Do you remember your first taste of success? It may have been when you were 5 years old and you sweet-talked your mom into just one more bite of the peanut butter pie. Your first taste of success may have come later. You may remember what it felt like to land your first sale. It was oh so sweet.
Something happens after that first taste of success. We begin to chase success. We want to feel like we did when we first tasted success.
The high. Oh, that high of success. It felt so good.
The next success still felt good. But it felt different. The success didn’t fill you the same way your first success did.
Then, there’s a big success you experienced. You get the dopamine hit again. You’re off to the races.
The hit wears off and you’re back where you begin.
The Law Of Diminishing Return On Success
That’s the thing with success. We continue to chase after the original feeling we had when we first succeeded.
I first heard about chasing a high in regards to drug use. A drug user experiences his or her first high and they’re hooked. The feeling is sooooo good.
They want to experience the high they felt again. They want to experience the euphoria.
We all know we can’t recapture the feeling of our first high. Whether this comes from drug use, alcohol use, or success.
Yes, we can chase after the high of success just as a drug user chases after the feeling of their first high. Success is addicting.
We have to be careful. We cannot continue to chase after the feeling we received from our first success. We will never feel that feeling again.
This is what I call the law of diminishing return on success. It’s not that our successes are any less great. It’s that we don’t get the same good feeling we got the first time we experienced success.
What Do We Do Then?
So… we can’t go back to the feeling we had when we had our first great success. That sucks. This doesn’t mean we don’t continue to pursue great success in leadership and in life.
We can still be successful. We can still make things happen. We can still feel good through all of this.
What we need to do instead of chasing the feeling we got from our first success is to remember why we lead.
If we keep our reason for leading in mind, we will find that we have the energy and strength to continue leading well. We don’t need the feeling. We need our why.
So, when time’s are tough. When you’re not getting that hit from success like you used to feel, remember your why.
It will pump you up. It will get you excited. It will help you to continue on.