Melatonin, Insulin, & Late-Night Snacking
May 17, 2020

Perfectly Hidden in a Sea of Shared Achievements

Reflections on "success" and challenges within myself.

"Awards like 'Most Likely to Succeed' are harmful to one's personal development”


I am emotionally strong but at times, am weak.

I'm a doer. I seek opportunities. I dig into them. Some call that ambition, but part of it is hiding.

Why do I post so often? Why am I so focused on my career?

In short, I lack pride in my own work and seek external validation. Plus, I'm compensating for areas I feel are lacking in my life.

Early Development

I believe people unknowningly strive to be like their parents. If mom made $60,000 per year, that'd be the threshold I hold myself to achieve. Again, unknowingly.

My grandparents were entrepreneurs. My father is a CFO. My mother was a CEO. My brother is a banker and my sister is a doctor.

On top of that, I was voted most likely to succeed in Jr. High School and in University.

I often feel I need to live up to the reputation and expectations others have set for me.

This is a lot of pressure on one person.

Caught in the Rat Race

Education. Job. Money. New toys. Taking trips.

Every time I cross the finish line, I mutter under my breath "it's not enough".

I recognize I should take pride in these achievements but I'm incapable of celebrating them.

I started an app company. It wasn't enough. I started sold SUP Baddeck, but could I do it again? I helped open offices and grow startups. It still wasn't good enough.

Again and again, "I need to keep going. I'm not there yet."

The Stigma of Sharing

Now we're caught in the vicious cycle. I wave my achievements in the face of others for validation.

Others see my posts and delve into upward comparison thinking "Colin did X and I didn't".

That thought can make others feel devalued.

Perhaps they go silent. Perhaps they begin to resent others.

They don't hit like. They don't comment. They don't subscribe.

For both parties, their emotional level of success decreases.

Through the Dark, a Light Shines

Not all people fall.

Some people.. a very small few.. recognize the gap. They see the glass half full and reach out to start a conversation.

I commend these people for their insight. I wish I had more of that in myself.

They recognize other peoples' strengths and abilities. They seek help navigating unfamiliar grounds. They see areas for improvement and they tap into the value a person offers.

Specifically I think of my friend George Johnston who shows an extrodinary amount of respectful awareness for others in their professions, theirs skills, and so on.

Whether he knows it or not, George helps others feel more professionally validated, valued as a person, and worthy to society.

Acknowledging others for their unique skills and experience is something we all should practice more.


Not everyone was born to be a business executive or medical professional. Life is about finding the things you WERE born to be and to explore them to your heart's desire.

- C. MacInnis