Surviving Success (330)

Dog chases car.

Dog catches car.

Dog has no idea what to do with car.

Success can be like that. We spend so much time pursuing it that once we achieve it, we’re not sure what to do next. Yeah, I know – it’s a great problem to have. But it seems that no sooner does momentum swing toward success, then something happens to implode things.

You can scan the political landscape worldwide and see many examples. Look no further than 2016 when America appeared to tire of the career politicians. “Drain the swamp” fever grew. Now the opposition is calling for impeachment. Many revolutions have been won only to fall apart shortly after the victory party ended.

Success is more tenuous than failure. Failure can be easy to sustain. Success? Not so much.

Homeostasis is a real thing. Homeostasis is the ability or tendency to maintain internal stability in an organism to compensate for environmental changes. In short, it’s the power and influence to keep things the same. It’s the enemy of growth, improvement and progress.

Along with apathy, entropy and a host of other combatants, homeostasis works hard to bring you back down. It’s quite effective, too. It explains why it seems the forces against your success double down their efforts at the first sign you’re winning. Mostly we think it’s the power of others who don’t want us to succeed. Or maybe they’re jealous of our success. I rather think it’s just the universe forcing us to prove how badly we want success. Testing that burning desire I talked about in the last episode.

Become The Success You’re Chasing

It all starts with a single step. One goal. One objective.

Some problem to be solved. Some wrong to be righted.

It doesn’t start with some comprehensive, all-encompassing mission. Just one thing prompts the entire ordeal – the start of the revolution. The seeds of success are frequently quite small. But powerful.

Fake it ’til you make it is largely steeped in really solid evidence. It works. Because it’s less about fakery and more about embracing the feelings and emotions of success. Whenever we become the success we’re pursuing before we actually achieve it, then we’re experiencing the same feelings we’ll experience when success happens. That helps us change our behavior because those feelings drive us to do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. And those new behaviors deliver different outcomes for us. Success.

Do it long enough and you’ll experience transformational change. That is, the change will be deep and broad. So will the success.

Then it gets harder.

Common values. Common mission.

Here’s the heart of today’s lesson for your leadership. The troops need a shared vision if success is going to be sustained.

Did you realize it was 5 years after the British were beaten in the Battle of Yorktown when colonists in America constructed and adopted the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution? The fight for independence from England would have likely failed miserably had the colonists not recognized the need to be on the same page, fighting for the same causes. They needed shared values and these documents provided that, uniting people to muster up the courage and determination to defeat English rule.

From then until now our country has been embarked on this grand experiment at having a democratic republic. There is no finish line in this work. It’s a process and a journey that will just keep going. And it’s always been fraught with ups and downs. Like right now we’re hearing daily about IMPEACHMENT.

We keep on pressing. Struggling. Battling. For what? Greater success. More growth. Bigger improvement.

No sooner do we think we’ve got it figured out, then something changes. Sometimes happens to show us we don’t have it figured out. Or we don’t have it figured out quite as well as we thought.

Surviving success mostly means not growing satisfied with the current state of things. I think it’s less about complacency and lethargy and more about the loss of enthusiasm for curiosity and growth. People can become satisfied when we stop looking for ways to improve. When we feel this is good enough or whenever we question if it can even be made better. Yes, it can always be improved. There are things that can always be made better. Our job is to maintain and enhance our curiosity to discover HOW.

The best way to survive success is to achieve greater success.

Be well. Do good. Grow great.


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