I think we could all agree that once we have gained some success in life, it would be foolish to go backwards and “undo” it all! Having achieved something that benefits us and helps us to have a better, more successful, and comfortable life, why would we give it up? To do so just does not make any sense, does it?
Think about the progress you made in school each year. You did not want to fail the grade. You wanted to pass and be promoted to the next grade level year after year to gain more ground. You wanted to make progress to go on with your life and not be left behind.
This may seem like such a simple concept, but I think that a lot of people miss it. You have probably heard of more than one story of someone who accomplished great things in his or her life only to later experience great failure. Why does that happen so often? It seems that along with success oftentimes comes a lack of good sense and poor judgment, which leads to much heartache.
Not long ago I read the story of the McDonald’s Corporation. It was a fascinating study. As I read it, I realized that McDonald’s may be known for making hamburgers, but the truth of the matter is that they make most of their money in real estate. They own more real estate than perhaps any other corporation in the world. What struck me, however, was the downfall of so many people’s lives that were in key leadership positions. I am certainly not saying this to belittle their organization in any way. The book is public information. Sadly, though, it points out how many people’s lives who lived “at the top,” were destroyed after making a fortune in the restaurant industry.
And it is not just the restaurant business where this occurs; the same is true in any industry. When we lived in Texas years ago, we heard many stories of people becoming incredibly wealthy and gaining new financial ground and territory in their personal life and business. Then, in a matter of months, their family was in crisis, their children were in re-hab, their marriage was on the rocks, and their lives were shattered. Warning! It is when success comes that a person can be most susceptible to danger.
The reason I point this out is that all of us want to grow and succeed in our lives. We all want to do better. We all want to have a life that is filled with “gaining” and not “losing”. However, I believe that when a person does gain ground in life, one of the most important things that he or she can do is to realize what a very vulnerable place that is, and to be extremely careful so nothing comes along to take back that “gained ground” from them. It would be a lot like being sick – then beginning to feel better and unwisely start to “overdo things” and wind up being sicker in the end more than you were in the beginning. If you can identify, say, “I understand.”
The older I get, the more success I want to enjoy, so I am very, very careful not to do something really stupid to destroy any success that I may have already achieved. Most of us have heard the story of King David and what a mighty man he was. However, when he had experienced one of his greatest victories, he took another man’s wife and to make matters worse, he also indirectly committed murder. That was disastrous for him, both personally and professionally. It had severe consequences in his life for many, many years.
I love creating these Tips each week because so many of you have told me how much they mean to you. I know that a lot of you are beginning to experience success in many different areas of your life that you have never experienced before, and I am so proud of your success! The only thing I will say is, “Keep up the good work and be careful on the journey!” It will do you more harm than good in the long run to succeed and then end up failing by giving up the ground you have gained in your life. No one wants to do that. It is just too painful! At the risk of being redundant, “Warning! It is when success comes that a person can be most susceptible to danger.”
I once heard Zig Ziglar make a statement that pretty much sums up what this Tip is all about. Zig said, “I’m not going to ease up, give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I’m taken up!” Isn’t that a good way to live life? Every one of those concepts has to do with making progress, moving forward, and achieving new heights in your personal, business, spiritual, family, and professional life. And you keep doing it each day until your life comes to an end. It really is the best way to do life. It just does not make sense to do it any other way!
Take a moment to evaluate what you really want out of life. Learning to succeed in a big way so you can eventually fail in an even bigger way is a poor plan, to say the least. It is much wiser to learn and grow on a daily basis and be careful not to become arrogant or prideful along the way. That is going backwards, not forwards. And again, that is not what you want to do.
All of this is pretty simple – yet so profound. Think this over and make wise choices. You will be glad you did!
Tip: Don’t lose ground you have already gained!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm