A big corporation recently hired several cannibals. “You are all part of our team now,” said the HR rep during the welcoming briefing. “You get all the usual benefits and you can go to the cafeteria for something to eat, but please don’t eat any of the other employees.”
The cannibals promised they would not.
Four weeks later their boss remarked, “You’re all working very hard, and I’m satisfied with you. However, one of our secretaries has disappeared. Do any of you know what happened to her?”
The cannibals all shook their heads no.
After the boss had left, the leader of the cannibals said to the others, “Which one of you idiots ate the secretary?”
A hand raised hesitantly, to which the leader of the cannibals continued, “You fool! For four weeks we’ve been eating Managers and no one noticed anything, but nooooo, you had to go and eat someone they would really miss !!
Does this mean that most managers know less compared to secretaries? I don’t know. But one thing I do know is that there are cannibals in the work place. And these are the people who eat you up with envy and jealousy the moment they see you successful and that your success poses as a threat to their own. Everybody wants to be a winner but winning carries a heavy responsibility. Success is not as easy as you think it is. One of the least expected and most stressful results of success is the antipathy of others.
It’s simply not true that everybody loves a winner. It may however be true that everybody leaves a winner. Winners arouse admiration and envy, but little real affection. “Our apparent love of winners is actually an infatuation that burns brightly during the spring of triumph, but fades quickly in the winter of decline.” Says authors Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes of the book: “WHOEVER MAKES THE MOST MISTAKES WINS.” We’ve heard often that adversity tells you who your friends are. Success does, too. Failure and success both reveal who really cares about us – the ones who stick with us through thin and thick. If anything, success identifies genuine friends more surely than failure does.
Hollywood actress and now TV host Bette Midler says: “The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.” When we’re doing well and report that news to others, we would like to think they’ll be happy for us, and that our success will make us more popular. This is seldom true.
Dustin Hoffman once said that if he had known how much success awaited him, he never would have become an actor. The Oscar-winner movie star explained that he began acting expecting to fail. He was mistaken, and sorry about it. Hoffman found that the costs of success included not only a serious loss of privacy, but having to forego the company of failed actors. The latter was especially frustrating. According to Hoffman, failed actors were much better company than successful ones. That’s not true just of actors. In general, those who aren’t successful (on the world’s terms) tend to be better company than those who are. They not only have more sympathy for others, but more time to spend with them.
Success is extremely time consuming. Scheduling becomes a problem. (“I might be able to see you for a quick lunch next month.”) Those who get to the top and want to stay there have little room on their calendars for much else: hobbies, travel, family, friends. A pal is someone you can call, or drop in on, at a moment’s notice. This is seldom possible after one becomes prominent. Those doing well on People magazine’s terms rarely enjoy each other’s company.
“The penalty of success” said Lady Astor, “is to be bored by people who used to snub you.” But to succeed we must and to compete we are compelled to. So here’s the key.
Compete against yourself but learn to celebrate other people’s success. And if you are successful do not let success get into your head but neither should you allow the envious to ruin your day too. Do the best you can do but be the best you can be not only in terms of skills but more so in terms or character and attitude and always remember that God has blessed you with sweet success and you should learn to handle it responsibly.
A person is truly great when he is not envious of his rival’s success. And don’t forget, stop envying the man who has everything. That man probably has ulcers too.