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Secrets of Success

The Seduction of Success

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Success

It’s a big word in our culture.

It’s also a pretty loaded word.

It can bring enormous joy to people’s lives but if it is not handled wisely it has the power to wreak havoc.

 

The Seduction

It all starts so innocently.

There is a dream.

A hope.

A wish.

“If I could only make enough money.”

“If I could only land that job, get that promotion, or start that business.”

“If I could only buy that house.”

“If I could afford to send my kids to that school.”

“If just once we could all take a really nice vacation.”

“If I could finally prove to my family, my friends, my colleagues that I could do it.”

“Then I would be… somebody.”

“And then…

And then I’d be happy.

Because then I would be…

Successful.”

 

The Trap

That’s what we may believe but that’s not necessarily what happens.

At least not in my experience.

This is what I often see.

People’s goals are achieved but seldom do I see satisfied or happy people.

What I see are people who become more consumed with what they

originally were chasing.

 

They want more:

Money

Power

Status

Attention

Stuff.

 

They want:

Bigger houses

Nicer cars

Better vacations.

 

Rather than experiencing the proud feelings of a goal achieved, they are in many ways less satisfied than ever.

And they become self-absorbed and increasingly anxious.

 

The Results

In the midst of seeming abundance, they may describe themselves as
“lonely”

“pressured”

“not appreciated.”

 

They wonder if they can sustain a more complicated and expensive lifestyle.

They fear they may not be able to maintain the power and influence they have.

They voice concerns about whether they are changing as people and how their personal lives are being affected.

They sometimes confide that they either don’t have friends outside of work or they don’t spend time with the friends they do have.

They often talk of marriages being neglected and/or children acting out in some self-destructive way.

 

They forget that:

What goes up can come down.

Nothing moves in a straight line.

No one has “repealed” the business cycle and markets fluctuate.

People can have short memories and often ask “What have you done lately?”

 

And they fail to learn some really important life lessons.

 

The Lessons

To help assure you don’t fall prey to the seduction of success, consider the following:

 

We’re never as smart as we think we are when we’re succeeding, and we’re never as stupid as we feel when we’re struggling.

We’re always somewhere in between.

 

Stop paying so much attention to what others say or what you think others think about you.

I have a friend who became a well-known author.

I asked him how he handled the notoriety.

He happened to have a friend who was also a well-known author.

“Let them say what they want, advised his friend, “just don’t ‘inhale.’ “

 

What you try to possess will possess you.

Beware of chasing after:

Power

Recognition

Money

Stuff

They can begin to control you.

 

Be generous.

Give away your:

Time

Talents

Treasures

 

Remain in a state of thankfulness and gratitude

Thank others…

Often.

Show gratitude…

Daily

Be humble…

Always.

Financial success is not bad.

Achieving important goals is a noble pursuit.

But they are often, in the scheme of things, fleeting.

The greatest and most lasting success you will ever have is the success of a life well lived.

It is rooted in the quality of your relationships, the lives you touch, and the legacy you leave behind.

That type of success is lasting, and is something no amount of money, power or prestige will ever equal.

And that is success worth pursuing.

4 Comments to “The Seduction of Success”

  1. Thanks, Michael

    I rarely take the time to tune in to these and this one was super. It seems to me that showing up, doing your best, and being understanding of others is the pathway to success. It ain’t about the prize – it’s the journey taken with pride and thoughtfulness.

    My father used to say you could judge a person’s contribution to life (and success) by how many people show up at his funeral when he dies of old age.

    Frank

    • Frank,
      So nice of you to write and so glad you liked the article.
      Michael

  2. so, so true and so well written! Thank you!

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