When confronted with some new opportunity or challenge, what’s your initial response? Often the first thing we consider is “can I or can’t I do this?” In other words “do I have the ability to succeed at this?”
To answer that question, your mind will first analyze what it thinks is required. Next, it will compare that information with your skills, talents, and other resources. Then it will draw a conclusion about your chances of success.
Just because you can doesn’t mean you should
Deciding that you can do something might seem to suggest that you should go for it. After all, your chances for success appear to be very good, so, why not?
I have slipped into this kind of reasoning several times in my life, and it has taught me some interesting lessons about the two faces of success. These lessons have proved very valuable over the years and I hope you will benefit from them as well.
I love the feeling of success, how about you? When your try something and your efforts pay off, doesn’t it make you want to raise the bar and do it again?
Without a doubt, some of the greatest success stories in every field of human endeavor have been the result of this approach to multiplying success. But knowing that success can be multiplied brings up a very important question.
Is more success really the best choice?
I know it sounds crazy. After all, why wouldn’t you want more success? Surprisingly, the pursuit of greater success can easily reach a point of diminishing returns.
The truth is, more is not always better, sometimes it’s just more! Even worse, when things get too far out of balance, more can actually become less. To avoid the downside of success, we should always consider…
How much is enough?
If you enjoy the health benefits of running 5 to 10 miles per week, does that mean that you would be better off running marathons?
Imagine that your business makes you a good income working 20 hours a week with only three employees. Does that mean that you should start working 60 hours a week, hire 20 more people and really grow your business?
I can’t answer those questions for you, but I can make a suggestion. Before you decide to ramp up your efforts, take some time to carefully consider your personal definition of success.
What do you really want?
Do you want to be fit and healthy, or do you want to see how much punishment your body can take? Do you want a business that makes you a comfortable living with plenty of time for other activities, or do you want to join the become a workaholic so you can join the Fortune 500?
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with any of these choices. It’s entirely up to you. What I am saying is that everything comes with a cost. So before you set your sights on more, it’s a good idea to look at the trade offs involved.
It’s easy to get swept away by success!
I love to work out, but there was a time when I forgot why I went to the gym. Once I discovered that I had the ability to lift very heavy weights, I thought – why not go for it? I got caught in the “more is better” trap.
That was not a balanced approach and ultimately, it came with a price. The problem was, I forgot to consider the “other” possible consequences of that kind of physical stress. As a result of my shortsightedness, I suffered a number of unnecessary injuries during that period of time. Some of those injuries are still with me today as a painful reminder.
A similar thing happened back in 1999 and 2000. That’s when I foolishly went from being a casual stock market investor, to a full time stock market junkie. Another very expensive and painful lesson.
Keep your eye on the ball
As good as success feels, it’s way too easy to get caught up in the pursuit and lose your balance. Understanding what success means to you personally can save you a lot of needless pain and hardship.
What it all comes down to is this. Balance is one of the most advanced life skills you will ever learn. In almost every area of life, balance is the key to living a life you can truly enjoy. To stay balanced you need to see the big picture and make decisions based on what you truly want.
Make sure you maintain a clear picture of what success means to you and don’t get caught up in the “more is better” mindset. Sometimes, less is really more!
How important do you feel balance is?
Do you think the quest for success can be over done?
The lines are open!
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