Warning: Success is DANGEROUS

Hot girls. Fancy cars. Expensive champagne.

What’s not to love about “making it?”

There is one huge danger to it, and if you don’t realize this then you could very well lose it all… and find yourself worse off than when you started.

I’m not even talking about the “flashy” types of success where you get 10 models to take turns sucking your…

Even down to Earth success such as finally getting that six pack, achieving a business goal and enjoying a vacation, finally traveling the world, or finally getting a girlfriend can all be dangerous.

Here’s the problem: no one is actually talking about the dangers because most people are quick to flaunt their achievements, and then even quicker to hide when they lose it all.

Social media is a highlight reel of bullshit. Anyone can appear beautiful, rich, and smart.

Let me share with you some deep truth here.

My Rise & Fall

It didn’t start easy for me.

I got into a terrible snowboarding accident. Concussion, post concussion, neck pain, back pain, dizziness, eye problems, and 24/7 headaches were just a couple of the symptoms I had making life rather miserable.

My family didn’t have the money to take me to every doctor. I had also just gotten fired from a banking job, due to corporate bullshit (the manager didn’t want to fire me and said he’d be a great reference for future jobs).

Despite the pain, I put one foot in front of the other. Literally, as even walking was difficult.

I studied courses. I produced videos for my digital marketing business. I tried to develop my skills and push forward to make money.

Without money I would not be able to afford treatment. I desperately desired to go to the top physiotherapist in North America as all treatments I had spent $ on in the Phoenix area had failed me.

Soon I began making money, but I could not celebrate. Almost every dollar went to medical expenses.

Slowly I began to heal, I went and saw some of the top doctors, and feeling more energized I headed to Europe to explore and also try figure out how to cure the rest of my chronic pain problems.

Determination was me; there was nothing that could stop me from healing, and nothing that could stop me from anything.

Reaching New Heights

Because of my intense efforts, I acquired a girlfriend, great social circle, the most money I had seen in my life, and a slowly improving health state while living in Sofia, Bulgaria.

I began to make more discoveries about health & immediately apply them- making me even healthier. I was beginning to “have it all.”

The relationship improved. My friendships deepened. I began to move more and feel stronger in my body. I was becoming truly happy.

I could spend in Bulgaria without worry of finances. I no longer put in an effort to meet people because I had my girl & friends. I began to soar, like a bird in the sky.

Crashing Down

And then in the course of a week I lost it all. One phone call was all it took to shatter everything.

My visa to stay longer in Bulgaria was rejected; I would have to leave in a week.

From then on it was one bad decision after the other. However it wasn’t just bad decisions; it was also a bad mentality.

I let the circumstance dictate my mood, and in doing so let the situation knock me down.

I didn’t put in effort to make friends despite being lonely & bitter. I missed my girlfriend constantly. My spending habits were the same, despite me having traveled to a more expensive country- this made me lose a lot of money.

In my mind, I could easily recover. I could easily get new money. But I was disconnected from reality; my determination mindset previously used for success was now being used with a sense of entitlement. That is, I expected the same rewards for less effort!

A Tall Tree

A tree can only grow as tall as its roots are strong and deep in the ground.

In the same way, success can be dangerous if you lose your roots.

A tree does not instantly fall over if it loses its roots. It falls when the storm comes. If a tree is rooted, then it will never fall in a storm.

And this is what happened to me, and what could happen to you if you aren’t careful.

While living in Bulgaria I began to “have it all.” I enjoyed it- and you should, but the problem was I lost my “roots” with how I got there in the first place!

At some point I got too cozy and let myself fly in the joys of the moment.

Flying is okay until a storm comes, then your happiness flies away as quickly as it came.

It took me a long time to “re-ground” myself, and I wouldn’t even say I’m all the way there yet. I’m still learning how to put my hands in the dirt to do some real hard work to make my life how I want to.

“Bad events” are only bad if you lose your grounding. Life is like the weather: unpredictable.

If you are like a tree, grounded far below, then you will be able to enjoy soaring highs throughout the intense storms.

But if you un-root yourself to fly high, it will be fun until a storm comes.

Dangers of Success

This is the great danger of success; people stay grounded until they “have it all” (or even a couple of things), but in the celebration forgot what took them there in the first place.

They may become entitled, grandiose, egoic, or simply lose that drive.

If they happen to lose what they achieved, it will be hard to get it back because they got so used to coasting.

I let myself coast too much. By not rooting myself I suffered so much more than I needed to.

Now I’m trying to re-ground, focus, and apply what I learned to re-build back up… and this time I’ll do my best to stay grounded.

I’m not there yet, still have a ton of ways to go.

If there’s one final thing I’ve learned, it’s that your actions days, weeks, or months (or even years) ago affect what happens today.

It is deceiving to think that your actions you take while you’re successful are the cause of your success. Success is generally caused by those things you did a long time ago.

The best time to do something was 1 year ago. The next best time is today.

And when you do make it, stay grounded.

-Michael