I love it because it’s a simple statement that contains a very deep truth. We all aim to be successful and those dreams we dream when we start out tend to be pretty grand; pretty impressive. For most guys they tend to include a fast car and a hot chick and some sort of wildly over-featured home entertainment system.
But as we start down the path, we’re all in imminent danger of being seduced by a success that is only a vague shadow of our original vision. We make a bit of money, get a place and a nice car, have a holiday on a beach somewhere which is fatal to our ambitions, because really, how much better can it get?
We begin to measure our successs in terms of our immediate comfort levels. And then we start to fade into the middle distance.
Because breathtaking success isn’t measured in comfort. It’s measured in discomfort. It’s measured in how audacious you dare to be and how willing you are to lose what you have in pursuit of something truly great.
It’s not for everyone. There are only so many Richard Bransons who are willing to sell off their life’s work and an already audacious dream in Virgin Music, in order to play out a longer gamble on a grander but by no means assured alternate dream of Virgin Atlantic.
But the difference between those that see successes as building blocks and those that see them as destinations to settle and protect can probably be measured in the millions of Pounds, Dollars, influence, reputation, wide-respect and all the rest.
The world’s constantly minting new millionaires and creating new business celebrities, known for their originality and their ability to change all the rules, even in this crappy economy. It’s a guarantee that the overwhelming majority of those people simply said no to marginal success.
Also, this is personal for me. Several times over the years I have figuratively pointed the vehicle that is my life and career at a solid wall and stood on the gas. I haven’t done this through any self-destructive bent; precisely the contrary. I just fear the complacent creature I become when I feel comfortable.
It’s why the greatest achievers never stop working and the rest of us dreamers never stop trying. What about you?