Want to kill your dream quickly?
Here’s the formula:
Success + Arrogance – Input = Death
By itself, success can be a great thing. It’s encouraging. It’s fun. It’s winning!
But when you add success and arrogance, the result is often nuclear.
You start to think every decision you make is the right one.
You start to think your past success will guarantee your future success.
You start to give up on all the things that got you there in the first place and, instead, believe that you’ll win because you deserve to.
You become blind to reality, and that’s painful, but there’s still hope. There’s still time to save your dream. You just have to listen to people you trust. People in your life who love you will recognize the Molotov Cocktail of success + arrogance. They will reach out and tell you when things seem off course. That the decisions you’re making don’t seem in line with why you started working on your dream in the first place.
Listen to those people and your dream still has a shot at redemption. You can peel back the tentacles of arrogance and push forward again on your dream.
Ignore those people and your dream is in peril. If you subtract input from your life, at the moment you need it the most, you’ll get lost.
This is true for CEOs, pastors, bloggers, housewives, and everyone on the planet.
You don’t need a huge success to get cocky. It only took me about 3 followers on Twitter to become a jerk. I only had to write one book to think I was pretty amazing.
Without the input of my wife, my dream would be on the bottom of the ocean. I wouldn’t be working for Dave Ramsey right now. Quitter wouldn’t exist. The Quitter Conference wouldn’t happen.
The formula is simple, but brilliant people fall for it every day. You need look no further than the last year at Netflix.
In an incredible article that details how Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers and saw their stock price drop by 77% in four months, CEO Reed Hastings makes an honest confession. He says:
“I messed up. I owe everyone an explanation. In hindsight, I slid into arrogance based upon past success.”
I hope you succeed. I hope your success is wild and robust and far larger than you could ever imagine.
But above that, I hope you never give in to the dream-killing tailspin that arrogance always offers us.