September 4th, 2020
After a big business success, or a viral tweet, or hitting the front page of Hacker News, I always have this massive “rush” of excitement.
It feels great. I feel like I’m on top of the world. It’s like being high on drugs.
But like drugs, there’s always a come down. For every high, there will be a low.
As the high wears off, I’ll find myself worse off than before:
- I’ll have more anxiety
- I’ll have way less focus
- I’ll have a heightened sense of ego and self-importance: I’ll think I’m smarter or better than others
- I’ll keep reloading social media to get more of “the rush”
This is happening to me right now actually (something good happened today). I feel amazing.
But I’m writing this right now to try to ground myself. Writing helps me clarify my thoughts. It’s helping me calm down. Writing this down reminds me how temporary this high will be. The success I had today was mostly out of my control.
If I can’t control my thoughts in the good times, then I’ll be screwed in the bad times. That’s what happened last year.
As entrepreneurs, it’s hard to avoid these ups and downs because we validate ourselves with the success of our business.
Over the years, I’ve gotten better at grounding myself. Here’s some things that help:
- Get off social media and stop checking email. Celebrate your success with quality time with friends and family. One time, I had a blog post go viral, and I spent the whole day replying to emails about it and checking the comments and upvotes go up. I had a friend visiting from out of town and I couldn’t even enjoy myself… Cringe!
- Don’t go around shouting about your success to everyone. Nobody wants to hear it. Go talk to people, ask them about their life, and practice your listening skills. This is REALLY hard in the moment, but it’s great practice in controlling the ego.
- Write! Write for yourself first, get your thoughts on paper. Then, write about your success, turn your excitement into a blog post about “how you did it”. Always nice to look back on and make something that will help and inspire others.