A former colleague of mine visited NYC recently. I consider him a friend and we’ve shared some good times together over the years we’ve known each other.

This year he’s had a very good year – some great successes at work and good things happening in his personal life too. He’s really happy right now – I’m pleased for him.

A few of the work successes have been very public – accolades and awards. His social media timelines are firing.

It would be easy for him to bask in the glory, especially around this time of year as things wind down and we take stock of what’s happened over the past 12 months. And why not? He’s worked hard for all of this.

Given how much has happened, I asked him what he’s learnt this year.

His instant response:

‘forget it even happened’

He knew that the moment he got caught up in the success was the moment he let his guard down, got complacent, added just a little too much arrogance to his confidence.

Once that night’s sold out venue has turned the lights on, once everyone’s read the article about your funding round, once your boss has congratulated you on a job well done – it’s onto the next one.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t celebrate success. In fact, celebrating successes, however small, are a key part of positive habit change, building self-esteem and all sorts of other good stuff.

However, the moment we get caught up in a success and think we’ve got it all figured out is when we probably…haven’t. And that’s when you get caught napping.

‘Too big to fail?’ Forget about it.
‘Got it licked?’ Forget about it.
‘Crushed it?’ Forget about it.

The truth is we never truly master it.

Even the masters haven’t mastered it – the world is changing too quickly now for that.


The secret to my friend’s success? Forget about it.

The secret of success? Forget about it...

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