Success can be a dangerous thing

No one tells us about the how difficult it is to handle the highs. Lows we have heard about, and even experienced. But I believe that the highs are as dangerous, or maybe even more so than the lows.

A high happens when I've had a streak of good things happen to me - successes, achievements, recognition, admiration, adulation, love, money.. and all that. It's a beautiful thing and I pray that every one of us should experience enough of these. We live in a world of abundance and all the good things in the universe can and must be tasted.

There is a dark side to success though. The heady mixture of success can put us in a tizzy. Here are some of the effects that I've experienced after a series of highs.

I start believing in 'my way or the high-way'.
I find it very difficult to unlearn the things that have 'worked for me', and hence stop learning new things as quickly as I should.
I become insensitive to the challenges of those not experiences the streak of successes, and hence slow down the impact that I could be making.
I start believing in invincibility, and end up setting up the foundation for my next low.
I identify myself as a series of achievements - and hence remain constant insecure until I experience the next success.
There is a growing fear of falling from the height. I start running hard to stay in the same place, only to burn myself out.

It requires a certain level to 'spiritual clarity' to stay on a success streak, and not be affected by these. Without that, often our life becomes either a race from one high to another, or it becomes a series of highs and lows. Both are extremely exhausting. I've experience both and struggled to find a better way.

Highs and lows are part of the journey. Being on a constant high is as useless (and impossible) as is being on a constant low.

Three things I am practising to help me handles highs (and lows) better are:
  1. A daily gratitude practise the first thing when I wake up
  2. Asking myself this questions - What is really really important for me? several times in the day
  3. Reminding myself of my stated purpose of - empowering entrepreneurship and change-making amongst the youth of India - as often as possible.

These practises instantly bring perspective back to me. Highs and lows seems a little less important. I can sail the high seas of successes and failures with a smile and sense of adventure!