The Side Effects Of Success

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If there is one thing that I have noticed from people throughout my life it’s that most people envy success and actively try to tear it down. It's an ugly thing. Very few people seem to motivate others, or at least avoid becoming jealous of them.  I would much rather to spend my time around the positive, motivating people, but they are just hard to find. So why is it that most people spend so much time and energy trying to tear down the successes of others? Wouldn’t it make more sense if they spent that time and energy trying to improve their own lives instead? Well, I can tell you exactly why.

The answer is simply one word, fear. These people boil with an internal fear of those who experience success. They fear the things that successful people can achieve. Am I saying that right? And as much criticism as I have received throughout my life; it never seems to get any easier to tolerate. Now I think that everyone probably already knew this, but there is also a different perspective to think about when you realize that this occurs. Successful people face a whole different set of challenges that will make you want to puke in your own mouth. 

So I want to start by discussing the difference of ‘interpretation’ from ultra-successful people versus the average person. I'll start by using a horrible example that I can't seem to get out of my head. Alright, so person #1 lives a very average life; he makes a medium income, very average looking, and basically doesn't threaten anyone in any way, shape, or form. For this example, he is in a fantasy football league, and while joking around with a group of others in the league he says, "I'm going to crush you guys this year! No doubt about it I'm the best fantasy mind in the league!" That's funny right? Of course it is. He is totally non-threatening and even if he does do exactly what he said, he still isn't very threatening. So overall it's a funny statement, everyone is laughing and when they leave they discuss how funny that guy was. 


Ok, now think about the same example, but with person #2. Person #2 is really good looking, he makes a lot of money (especially compared to the rest of us in the league), dates a model, and basically threatens the crap out of the rest of us. Yea, that's a big difference. So when he says the exact same thing in the same environment, others will probably laugh with him in the moment (because they want to be friends with him and his success), but when they leave that conversation and are in a private setting with others they say... “Oh that guy is arrogant.” I mean seriously, who says that when you are ultra-successful in life? He’s just a cocky d bag if you ask me.. But wait?! Two different people made the exact same statement in the exact same situation? Why are they interpreted so differently?

I’ll tell ya why. We are threatened by the successful person. I fear the fact that he can, (and probably will,) achieve things in life that I never will. And that just changes everything. The average guy is funny when he makes a cocky statement but when the good looking successful person does he's a terrible, arrogant person. ? That will then result in 'others' often working against successful people. So imagine being a newly successful person… I mean it's hard enough just to become successful and now you have to deal with other people trying to tear you down because they are jealous? That seems like an unfair disadvantage to me…

Now let’s move on to the next stage of consequences. Often interpretations can evolve and be translated into twisted expectations. So that becomes the next paragraph. How differently the expectations can be for a pegged 'successful' person versus an 'average' person, and how this can translate to even more difficult obstacles that successful people must overcome.

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When you know that someone is capable of more you subconsciously and consciously expect more from them. It's natural and you don't even realize it. Imagine someone working their butt off to achieve the same thing that another person achieved while not breaking a sweat. Even though they are getting paid the same, you kinda hate the guy who did it while making it look easy, right? They are both getting paid the same so why does the perception matter so much?

Think about it like this. The effort that it takes LeBron James to dunk a basketball is substantially less than it would take me, or anyone for that matter. So you expect more from LeBron because you know how talented he is, and you know this by how easy he makes everything look that he achieves. Now compare that to me, which you don’t even expect to be able to dunk, and I can’t so you would be correct. Now, can you begin to understand the difference of how the things that people do can be perceived simply based on their previous success?  And then how that can lead to different expectations? This can be translated into all areas of life, especially your job, like in the LeBron example. This is something that is just easier to see in the sports world versus the business world.

So my point is that success will lead to different interpretations and higher expectations. It’s that simple. So if you plan on becoming successful in life then you better brace yourself to see an ‘ugly’ in people that you probably wouldn’t otherwise. You might even be one of those people who dwell on the successful, and if you are then shame on you. You are stunting your own growth, the growth of other people and the growth of our society. Jealously is an evil trait and hurts us all in the end.