Why success can feel like being boiled alive…

Why success can feel like being boiled alive…

There are brief moments, as I continually strive for my own version of success, when my own success dawns on me.

It shouldn’t surprise me that this occurs to me on a flight over international waters. Some people hate flying; but as an avid flier, I’ve found some of my most insightful moments at high altitudes. Maybe it is the quiet spaces or solitude that comes with being carted around the world with my new closest friends, but flights always make me contemplative.

I am en route to Opportunity Collaboration, a group coming together this week in Mexico to engage in discussions about how together we can make an impact on relieving poverty in this world. I’m excited as all get out to geek out with like-minded folks about how to really make a difference.

Opportunity Collaboration is held at Club MED in Cancun. The irony of this isn’t lost on me. As we gather together in the lap of luxury to discuss serious topics that affect a world that does not enjoy such indulgences.

It occurred to me only now how relatively unfazed I’ve been about spending a week in Mexico at Club MED. My taking the plunge to put down the money to attend did not really take into account the setting of the gathering, but rather who is in the community and how my voice, experience, and perspective can add to this dialogue.

It was a huge leap of faith for me to pay over three grand for the potential to expand my ability to do good in the world. I haven’t had a paycheck in over a year and I pay my mortgage by being an Airbnb IDP (Internally Displaced Person). I could have easily justified talking myself out of going.

Anybody who knows me well, knows that it wouldn’t be my style. One of my superhero skills is to “act as if”. To accept what the universe tosses me and hit a line drive.

If you had asked me twenty years ago to picture the epitome of success for me, I am certain I wouldn’t have set the bar nearly as high as I have already achieved.

I have very consciously crafted my life to have the freedom and flexibility to do good in the world on my own terms.

I realize that just for getting where I am, I should give myself a huge pat on the back. But like most successful people, I continue to move my goalpost for success. This might be great for continuing to achieve more and more, but we often tend to not realize when we have actually achieved the success we strive for.

Just as the frog is boiled alive without realizing it, over-achievers tend to move the bar so we don’t recognize the success we have already achieved.

The challenge that I give myself this week is to appreciate my own greatness and recognize this in others. To take some blissful moments to reflect on my own successes and manifest my future achievements.

In all of my travels, my most poignant memory of having felt like I had “arrived” was found while swimming at night at a massive pool in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. While living in Afghanistan at the time, I found that taking a moment to reflect on my success helped continue to propel myself to where I am today.

Club MED wasn’t my why, but I will enjoy every perk and be grateful for where I am.



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