Don’t Hope to “Blow Up”

“Blowing up,” which means becoming a success, arriving, making the big time, is not a goal I want to have. Too limited.

Take Jamie Foxx for example. By most people’s measuring stick, he “blew up” when he landed a spot on In Living Color. I’m sure it was a huge deal to him at the time, but think about how far he’s come in the 15 years since he “arrived.” Hit songs, leading roles in a score of movies, even an Oscar. Those achievements are about as far beyond a sketch comedy show as the comedy show was beyond his life as a kid in Texas. If In Living Color was the greatest success he ever envisioned, that would have been his ceiling.

It’s the same for us. The tendency to live by self-imposed limits is strong. After a particularly productive week at work, do you hit it even harder next week or use the minor accomplishments you made as an excuse to coast?

Or, maybe you go on a diet for a few weeks and it makes a difference. You get a few compliments, and they feel so good that you stop watching your calories and end up right where you started.

I struggle with this in many aspects of my life. When my blog gets a response or two, or when I’m speaking to some people and it’s well received, I start to get the blow up feeling. These people are acting like they’re in the presence of greatness, so I go with it. I’m the man.

I am the man, and we should all remember that. But we should also remember that pride comes before a fall. Next time you accomplish something significant, ask yourself if that is the best you can do, the highest height you can attain. If the answer is no, get humble and keep climbing. If the answer is yes or maybe, you probably have a deeper purpose to discover. The only way to truly blow up is to always keep asking yourself, “what’s next?”

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