139 – Deal with the Inside

Trying to advance your position on the social ladder will backfire. Your progress faces two challenges: your faults and your need to grow. Growth comes with strength, which takes exercise, persistence, and time. Faults, however, come from damage that must be mended. If you try to elevate your status without dealing with these two, you will implode.

This actually explains the problems of many flawed leaders, the “head-scratcher” leaders of whom their suffering, subordinating staff ask, “How did this idiot get in charge with so many failing results?” It’s easy so see with a simple glance at what’s under the hood. Such a leader polished the bodywork, but neglected the frame and engine.

So-called “progress” with the social recognition, without growing in character first is only external. There is much more to building a car than buffing old paint.

The problem is temptation. Everyone feels the pressure to keep up with the exterior progress of those around us. It’s often called “peer pressure”. And, interestingly enough, most people paint their facade of “success” because of their neglected faults, usually to get back at a phantom haunting from childhood, if not to simply prove someone wrong.

Don’t be seduced by thirst to keep up with the Joneses; it will drive you to take shortcuts that shouldn’t be taken, receive favors that shouldn’t be given, and make deals at the expense of your soul. Then you will become that leader everyone loathes.

Don’t seek promotions; think thrice before accepting them. Focus on building your character, restoring whatever’s broken, and unloading whatever you’ve been carrying around in your trunk. By striving to be strong, whole, and valuable, that success you were created to desire will come looking for you. And, it will surely find you, once you are strong, solid, and lean enough that you won’t buckle under the pressure.

Success crushes a great many people. Delays may seem like setbacks, but self-destructing because you got too much power faster than you knew what to do with takes a lot more time than slow, foundational growth. Fame and position draw fierce enemies and strange complexities. Some extra time in the garage will make sure you’re ready for it.