There are many books on how to be successful but very few address the challenges you face on the other side of success.
Be under no illusion, success brings challenges.
I’ve spent the past decade and a half coaching elite top performers, from gold medal-winning Olympic athletes and martial artists, to special forces operatives. From ultra high net worth individuals, the adult children of billionaires, and CEOs of billion dollar corporations to academics with PhDs from the world’s top universities.
So I know a thing or two about success.
And I have been privy to the secrets that are wrapped up inside success.
Today, I want to distinguish some of those challenges for you. I call them Success Traps.
You see success has traps wrapped within it that no one has prepared you for.
Success trap #1: Someone else’s success
One of the biggest problems with success is that it was usually defined all the way back in childhood.
- “My mum wanted me to be a ______. My dad hoped I’d have accomplished ______ by this age. I should have done ______ by now.”
- “I shoulda ______. I oughta ______.”
- “Successful people own ______. Successful people do ______. Successful people never ______.”
The way out of this trap is to list all the goals on your list that you no longer really care about, the goals that were set by someone else and your “should” goals—the goals you think you should have accomplished by now.
Create a list called “Not my goals” and move them there.
Just call them what they are. “Not my goals.”
The shift will be subtle but over time you’ll drop the goals that no longer serve you.
Success trap #2: Someone else’s metrics
Too often we set success criteria based on what other people say is important. Followers on social media, number of likes, email open rates, increasing revenue year after year, doubling the value of crypto investments.
You know you’re using someone else’s metrics when you hit a big goal, to discover how empty you feel on the other side.
There’s no satisfaction in accomplishing a goal, when you realize that it was never a goal you really wanted, in the first place.
As Tony Robbins puts it:
“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”
The problem is that we regularly set metrics for success but rarely for fulfillment.
The way out of this trap is to create metrics for your fulfillment.
Make a list of 5 fulfillment metrics.
Here are some to choose from: number of date nights, days away from work, time in nature, dates with the kids, time spent with friends, passive revenue, impact, space, freedom, quality time.
Once a week review these metrics.
Watch what happens each quarter, as you put your attention on what really matters.
Success trap #3: Success doesn’t have an off switch
You accomplish a goal and immediately set another. You hit your targets and quickly judge yourself for not aiming higher. You’re driven by the words bigger, better, more…
Kurt Vonnegut tells a story of being at a party hosted by a billionaire.
He turned to his friend, Joseph Heller and said that their host, a hedge fund manager, had made more money in a single day than Heller had earned from his wildly popular novel ‘Catch-22′ over its whole history.
Heller responded, “Yes, but I have something he will never have… enough.”
The way out of this trap is to set upper limits for your success.
Pick a financial goal for the year. The rule is, when you hit it, you stop.
That’s it. Enough.
Imagine that you pick a time to stop work each day. The rule is, when you hit it, you stop.
That’s it. Enough.
You can never have enough of what you don’t really need. And another client, another dollar, another award won’t really feed you. Set your upper limits and when you are done, you’re done.
Which success trap has you most in it’s grip? And what are you going to do about it?
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