The High Cost of Success | Men’s Journal
This article is an installment of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior series, which features advice, key interviews, and tips for living a life of consistent impact, continuous growth, and continual learning.
Success means different things to different people. For some, it may be achieving financial stability or career advancement, while for others, it may be finding happiness and fulfillment. Regardless of your definition, the cost is often high. Author Brian Tracy said, “The price of success must be paid in full, in advance.” We recently wrote about the three things it takes to succeed: planning, preparation, and execution. Now, we explore the cost of success and ways to pay in full while staying healthy.
Time is our most valuable commodity. How we use it is a significant factor in determining our level of success. Nearly all successful people sacrifice their time by working long hours, taking on additional responsibilities, and even living to work. Vince Lombardi once said, “The price of success is hard work, dedication… and determination.” While true, we must also have enough discipline to set boundaries, prioritize responsibilities by the level of importance, and ask ourselves whether our actions are a good return on investment. This may mean delegating tasks, saying no to additional commitments, and setting limits. There’s no way around working hard if you want to succeed; then again, earning it is part of what makes success feel so great. Still, you can be dedicated while continuing to care for yourself. Self-care prevents burnout, helps you maintain balance, and gets you that much closer to achieving your goals.
Another cost of success is the toll it can take on our social connections and relationships. Highly driven people can sometimes hyper-focus on their goals, leaving less time for socializing and maintaining friendships. This can lead to isolation and loneliness, causing people to lose touch with loved ones. Maintaining and strengthening relationships is key, which may mean setting aside dedicated time for socializing, staying in touch with loved ones, and being open and honest about the demands of your career or personal goals. It may also be helpful to seek support from friends and family if you feel overwhelmed or isolated.
Mental and Physical
The mental toll of striving for success can be significant. When the pressure to perform and achieve becomes overwhelming, it can lead to anxiety, stress, and depression. In addition, constant demands can take a physical toll when people neglect their health to pursue their goals. This may be skipping meals, cutting sleep, or engaging in unhealthy habits like smoking or excessive caffeine consumption. To minimize the mental and physical impacts of success, we must prioritize our well-being. This may involve setting aside time for relaxation and hobbies, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep. It’s also important to proactively schedule routine doctor appointments and seek help from a mental health professional if you’re struggling.
While success can bring a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, it’s imperative to recognize that it can also come at a cost. Be mindful of how pursuing success may impact your time, social connections, and overall well-being. Take steps to mitigate these costs whenever possible. Also, defining success and developing achievable goals can keep you motivated and prevent the disappointment of striving for unrealistic or unfulfilling goals. Making a few early adjustments can increase your chances of achieving success in a healthy and fulfilling way.