Success Is Not a Zero Sum Game

Happy Valentines Day- whatever that means to you. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, and whether you hate this holiday or absolutely love it..or can barely fight your indifference, I think this is as good a day as any to send some love to yourself.

Once I wrote a post entitled Is Dating In Your Thirties A Zero Sum Game? Now I want to write about discovering your success- which I think is an extremely appropriate topic to write about on Valentines Day.

Seth Godin recently wrote in a very short blog post:

Some can only win when others lose.

Others seek to win by helping others succeed.

One of these approaches scales far better than the other.

If there’s any life lesson I’ve been grappling with lately that has helped me grow a ton, it’s this one. I’ll admit it here to you guys- I definitely have a jealous streak. I get jealous of other people’s success sometimes. I’m working on it and it’s definitely getting better, but my jealousy monster has had its very very bad days. I believe this green eyed beast stems from two old beliefs, one blatantly false and the other unknown.

The blatantly false one is this: “If someone else succeeds in getting something I want, I have not succeeded.”

I mean, that’s an extremely irrational belief. I can see it clearly now. And it can lead down a very dark path that  begins to play with the thought: “Why am I failing?” And much worse: “Why am I a failure?”

What has helped me move beyond my feelings of failure and jealousy has been my growing belief in abundance. Basically, when someone else succeeds, it doesn’t mean that you have not succeeded, because there is an infinite amount of success. When another person takes from the ocean of success, it takes nothing away from you, because the ocean is infinite and there is always more. In fact, you can take all of this a step further and say “When someone else succeeds, it’s even better for me, because I’m around successful people and success is all around me. So I’m totally on the right track.”

The other belief that sometimes comes over me when someone succeeds in getting/having something I want is: “Life is unfair and random. I can work much harder than everyone else and still not find success.” This is an unknown belief because life can indeed be ‘unfair’ and can seem quite random, but I truly believe that there’s a method to the madness that we may not fully understand. I’m not religious at all, but on my best days I go back to the ideas of abundance I mentioned above, and know that success is already mine. Also, I’m believing more and more that when people around me succeed, their success is my success too.

So don’t worry if you’re down about where you are in life. Success is already yours- you just have to realize it.

Many thanks to our amazing readers, and to the inspiring friends and family all around me, who help me find my abundant success even in the most confusing of times. You are very loved.



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