Daily Inspiration: “Sustaining success: do you find yourself struggling with premature admiration?”


“Sustaining success: do you find yourself struggling with premature admiration?” – Futurist Jim Carroll

I golf.

A lot.

Particularly now, during the summertime, with a lull in travel – some weeks, I’m out 5 or 6 times (or more) in a row.

Here’s what I have learned: many golf shots go wrong because of the tendency to look up right away during your swing – you want to see how you performed! The action causes your body to go out of alignment, your rhythm out of whack, and your satisfaction less than stellar. Learning how to control your desire to see the results of your action right away can be the very cause of poor performance.

(This is one of many things to know about your swing: the others are to be found in this diagram. It’s a complicated game.)

But I digress.

The other day, I had yet another opportunity to be reminded of the need to keep my head down during the swing when I messed up on a particularly easy hole. I was out for a round with a very good friend of mine whom I had not golfed with for a while; not being one to seek advice about my performance in his crazy game, I did happen to ask him what went wrong.

“Premature admiration,” he said with a smile.

As I walked up to the location of my very bad shot, I was busy typing in the phrase, thinking I could use it – and I started to think about it in the context of the idea of success!

The thing about premature admiration is that you are trying to enjoy your success before you actually achieve success – and it usually means you don’t end up enjoying it at all because you fail! Not only that, but premature admiration is not necessarily a fleeting moment of failed pride – often, it can cause you to forget that your success is often not sustainable without hard work.

Consider this: many individuals strive for a goal, and yet, once they achieve it, don’t put in the effort to stay there; the phrase ‘fell off the wagon’ is a phrase often used to describe unsustained personal success. Companies do the same thing – they are often guilty of premature admiration when they launch a hit product and become too busy basking in the adulation of their success, and not enough time later on what they need to do to sustain it.

Here are some things about success

  • often the really hard work begins after you achieve success
  • incessant change means that you must continually reinvent your success
  • success never stops but is a continuous process
  • success is never guaranteed
  • it must be continually fortified and carefully guarded
  • it must be regularly nurtured
  • and it involves a commitment to keep moving forward

I spent a bit of time taking a look into what some. people have said about sustaining success, and found these two nuggets;

Success isn’t perfection. Success is when we live life engaged, healthy and true to who we are. Success is living our lives in a way that gets us closer to the best version of who we can be. Whatever age I am, I hope I never stop trying to be a better me. Rethinking Success, 12 January 2022, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise


A wise man once said, “I think if you do something and it turns out pretty good, then you should go do something else wonderful, not dwell on it for too long. Just figure out what’s next.”

With that in mind, I have to go – I have a tee time!



THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.