The Curse of Success

Success teaches you virtually nothing.

The real learning comes from the the micro and macro "failures" (I prefer the term feedback opportunities) that preceded the success.

Success can be a curse. This occurs when you mistakenly conclude you have nothing else to learn.

I see this with some new Ivy League graduates.

I see this with some new first year consultants.

They stop learning.

In a world that is continually changing, the moment you stop learning is the moment you stop growing.

It's a risky path. The consequences don't occur immediately, but they do start accumulating.

In addition, when you succeed, the tendency is to think you're somehow better than everyone else. You're not. You're just more successful. There's a difference.

(Re-read that last paragraph and soak it in. It took me a lifetime to learn its true meaning.)

If you take the last paragraph to heart, it can completely change your outlook on life as it has for mine.

Think about it.

 

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3 comments… add one
  • Ursula Mannix Sep 10, 2015, 12:29 pm

    Humility and grace.

  • Dee Sep 10, 2015, 6:32 pm

    “In a world that is continually changing, the moment you stop learning is the moment you stop growing”. This is profound. Thank you for sharing these lessons, Victor. Always looking forward to your newsletter!

  • Sam May 7, 2016, 5:58 pm

    “In addition, when you succeed, the tendency is to think you’re somehow better than everyone else. You’re not. You’re just more successful. There’s a difference.”

    Exactly. Also, it all depends on how you define success. Let’s say you define it in terms of salary. So, if you make more than someone else, then you’re more “successful.” But what if you define it in terms of happiness and satisfaction? The person who makes more money may be less happy and satisfied than the person who makes less. In that case, the latter person is more “successful.”

    So, just because you may think you’re more “successful” than many others, it may all be a matter of perspective.

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