Imprisoned in the tower of success

When I was seventeen, my high school football team blew a fourteen point lead in the final few minutes of the championship game and wound up losing in a devastating upset. 

Our head coach almost had a heart attack. The bus ride home was a quiet one. But before we slumbered into the locker room with our heads hung in shame, he said something we never forgot. 

Don’t get complacent. You will become imprisoned in the tower of your success. 

Coach had a flare for the dramatic. But that moment never left me. Even twenty years later. 

In fact, it’s relevant to the modern career journey. Because our premature sense of satisfaction can keep us from doing the hard work necessary to grow. Our expectation can cause us to take the good we have for granted and feel entitled to the things we want. 

And that’s when we lose. The question we have to ask ourselves is, are we refusing to reinvent because we’re comfortable with our current level of success and don’t want to let go of what’s working? 

I have a musician friend who has a motto around this issue:

The best way to reinvent yourself is to not become too successful. 

Because that way, you’re not too prosperous to be enthusiastic about things. You haven’t outgrown your curiosity. 

There’s still time and energy to disrupt your own point of view and put more points on the board. 


Are you starting to feel entombed in the complacency that will eventually spell your decline?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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