The Overachiever Trap (Part 1)

"ONLY THOSE WHO RISK GOING TOO FAR can possibly find out how far one can go." This is the creed of the overachiever. We push the limits, challenge ourselves and set the bar high, holding ourselves to standards we never expect from the rest of the world. We constantly which the day had more hours. We pass up sleep so we can be the early birds that catch the worm. We do not cut corners. Hard work, we remind ourselves, is the cornerstone of success, and we force ourselves to work longer, smarter, and faster.

The payoff for living this creed is high. Most of us have surpassed our financial expectations. Some of us are in the top one percent of wealthy Americans. We are entrepreneurs, executives, professionals, and philanthropists. We have mad names for ourselves and enjoy recognition and admiration. On many levels, we represent the American Dream. Some of us grew up as farm boys, others come from single mother households struggling to make ends meet. Indeed, we've all had our struggles. Still, many of us have built successful entrepreneurial businesses and rank within the tops of our industries.

Those of us who have reached the highest echelons of career achievement are considered to be among the most successful in society. We are the superstars whose biggest dreams are at our fingertips. We have reached a level of success that would allow us to retire early, pursue our dream careers, start charitable foundations, or whatever else we may choose. We are considered the lucky ones.

Yet many of us are teetering on the tightropes of imbalance. Instead of pursuing our dreams and enjoying our hard-won success, we cling blindly to a routine whose aim we cannot recall. Far to common is the lawyer basking in the sunlight of a corner office, but deeply burdened by the discontent of an unfulfilling job that has somehow taken over life; the businessman who long for a family connection, yet for the past 10 years has fail to celebrate his wedding anniversaries; the city dweller running a furious race, exhausted from the hustle and bustle of the smoggy city, longing to breathe the salty ocean air while living in a quaint beach community.

Ask yourself, "Is this me?" Find out more next week when I discuss part 2 and finding out how to get out of the over achiever trap.

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