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How Success Really Feels (Hint: It's Not Always Good)

Peter Kozodoy logo Posted Monday June 22nd, 2020 How Success Really Feels (Hint: It's Not Always Good)

What's on your vision board?

What incredible triumphs grace your BIG GOALS list?

Whatever they are, I'm sure you'll reach them if you just try hard enough, for long enough.

But let me ask you a question: Then what?

In one of my first classes at Columbia Business School, we studied a tightrope walker who dreamed of walking across the tallest buildings in Manhattan.

He worked for years on smaller ropes that were closer to the ground, and honed his craft as he kept upping the ante.

Finally, after years of obsessing and preparing, he finally strung a tightrope from two of the tallest buildings in New York City. The TV cameras arrived. The stage was set. And he stepped out onto the rope...

And after so many years of struggling, failing, hoping, and dreaming, he finally walked that tightrope.


But that's not the story. The story is what happened next.

After he crossed his finish line, he mentally collapsed. He fell into a deep depression and felt despair.

He couldn't bring himself to get up in the morning...

Because he had nothing to get up for.

For many athletes, entrepreneurs, executives, and the like, once that goal has been reached...

Olympic medals. Successful exit. Retirement!

There's nothing else to live for.

The reason I'm reminded about what success really feels like is because this past week I was reminded of my TEDx Talk.

Don't worry, I'm not depressed about it. But I did feel...not much at all when it came out.

Because I had already reached that goal...the goal that was on my vision board for 3 years.

As soon as I did the talk, walked off stage, and shook everyone's hand as I left the building, the goal was complete.

Then it was on to the next thing.

'Cuz that's life.

The story is this:

If you're struggling to reach a goal?


The struggle is what drives us. Having a shiny object on the horizon is what keeps the wind in our sails.

So try to be grateful for it. Because once you reach your dream, there'll just be another one, and another one.

Otherwise, what's the point of getting out of bed?