Why Success Leads to Depression

The entrepreneurial lifestyle is portrayed as a highly sought-after way of life in modern society.

People who don’t even run businesses put the tagline in their social media bio and begin calling themselves entrepreneurs—not really knowing what it truly means to be one.

Owning and running a business is viewed as ‘The Thing To Do’ and people are drawn in by the shiny, superficial side of this walk of life.

The money. The freedom. The luxury. The adventure.

It captures the attention of a person who’s not grounded in their path and creates an illusion of happiness, making the role a highly desired one to play.

Appealing to the young and ambitious, the modern successful businessman is viewed as an authority figure.

Make a little bit of cash and suddenly everything you say becomes Truth.

Let’s make something clear though.

Something that’ll save one who chooses to walk this path a lot of heartaches.

“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 seem to be prevalent in today’s society.

Working with the idea of “achieving” these things is not an achievement to strive for.

That’s actually a dangerous road to travel.

So dangerous that 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 the drive to succeed is necessary for success, but at the same time, it’s the reason for too many failures.

The Success Syndrome is the urge to always be climbing, achieving, 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.

This happens when the goal of “getting there” is overemphasized and becomes more important than the inner growth to be experienced through the work—the results become more important than the process.

But, that’s what fulfilling ‘work’ is really about—inner growth.

In this sense, 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—one worth living.

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.

That’s an illusion.

Yes, there’s a natural urge within us all to succeed. And we should because we’re created to grow and achieve. We’re meant for freedom. It’s our birthright.

But this should be done without impeding on the rights of anyone else.

That’s real success—when our happiness doesn’t obstruct anyone else’s happiness. And the only thing stopping anyone from having that is a faulty perspective.

One doesn’t have to choose between material possessions or spiritual values. Instead of denouncing either of those, let’s denounce flawed beliefs.

Let’s denounce the negative ideas we’ve been conditioned to believe.

That’s the real obstacle to success.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.
— Albert Einstein