Personal Growth

It’s More Important to Maintain Success than Just to Achieve It

We love the thrill of accomplishing a goal. We struggle, grow, and then achieve the reward: An experience, emotion, our creation comes to life. Our hunger is satisfied, and then we ask, “What’s next?”

Success coaches say to aim for greater goals. You reached a plateau, and if you don’t push yourself higher, you’ll push yourself lower, right off the cliff.

While this is true, they leave out a key ingredient that the world’s icons of success and fulfillment have mastered, and that is maintaining success.

Maintaining success is the combination of hunger, fuel, and drive that cause us to grow. First, though, we must look at this machine we call success. It’s a cycle that looks like this:

  1. You decide what you want.
  2. You struggle to achieve it.
  3. You achieve your goal.
  4. Your emotional high fizzles out.
  5. You start searching for another goal.


When you reach steps 4 and 5, that’s when you start to feel that something is missing. That search for more, or another, meaning, the question, “What else is there,” shows up.

Most people don’t even get through step #2. They usually struggle but don’t grow and reach the next step, which isn’t too far behind. Those who succeed inevitably experience step 4, the fizzle of the emotion.

How do we avoid the fizzle of emotion? How can we be energized like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey?

These icons don’t have a secret; it’s right there in front of us in their habits. That secret is maintained success. But, what is maintained success?

Maintained success is the compound learning and incremental success that fuels growth.

It’s the piano player who continues lessons and practicing after her solo at Carnegie Hall.

It’s the NBA basketball player who shoots hoops with friends for fun.

It’s the business executive who learns about human trends to capitalize on what people need and want.

These habits include some of the most basic things in life, that we all have access to, in some form or another. The richer can take bigger monetary risks, but it doesn’t take much to pick up a book, watch an online video, and use creativity to inspire us.

Albert Einstein said, “Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… pays it.”

Compound interest doesn’t just apply to finances, it also applies to knowledge, wisdom, physical and emotional fitness, love, care, and giving.

I’ve read roughly 400 books. With each book, I compound my knowledge, granting me greater wisdom than I had the day before.

Call it compound knowledge, compound wisdom, compound fitness, compounded emotions. Wouldn’t it be great to feel greater with each passing day? Of course it would.

By the way, wealthy people read extensively because the compounded wisdom helps them make continued choices that lead to more success (more money, more choices, more emotion, more giving).

Start by creating tiny goals, and build upon them. Read a book a month, at ten pages a day, for thirty days. That’s three hundred pages in a month. More than 3,000 in a year. Certainly you can read ten pages a day.

You’ll find yourself reading more than ten pages a day, because your mind will become hungrier for more. As more Americans continue to feed their guts more and more food, their stomachs get hungrier. So it is with the mind. So it is with maintained success.

You can compound physical fitness, to strengthen your legs, waist, arms, and back. You don’t have to do it all at the same time, and you aren’t going to see a dramatic transformation overnight

Compounding your physical growth will create maintained success: you’ll run further and longer each day; you’ll lift heavier weights and more often; you’ll jump or climb higher.

You’ll want to, never feeling that you have to. Nobody wants to have to to something, but we really love doing the things we want to do. Maintained success ignites this fire in each of us.

You could opt for a diet supplement, but that’s like trying to win the lottery. How often do people win the lottery, and how many of those winners keep their money? Very few. The few that do learned the habits of maintaining money, not just spending it when they get their paycheck — like most people.

Most people want that big goal, the one success that will set them free. Yet, over a lifetime, they can build up more success that sets not just their finances free, but themselves.

If you maintained the success of reading more, you’ll have a wealth of wisdom to draw from that, in our current economy where wisdom is valued, you’ll no longer have to fear not being able to find a job, regardless of the economic situation.

Look for something you can do today, and then something you can do tomorrow. Repeat, and you’ll find that enjoying the big successes will last because you would have built the habit that keeps that emotional high going.

That habit is maintained success.