From Success to Super Success, Can You Do It?
Success is an obsession, and a catalyst for failure
Many people want it more than anything else, and they will sacrifice everything to have it, which is often the cost of getting there.
Here is the problem.
Sustaining success, and going beyond success to Super Success is impossible for most people.
Hence Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism, Big Q: “Why don’t successful people and organizations automatically become very successful?”
Mr. McKeown’s Big A clearly stated is: Success is a catalyst for failure.
Being invisible is easy.
When you make mistakes, you are the only 1 who notices. Even being the underdog is easy. If you fail, you are justified in doing so.
But when the headlights are on you, everyone is waiting for you to fail. The external pressure often becomes too overpowering, smothering the values and vision it took to become successful in the 1st place.
Which is why success is often a short-lived experience. People come and go. Very few remain on top for long.
This is true in all life domains.
When and if you succeed in business, life does not get easier, it gets harder.
Success Is Much Harder To Deal With Than Failure
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
For most people, privilege is Poison.
Once you succeed, or have certain privileges, and 1 of 2 things happens:
- The focus shifts from the cause of your success to its effects. Rather than continuing to hone your craft, you indulge in the benefits of your prior success, which inevitably damages future performance. Hence the saying, “Success skips a generation.” The children of the successful do notlearn the causes, but only relax in the benefits.
- Or, you experience an intensification of internal pressure to keep succeeding. Many people cannot handle this level of pressure and it often ends careers prematurely. Yet, this escalation of internal pressure is what prevents a person from being consumed by external noise that come with success.
Internal, not external, pressure is what makes you successful, increasing the pressure is what keeps you going.
Success Vs. Achievement
The difference between success and achievement is subtle but Key.
Success is a subjective feeling about how you are doing relative to why you are doing it.
Achievement is an objective measure about what you have done.
But, success is far more important than achievement. For sure, you could have all the achievements in the world and yet not be successful.
You see this all the time, people who have many external indicators of success, yet inwardly, they are a wreck.
They’ve lost their why, and thus, no longer remember the reason they are pursuing their goals in the 1st place.
What once was a genuine passion has now become a need for more external validation. An endless need to acquire and achieve more.
So, rather than focusing on the Why, the focus becomes on what will work, and doing as much of that as possible, most likely at the expense of your values.
According to Seth Godin, “Art is when a human being does something that might not work…”
When you are focused on what, you only care if it works, you no longer know Why you are doing it.
Interestingly, many successful entrepreneurs admit to being happier before they were “Successful,” back when their motivations were congruent with their values. Achievement poisoned them, and their motivation changed.
When one’s motivation shifts from intrinsic to extrinsic, performance naturally drops over the long haul. You may be able to sustain high performance for a while, often at great cost to your health, relationships, and finances.
From Successful To Super Successful
“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” — Jim Rohn
If “Success” is your primary objective, you probably will not get it. Chasing success is like chasing Happiness, they cannot be pursued directly. Both success and happiness come from something more fundamental : that is Who You Are.
Success comes from consistency to your vision and values.
Although difficult because of the added noise that comes from achievement, becoming “Super” successful requires remaining consistent to your vision and values : Who You Are.
When you stay consistent and true, you will continue to hone your craft, even after you become Tier 1.
You will say “No” to all of the distractions that come your way, no matter how enticing they are or may be.
You will not let your ego inflate and forget who you really are. You will not abandon your values and the most important people in your life.
And do not forget your “Why.”
That may be the hardest thing you do as you seek to improve your life.
As Ryan Holiday recently said of Tim Ferriss, “He does what he does because he enjoys it, and he’s compelled to create, experiment and improve because that’s who he is. Tim is still Tim. Most people are made worse by success, and that’s a shame. It has suited Tim well and that’s a model I aspire to.”
Call To Action
Are You proactive?
If so, check out this 7-pg checklist of the most effective morning activities.
Remember, Life awards the doers.
By Benjamin P. Hardy
Paul Ebeling, Editor
Editor’s note: Mr. Hardy is pursuing his PhD in Organizational Psychology.
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