There are a few thoughts that you need to consider and accept when it comes to your personal progression. I recently watched a movie about a kidnapping of a rich entrepreneur and he said: You either have a lot of money or a lot of friends – you can’t have both.
What I’m talking about is certainly nothing new, but I feel compelled to talk about it here because its not all sunshine, unicorns and ice cream…
Economic success is a funny paradox. Why? Because the higher you climb, the thinner the air will get. As you build your career, your company or simply your overall success story, you will find that people are disappearing from your environment and it becomes increasingly difficult to create genuine connections with the people around you. Everybody wants something from you because you have more than they do. They want money, freebies or simply free advice. Alternatively they perceive you as a bad element because you remind them of their own mediocre existence. Most people will seek the company of inferior individuals because it makes them feel better about themselves – the opposite will be the case for you.
That is just something that you need to come to terms with if you are on your way to the top. You have to understand that you will often stand alone. Not only physically and emotionally but also ideologically – people will not follow your train of thought, they will rarely share your vision and many will try convince you to move away from your path and dissuade you of your plans.
There are a lot of things you need to consider and work out while you are pursuing your goals. There is a lot of diplomacy and calculation involved in building and sustaining success and you have to be some version of a lone wolf if you want to get to where you are going. Why? Because you have to accept that in certain ways you are better than other people and they will not be able to keep up with you. As soon as you come to terms with that reality, you can better situate yourself in your own life and act accordingly.
Don’t bother trying to bring people up to your level because 99 out of 100 times such attempts are just based on wishful thinking. You want other people to be on your level so you can enjoy the simple pleasures of life with a peer. Truth is that you will have very few peers! You will have underlings and lemmings and people who live in their own limited reality but very few peers. Please keep that in mind.
Life will also be lonely at times because you won’t be able to enjoy new and exciting adventures with people who are unable to follow you. That said, you can also take the very expensive route of funding the leisures and pleasures of your friends and family. That’s another pitfall because it will become increasingly difficult to determine which relationships are genuine and which are solely based on profiteering. There is nothing more disturbing than the feeling of entitlement and that will easily set in when you get people used to sharing your successes. Your kindness will be taken for weakness and your generosity will be taken for granted. Its like spoiling your children – you think you are doing something nice for your kid but in reality you are accustoming the child to not work or struggle for anything and in the end you will get the opposite of what you were hoping for…
Always be on the lookout for signs and protect yourself from freeloaders – that’s simply the worst kind of people because they have nothing to give and no value to add to your life. Better be alone than to roll with the wrong crowd – trust me.
I know this is hard to accept but its a reality you want to deal with rather sooner than later. Being successful means to stand alone in many ways; if that’s not something you can manage then you are better off curbing your ambitions. Naturally I think that if you are motivated and driven to succeed, you will not mind a hint of loneliness.
If you have been an outcast during your childhood, chances are that you’re simply not made to swim with the stream. That’s a good thing, even if it left some scars. You can build on that and become great!
I know a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and I rarely see happiness in their eyes. They have very little genuine excitement in their lives and many of them are always looking over their shoulder, compartmentalising their lives to protect themselves from those who try to take what they have. Like I said, its lonely at the top and that’s just the price you have to pay when you pursue your ambitions.
The best way to handle this is to try to remove as many material aspects from your relations. Its hard to achieve and only few will stand the test of time but the ones that do are the ones you want to keep as your friends.
That said, don’t let this aspect of life discourage you from going all the way to the top. The view is worth it all and you can always choose to go back down the mountain if you feel that you are happier in the valley. At least you won’t be left wondering how it feels to go all the way…