What happens when you reach success? Can you let your guard down a bit, knowing that you can know reap the rewards of all that hard work or do you have to keep going? Ted speaker Richard St. John discusses this very question in his Ted talk “Success is a continuous journey”
I first featured Richard St John early on in my 365 Days of Ted challenge . On that occasion I was writing about his Ted talk, “8 Secrets of Success” Richard’s talk back then was offering a very insightful and structured look on what it takes to become successful. It was probably one of my favourite Ted talks that I have watched, infact I still have a printable above my desk listing all his action steps.
On Richards journey to success he was bursting with ideas. He was constantly trying to do better and improve because he had his eye on the prize, success, but what happens when you reach success? For Richard reaching success was like reaching a stop sign, he didn’t think that he needed any more improving, afterall he was a “hot-hot” guy. “Hey, I’m good enough. I don’t need to improve any more” Richard thought he shouldn’t need to seek ideas out – they should come to him.
Sadly this lead to a creative block and Richard fell into a pit of despair trying to fill the depression with fast cars and antidepressants. He also started to conform to what he thought he should be doing (as president of a company) like management. On his journey to success the focus for him was projects and clients, on reaching success the focus was money and he was miserable.
Why this matters
The journey to success is hard. I’m not there yet but I’m working towards it each day. Recently, after a long day I had this train of thought, once I hit that first bit of success I can slow down, not work so hard. Easier times will come. I wish that were true, but I think deep down everyone know’s that BS. Sure once we reach success it might be somewhat easier but success will always need to be maintained, and I don’t think that that’s a bad thing. What’s the alternative? Standing still?
What do you think about success? If you haven’t watched Richard’s first talk I highly recommend doing so. It’s a timeless piece in my opinion.