Success as a Double-edged Sword – Success Syndrome

The entrepreneurial lifestyle is portrayed as a high-status position in modern society.
The money. The freedom. The luxury. The adventure.
It all creates the illusion of happiness.
Thus, making the role a heavily sought after one to play.

This consequently portrays the modern businessman as an authority figure.
Make a little bit of cash and suddenly everything you say becomes Truth.
“Influencers” on social media know this, and take full advantage of it.
They flash borrowed money and rented cars to get attention.
They’re trying to create the appearance of success, of a good life.
This appeals to the young and ambitious.
They see beautiful women, luxury sports cars, exotic travel destinations.
Who wouldn’t want it?
It’s a life that’s heavily desired.
Something that’s even envied in most cases.
“Why do they get to enjoy all that when I’m the one working hard in an honest position, being a good citizen?”
“We ought to have that good fortune as well!”
And, we should.
But, let’s get something clear first.
Something that’ll save us a lot of heartache.
“Success” is not a position or job title.
It’s not money, fame, or riches.
And certainly, it’s not attention, power, or influence over others.
These are all ideas stemming from materialistic values which have been planted deep in our minds by society.
Before anyone denounces these things – or begins to think I’m against them – let me just say that I’m not saying they’re bad things.
What I am saying is working with the idea of “achieving” these things is not an achievement to strive for.
See, psychologists have found a common pattern in high-status performers who’ve reached incredible levels of achievement but are still heavily depressed.
Having found this deep connection between Ambition and Depression, they found it suitable to label this occurrence the ‘Success Syndrome’.
Success, REAL success, should be a gratifying and enriching experience.
So much so, that it should bring a deep sense of fulfillment to the individual who’s “arrived” there.
Yet, for many, success is a double-edged sword.
Yes, having a relentless drive to succeed is the key to success – but at the same time, it’s the reason for too many failures.
The Success Syndrome is the urge to always be climbing, prospering, succeeding, NOT to “be” more, but to “have” more.
People with the Success Syndrome only consider success in terms of followers, salaries, titles, and the nameplate on the office door.
The standard of living takes precedent over a standard for living.
The idea of receiving prevails over the idea of giving.
This happens when the goal of “getting there” is overemphasized and becomes more important than the inner growth to be experienced through the work.
And, that’s what ‘work’ should bring us all – inner growth.
See, success isn’t just about “getting there”, but earning the right to be there consciously.
What good is it to achieve all that you want, but still feel self-doubt or a low sense of self-worth?
Work shouldn’t be merely a place to make a living.
Instead, it should be an opportunity to create a life.
This is when a model for success is one where the “good life” refers more to VALUES rather than VALUABLES.
Clawing your way to the top and fighting to stay there at the expense of ethical, moral, or even legal values is no way to “reach” success.
There’s a natural urge within us all to succeed and grow.
We’re created to achieve.
We’re meant for freedom.
It’s our birthright.
The only thing stopping us from having success and happiness at the same time is our faulty attitudes.
Instead of denouncing material possessions or spiritual values, let’s denounce our flawed beliefs.
Let’s denounce the negative ideas we’ve been conditioned with.
That’s the thing that truly holds us back.
Cultural conditioning.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
– Albert Einstein