Why It’s Good Success Is Taking Its Time

September 9, 2019  |  
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When I was a child, I always envisioned myself being at the height of my career by the age of 30. Oh, how silly I was. When you’re a kid, 30 seems so old. Or, perhaps it’s more complex than that. It’s not that 30 seemed old so much as it seemed like, by 30, I would be a fully-formed adult, and I believed that becoming a fully-formed adult would be on about the same timeline as reaching the pique of success. Of course, now that I am in my thirties, I know that that simply isn’t true. I know that we are lucky to barely start to get some real, quality work done around age 30 because we can’t really begin to succeed before we know who we are and have learned valuable life lessons. It is for the best. Now, some lucky few do earn success young, but we learn they actually aren’t so lucky. As for the rest of us, here are reasons you should be grateful that success is taking its time.


You’ll have your real friends

You will have developed your core friend group. This is your group of friends who are with you just because of who you are in your heart and soul—not because of money or status. You know that’s the kind of friends they are because you have not had money or status for a long time, and they’ve stuck by you.


Your values will have been tested

In small ways over the years, your values will have been tested. Maybe once or twice you make the mistake of choosing some “cool” event that seemed full of “networking opportunities” over being at your best friend’s bachelorette party. You felt sick after. It was good you got to learn how that made you feel, while things weren’t totally hectic yet. When success comes, you’ll know how to make the right call during those times.


You know how to be happy without it

You’ll know what really makes you happy—with or without success—because you had to learn to be happy with out. You didn’t have success, so you had to find some other way to find joy. And you did. Once you know you can be happy without success, it doesn’t completely rule your life.


So you won’t change much with it

Since you already have such deep happiness without success, finding success won’t change you. You weren’t waiting around, desperately wanting everything to transform so you could finally be happy. You already were happy. So why change what you do or how you behave or where you go?


Your skillset will grow tremendously

In the years you wait for your big break, you’ll be honing your skill. Unfortunately, those who earn success young can sort of plateau in their development. They feel they no longer need to get better, so they…don’t. You, however, saw how much can change and evolve in years of practice.


So you’ll always want to develop

Since you had the time to see just how good you could get when you were still waiting for that big break, you’ll never want to stop evolving. You know how much can happen in a few years, if you just keep at it. You know you’re capable of limitless change and growth, and you’ll never stop pursuing that.


You’ll really appreciate it

You’ll really appreciate your success. Those who gain it early never really do. It was handed to them. They didn’t have to grind it out and work themselves to the bone for years to have it, so they don’t even take all of the joy in it that they could. Your success will feel so much more satisfying than the success of a young superstar who didn’t have to work for it.


You won’t squander it

You’ll handle your status with care, because, again, you worked so hard to get it. You’ll be very careful about curating your story, and only accepting offers that further your values and what you want to present to the world.


You’ll feel oddly calm around it

If you have put in the work every day for years, then the day a big paycheck or a big audience is on the other side of that work, you don’t feel very nervous. You feel at home and at peace. Say, you’re a singer. You’ve gotten on a stage every day, whether it’s at coffee shop open mics or college campuses, for years. When you get on the stage at the Grammys, it doesn’t feel like that big of a deal. You climbed a thousand stages, in varying sizes, for years. Getting to the Grammys was just the next step.


It won’t feel fragile

Those who just hit the jack pot kind of know that, at any point, somebody could call them an imposter. Somebody could take them to task and ask they prove they deserve their status and…they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. You feel very solid in your success. Nobody can question why you have it. You worked for it and everybody knows it. You aren’t standing on a cloud: you’re standing on a brick building that you built with your own two hands.


You’ll have seen others fall

If you have to wait a while for success, you get to learn by others mistakes. You see how others make poor use of their money, fame, or status. You see them get into hazardous and irresponsible and distasteful behavior. You learn what not to do when you’re successful.


You develop stamina

Hard work is just muscle memory to you at this point. You’ve made a lifestyle of hard work. So you’re perfectly ready to continue to work hard, even when success comes. Those who earn it quickly and early don’t have stamina. They burn out and quit.


You’ll be successful at what you love

You also have to remember that, the things you want today are not the things you wanted ten years ago. It takes some trial and error to figure out what success really looks like to you. Those who gain it really may just luck out in doing something they don’t really love. Then they’re stuck in that.


You’ll be equipped to handle failure

If you’ve been at your goals for a long time, then that means you’ve been willing to endure failure, and get back up. Even when you have your big break, there will still be failures and rejections after that. You know how to handle those, because you already have for years.


You’ll network with others like you

You’ll recognize others like you—those who, in the face of a potentially glitzy, glamorous, and empty life, know what their core values are, and keep close friends who love them for who they are. You know who they are, because you’re one of them.

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