There is a saying that goes something like “getting to the top is easy, the hard thing is staying there once you get there.”
There’s a reason the above statement is so true. It has to do with this interesting little quirk we humans have: our belief in finish lines. Deep with in our brains we have this belief that once we arrive, we can relax.
Now there are times in life when there are finish lines: 10K races and marathons, dog and horse racing tracks, and at Nascar races.
The problem is we apply this thinking to so many areas where there really are no finish lines: getting in shape, dieting, growing your trading business and especially marriage and other relationships.
Now in no way am I saying that we can’t enjoy our achievements and pause to smell the roses. It’s just that it’s so tempting to stop and only smell the roses and not much else. I once supervised an intern who then took a job in the program. The first thing they said after they got the job and then graduated with their degree was “I”ve been reading so much in school that I’m not going to read anything for a year.”
When we imagine finish lines where there are none, we fall prey to something I call “Arrival Syndrome”.
Signs of Arrival Syndrome
- The belief that you have “arrived” (with accompanying trumpets).
- You stop doing the things that got you where you are.
- You do significantly less of the things that got you where you are.
- Slipping backwards, losing the ground you have gained.
- Other people noticing that you are slipping back but you deny it.
How to Avoid Arrival Syndrome
Discard the belief in finish lines
Pause to enjoy your successes, just don’t stop there.
That stands for consistent, persistent and resistant. Consistant in the actions you take, persistent in your efforts to continue to grow, and resistant to the notion of resting on your laurels.
No matter how good things get, always remember to ask the queston:
“How can we make this even better?”
Take notice of the mile posts of success along the way. This builds momentum and keeps you going.
This one is so simple and obvious, yet so many times we don’t do it: keep doing the things that got you where you are. And if you really want to be different, do even more of the things that got you there.
It’s often difficult to balance the enjoyment of all we have achieved with the commitment to continuing to learn and grow.
Here’s one tip that can be helpful: unless you see a white line painted on the ground in front of you, there are no finish lines!