When The Pursuit Of Success Becomes A Compulsive Addiction

What our society does, is conditions us to worship success. That having a strong work ethic and drive, is considered an admirable trait. As a result, many will attempt the pursuit of greatness, to compete and excel beyond others. What’s found is that this drive, has detrimental effect on our self-esteem and confidence.

Most are destined to fail. So regardless of how hard they work, they won’t get that job promotion, earn money in their business, get accepted into Harvard. It’s the pursuit of hope, where we “hope” that any day now, we’ll become successful. What it does, is harms our physical and mental health.

It’s during this obsession of hoping to achieve, that most of life’s priorities take a back seat. What’s sacrificed is growing up emotionally, finding a true relationship, or maintaining good health.

What we’ll do is make excuses, deceive ourselves into thinking that once our goals are met, then we’ll find the time to exercise, find a spouse, learn how to cook, volunteer at the local church.

The Definition Of An Addiction
How could trying to get ahead in life, be an addiction you ask. Isn’t abstinence, those who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. How can working hard, be a detriment.

Having strong ambition, is similar to being addicted to food. What’s required is having a healthy relationship with ambition, much like needing to have a healthy relationship with eating.

Adjusting To Balance
To recover from ambition addiction, is finding balance. This between living in the present, while planning for the future. To escape the “rat race” treadmill, to finding peace in the moment.


This isn’t easy for many. This because what those with strong ambition has grown accustomed to, is having their blinders on, living their life by working towards their next goal. To achieve their next ambition, to get their “fix.”

Conversely, what the recovery process involves, is knowing that you need to work towards finding a better balanced life.

To Balance Life
When it comes to being addicted to ambition, becoming sober means a delicate balancing act. To realize when you’re tilting off the beam.

What’s required is constant self-talk, by verbally reminding yourself where you are, what you’re doing, how your body is feeling. Otherwise, you’re just neglecting major health risks such as cardiac arrest.

To Become Mindful
Once we begin to objectify others and especially ourselves, what we’re doing is taking multifaceted, multi-dimensional humans, and turning them into one dimensional stoic objects. We begin treating ourselves, as a means to an end.

Competing for that job promotion, means getting respect while earning more. But realize that this concept of respect and freedom, is completely abstract and one dimensional.

We need to mindfully ask ourselves. What does respect and freedom really look and feel like. Who’ll benefit the most, and why. How can this position, have a more positive impact on others. What acts of service can be engaged, from the benefits of this stance.

Rather than abstaining from constantly setting goals, instead, avoid these types of all-or-nothing standoffs, while avoiding objectifying ourselves and others.

Set More Realistic Goals
What’s still needed is motivation. The goal setting should be a lot more flexible, while remaining specific. What setting vague goals does, is gets vague results.

What setting goals that are overly rigid, does is objectifies ourselves, while leaving no wiggle room, to not accept that losing can occur.


What a growth orientated mindset does, is allows us to approach every activity with the belief, that there’s still room to grow and improve, that it’s not all or nothing.

It’s Okay To Not Always “Win”
What becomes damaging to ones mental health, is the need to always win, to become the best at everything. The “all in,” need to be the top-dog mentality.

What doing so does, is forces us into the “spirit of competition” mindset against others, against those who exhibits the quest. It also places us in the all-or-nothing mind frame, where only winning, coming in first place is all that matters.

What it does is forces us to rely on external events to be happy, to find satisfaction or serenity, this to continuously feed that ballooning ego.

What doing so becomes a surefire way, to being in a constant state of disappointment, this especially if you don’t measure up, or aren’t qualified.

Goals Should Be Realistic
Setting goals are great and they should challenge us, but they should also be realistic. What setting a healthy goal establishes, is aiming at the next logical step that should be taken.

For instance, someone who’s in sales, might set a goal to become a sales manager. What setting that realistic goal does, is sets up an objective for the salesman to strive towards. What’s needed, is taking one step at a time, this to get closer to that next goal.

Having Moderate Ambition
So if you are an ambition addict, what’s at stake is your health and happiness, as the bite of the world begins to grind you down. This by serving your ego first.

So instead of thinking that only the best will do, what you need to do, is just aim for and appreciate what’s good enough. “It’s not who you know, it’s you, you know.”

This just doesn’t apply to the workplace, but to fame, accomplishments, power, relationships, and any other object of desire. What the pursuit of a goal that’s too big, does is diminishes the appreciation of the current state of affairs.

This isn’t saying, you should just be content with what you’ve got, this regardless of how little that may be. What being satisfied, is a measurement of your subjective mind, rather than an objective yardstick.