While I was working out last night, I listened to a Entreleadership podcast and learned something I had never considered before. Rory Vaden, a sales consultant and leadership coach, said that success is never owned, it’s only rented.
Success is never owned. My entire life, when I have thought about successful people, I always believed it was something they achieved and then they had it the rest of their life. Although they get to keep the awards they receive for their success, it is false to believe that success is a place in which we arrive. Success is merely an acknowledgement of excellence, and it is gone the moment it is given.
Consider Michael Jordan. He was the most decorated basketball player of my generation and some would say of all time. He played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls from 1983-1993 & 1995-1998, with a brief two-year comeback in 2001-2002 with the Washington Wizards, and everyone would agree he was a very successful basketball player. He is no longer a successful basketball player. He owns his championship rings and his MVP awards, but he doesn’t own success; he merely rented it.
MJ is currently considered one of the worst general managers in the NBA, with his Charlotte Bobcats achieving the worst record in NBA history in the 2011-2012 season.
If we want to be successful, we must consider the fleeting nature of success. It is simply the acknowledgement of excellence, and it is never something we own. It is merely rented, and the rent is due every day.