the connotation of an ethical life. There are individuals who have lots of money and comfortable lives, and regard themselves as "successful", but other people regard them as psychopaths because of the way they exploited other people to achieve that money and comfort.

I don't think there is a single-word verb that means "succeed ethically".

In the situation you paint, I might have the mother say something like "do your best to live a good life".

[edit]: What she might say would depend on what she believes is "a good life". Perhaps she might say "do your best to live a good life. Do not chase after riches, because the rich almost never feel that they have enough, and so they remain poor and sick in their hearts. Instead seek to learn as much as you can, to have work you enjoy, to be kind and generous to other living creatures, and to love. That is the best kind of life, for no one can have a better one."

  • Thank you very much, MMacD. It was a great suggestion. But how shall the mother point to a specific and desirable life level? How to indicate an agreeable success degree? This is my question? What shall I use instead of "somewhere" to make a good sense? – A-friend Nov 23 '16 at 12:09
  • I'm sorry it took me so long to respond again, but the holiday got in the way. I'll modify my answer since these comments are so short – MMacD Nov 26 '16 at 16:29

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