Note to Self: Fear the Fake Success

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Is this real? Do people truly think I’m successful? Is this how it feels like? Am I really doing so well, hitting success that good that fast? Damn, I must be great.. or am I?

Sometimes, I feel good about myself. I hate those times. Maybe because I think they’re fake, temporary moments of joy and self-satisfaction, knowing that I’m only 0.0001% of where I aim to be, or maybe because I just despise the feeling of being on the top of my world, as it puts me right back into my comfort zone. I don’t like thinking that I’m doing great, because I know that this is where I could stop growing, or at least slow the hell down gradually. I don’t want to do that. Why would I ever do that? If I have oxygen going through my nostrils and processed by my lungs, pumping that warm blood through my heart and giving energy for my brain to think, then I sure as hell should use it. My time is limited. It’s not thinking about life as a rat race. It’s not me trying to speed up so I can catch up with others. It’s about me reaching my maximum potential. Achieving things that help humanity, and contribute to elevating the human race to reach places we never thought existed and do things we never thought possible. It’s not greed. It’s ambition.

I wrote this letter to my future self, to read whenever things seem to be great. I want this to be a slap on the face for when I think that I’m too good. When I get interviewed on a newspaper, magazine, or a TV channel for my ‘achievements’. When I’m asked to speak in a conference and tell the world my bullshit ‘success story’, and get told how ‘inspiring’ I am. While I might be to some, and it makes me happy, I don’t want it to be the thought on my head every day.

Dear Self,

You live in a place where it is not that difficult to reach to the top, mainly because of the low competition in a small place. It’s easy to be number 1, so don’t fool yourself. People tend to glorify efforts at a very immature stage. A lot of entrepreneurs around you fall victim to this seducing, temporary feel of success at such moments of fame. It gives a quite shallow sense of achievement which might cloud your vision to think that the finish line is so close, if not behind already.

This idea has always frightened you, and it should. Because damn it, nothing in this world is more powerful than your will, and nothing is more growth-destructive than comfort. Be very aware not to fall into this trap, even for a day. You don’t want to feed your ego, because you know that it could grow big enough to eat you. And if this can be a gentle -or harsh- wake-up slap to you, then I’m happy to know it helped.

Remind yourself of your gigantic goals constantly. What you have set for yourself to achieve in your lifetime. If you feel that you truly are close to achieving them, then they weren’t that big in the first place. Reassess, set greater ones, and get back in the game.

You need to keep pushing yourself beyond your limits. Understand that this means you keep working after you hit your goals. Never be satisfied. Never settle. People around you might call you greedy, robotic, blinded by money, success, or fame. Ignore them. Whom are you hurting if you keep working towards new amazing goals that benefit you and other people? No one. Whom are you helping if you stop doing that? Also no one. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should work 24/7 – 365 days a year. You have to take some time off to think and reflect on what you’re doing every now and then, but that’s another story.

Things will be amazing, you will feel greatness, you will sense your achievement at the end of the tunnel. But if you go through that every day, you will not move an inch forward.

Your younger self

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