Successful one minute, mediocre the next – From the book Career Management Toolkit

The world wants to work in Singapore

Humans want to be successful. We all have different definitions of the word “success” but whatever our definition is, we all aim to achieve that definition. You may want to be successful at work, love, sport, as a leader, as a follower. Whilst being successful is a wonderful feeling, many of us don’t exactly know how to manage this success, nor how to maintain it.

We set goals and we strive to achieve them. Once these are achieved, we can suddenly become complacent and switch our motors to autopilot. There don’t appear to be any higher goals to set and suddenly we find the competition invading our turf. In any competitive arena, this sudden sense of falling behind can reignite the spark to succeed again. This relates to the widest variety of cases, from suddenly falling behind in a tennis match, to realising that you’ve been neglecting your spouse, to seeing your sales figures plummet.

We all deserve some time off to reflect on the satisfaction of achieving goals, and feeling successful, but if that time off drags on for too long, then you face the risk of falling behind and suffering mediocrity. You will always be answerable to the standards that you set for yourself, so if you have sought success and achieved it, then the taste seldom leaves you, and anything less is not an easy thing to live with.

When you look at popular business lists such as Fortune 500, you see that over the years, businesses come and go, even the largest ones. These companies and no doubt many of their senior management, fail to move with the times and reset goals for the future. Whilst they are being complacent, their smaller, hungrier and more goal oriented competitors overtake them.

Most human beings should be called human doings, because we are always doing things. It is important to take some time to simply “be” and switch off for a while. Some people turn to meditation, yoga, listening to music or just sitting in the garden. When we feel successful, we deserve to celebrate, but we also need to reaffirm our vision and make sure that we are still on the right road to where we want to be.