There is a saying that goes something like this: Getting to the top is easy, the hard thing is staying there.
There's a reason this is so true. It has to do with this interesting little quirk we humans have:
Our belief in finish lines.
Deep within our brains we harbor this belief that once we arrive, we can relax.
There are times in life when there are finish lines:
10K races and marathons, dog and horse racing tracks and at NASCAR races.
The problem is we apply this thinking to so many areas where there really are no finish lines:
Getting in shape, dieting, growing in your profession and especially marriage and other relationships.
In no way am I saying we can't enjoy our achievements and pause to smell the roses. It's just that it's so tempting to stop and smell only the roses and not much else.
When we imagine finish lines where there are none, we fall prey to something I call arrival syndrome.
Signs of Arrival Syndrome
You believe you have "arrived" (with accompanying trumpets).
You coast and fool yourself into believing that's all you have to do.
You stop doing the things that got you where you are.
You do significantly less of the things that got you where you are.
You slip backwards, losing the ground you have gained.
You deny it when other people notice you are slipping back.
Avoiding Arrival Syndrome
Discard the belief in finish lines.
Pause to enjoy your successes, just don't stop there.
Learn CPR - that's short for consistent, persistent and resistant. Consistent in the actions you take, persistent in your efforts to continue growing, and resistant to the notion of resting on your laurels.
Remember to ask, no matter how good things get:
"How can I make this even better?"
Take notice of the mile posts of success along the way. This builds momentum and keeps you going.
Keep doing the things that got you where you are. And if you really want to be different, do even more of the things that got you there. This one is so simple and obvious, yet so many times we don't do it.
It's often difficult to balance the enjoyment of all we have achieved with the commitment to continue growing. Here's one tip that can be helpful:
Unless you see a white line painted on the ground in front of you, there are no finish lines.