Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Life - The Work After Success

Schools and self-help books touch on how to be prepared for failure, but not enough to prepare people for success when it comes. 

In this entry, I'll highlight on how to handle success.

We may have heard through friends or peers of the following typical case:

  1. One borne into poor family to little educated parents
  2. Studied hard at school with little money in the pocket
  3. Fought hard to work up the company/corporate ladder
  4. Finally achieved their goals set when they were in their poor youth
  5. Find themselves suddenly lacking in direction, or, uncomfortable in the new success
  6. Got stagnant
  7. Falls to an "average" level, or, struggles to fit in to the success
  8. Likely to start all over again, or, hates the life of being a "success" = stuck in the rut

In my experience working from a retail assistant up to a corporate Business Development Manager (BDM), I've the fortune to have my salary jumped 10-fold to a 5-figure sum in 9 years.  And there was this period of my life where I don't know how to deal with the "good luck" and fall into a personal "void".

This is very dangerous for many new managers, bosses or BDMs that they're unaware of the so many things they need to equip themselves with their achieved goals and success.  That there's a need to upgrade themselves in the soft skills so they can fit into the "next level" of the social hierarchy.

Many people also have no idea of how to deal with it all and fall into the peril of "Guilt Complex of own success".

They see how their peers are struggling also.  They are guilty that they made it better but not together.  They tried to fritter away some of their new wealth to family and friends......

This downward guilt spiral then created some of the new high-earners-high-spenders syndrome, which we see around.  They can't save much, nor have a good insurance coverage.  When people congratulate their success, they try to downplay it as much as possible that sometimes, it's bordering arrogance putting off others.

Simply, they think that things are "too good to be true".  That it's unreal.

On the flip side, there're people who holds the opposite behaviour (to the above) to their success and that is "fear".

They fear that they'll lose it, and so hold it tighter, spend lesser (in percentage), save even more, fail to open themselves up to the company or social circle.  Became a hermit.  And then things start to get stagnant, and fall.

What I'd like to share is, there're many levels to living, to Life.  Having achieved the initial success means much work to open our horizon and vision to welcome new knowledge and start preparing to be a mentor to others, so others can achieve success as well.

By being a mentor, it holds great significance to shine the light to the younglings of how the road is to be travelled.  How to handle adversity, obstacles and the human relationship.  By being a mentor, it lightens the guilt complex of own's success.

Because one knows that they have the means to help others achieve.

This is also the natural progression (or evolution) in Mother Nature and the Universe - That when one achieves, one starts to nurture themselves and then others.  We see the Head in lion prides to give way, and/or groom a young lion to take over his place.

Before starting to be mentor, it's essential to prepare one emotionally and mentally to ease themselves into the role of a "success".

They have to acknowledge and accept that they're now socially different.  They have to understand that there're many different etiquettes to learn - Dining, business, dressing, speaking etc etc.  Then comes the standing, sitting and walking postures.

They have to start carrying themselves differently so their career title befits them.  They have to learn the finer aspects on the EQ scale.  One can't possibly talk to their staff as it they're peers like before, no?

I'm not saying one should start speaking in Queens English, dressed like a King and only dine in fine restaurants.  And bark orders to their staff who were once peers.  

Not at all.

What I'm saying is, when one is on a certain social/career level, people start to notice them.  This sort of eyes comes naturally, and this also means one needs to adapt emotionally to being a "star" of somesort to the people around them.

And so, a successful person needs to learn some social grace.

Along the way, one should start reading more, and/or cultivate a hobby, so as to be more knowledgeable.  So that one can start to engage in meaningful conversations in different circles.  This is as critical as learning the etiquettes because a well-cultivated hobby breaks the ice easily with strangers.  In turn, one never knows where this brings them to within a new social network.

Cultivating a hobby doesn't have to be expensive as my previous articles would have already touched on.

A hobby is an interest, and with this word, it means things that interest you.  Not because of the social value it may bring, but because it lightens your busy living life.  The more interest one has towards something, the more likely one will derive joy learning about it in the process.

This is how people get together for a common interest, because it interests them.  Interested people get together for a common interest will all be interesting and happy people.

This is a golden rule nothing can top since civilization.

Human beings love to help the fellow ones, but many of them have no idea how to do it in a meaningful way.  By having a common group of friends (or network, if you so want), the energy and power to create and deliver is immense.

This also reduces the guilt complex of own's success tremendously.

When one looks back at how they begin and develop themselves from within, the satisfaction of knowing how much breakthroughs one has achieved holds lots of significance.

That they're much more than they thought of.  And for this, is the exact mentor material many people would love to seek out.

To be inspired towards hope and success, all in the right way.