Successful Failure

Why are successful people waking up feeling like failures?

More and more successful people are waking up feeling like failures.

What many people are just becoming aware of is that success has two parts:

  • Accomplishing or achieving things for others
  • Accomplishing or achieving things for ourselves

Assumptions Were Made

Okay, maybe we sort of knew there were two parts, but we made assumptions.

Assumption #1: If/Then Magic

One assumption may be that success in one part would just magically take care of the other.

o   If I provide for the family then I’ll have a close relationship with them.

o   If I choose family over career then I’ll have satisfied my life purpose.  

Assumption #2: Tomorrow Will Come

Another assumption is that once we’ve ‘made it’ in one part we’ll have plenty of time to be successful in the other.

o   Once I retire I’ll make it up to my spouse or kids.

o   Once the kids are gone I’ll pick up where I left off in my career.

There are flaws in both assumptions and this is why successful people are waking up to find themselves feeling like failures.

New Framework

Strategically planning so that you’re considering both parts of success in every decision is a new framework for many people, so do yourself a favor and start small.

  1. Pick one small activity you do on a regular basis: a hobby, attending a group meeting, fitness training, etc., something small and regular.
  2. Check to see how this one small activity connects to winning each part of success.
  3. Find ways to tweak the activity for better contribution to both parts of your success.

Being aware like this now will help to prevent feeling like a successful failure later.

Related Motivational Moments:  Having it all is a Pipe Dream

Related Articles:  Playing it Risky,

Related Tip of the WeekEvaluate Choices, After School Debrief,

Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.


Doing counterproductive things may reveal your true intention.

What are your true intentions?

Have you ever procrastinated? Yes?

Are you so busy with life that you don’t have time to exercise?  Yes?

Have you ever partied too much the night before something important?  Yes?

You may be self-handicapping.

Self-handicapping is doing counterproductive things that make it less likely that you’ll be able to perform at your best. Not only counterproductive, but is seems counter-intuitive unless you consider the person’s true intention.

Why Self-Handicap?

What if you weren’t sure you could win, and what if preserving your self-image was more important than winning? In that case, you’d probably create plausible deniability, “Hey, I got a C on my exam! That’s pretty good considering I was hung-over and only studied an hour before the test.”

When the outcome is particularly important or you’ll feel harshly judged by a poor outcome, self-handicapping seems a way to soften the blow. Unfortunately, it’s a big set-up for an even farther fall because not only won’t you have what you want, no one—not even you—really buys the excuse. It’s a set up for depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

When you’re operating with two competing intentions, the one that matters most will decide your behavior.

Two things to try

  1. If you’re self handicapping so that you don’t have to follow through with something you really don’t want in the first place, your challenge is to figure out what it is that you really do want and work from there.
  2. If you’re self handicapping to avoid facing disappointment, your challenge is to find several other options for success. The more options you have the less you’ll worry over any one failed attempt because you’ll know that, even if you fail with your best effort here, you’ll have several other ways to go for the overall win.

Related Articles: The Fraud Space, Information Test Drive,

Related Radio Shows: Stop Hiding Your Flaws, Playing To Win

Listen to the Morning Motivational Moment about just this idea.

We broadcast live on Jolana’s Morning Radio Show, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 7:30 on WFAS 103.9 FM, New York.


The Paradox of Choice

Spend more time clarifying your needs and you’ll spend less time sweating over the decision.

In the pursuit of making the right choice are you making no choice at all?

It sounds great to have a lot of choices, until that is, the number of choices or the complexity of choosing gets too big and overwhelming.

Perhaps you’re spending time trying to choose “the best” rather than figuring out what’s “best” for you.

Have a listen to this Monday Morning Motivational Moment recorded live on the Jay Michaels Morning Show, WFAS 103.9 FM New York. You just might get an idea or two.