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Why Success Can Lead To Depression

Jeffrey Slayter - September 9, 2019 - 0 comments

I want to speak directly to the people who have hit success in their lives by everyday standards and want to go beyond it.

I’m going to talk about a problem that seems to be encountered by people who have sold their companies and hit that point. They go into massive high functioning depression.

One of my goals was to travel and be on some of the biggest stages in the world impacting people’s lives in a positive way. I did it and found myself pretty sad afterwards. It was weird actually and I noticed that people who start these big companies and hit certain points also come back feeling sad, frustrated and slightly perplexed. They are confused, just like I was, because society says that when you hit that point it’s everything. 

Yet I can share with those of you who are at that point and can relate to this, that there’s something beyond it. If you still think it’s important for you to do these types of things in order to be significant, then this day will come for you too. When it does, and hopefully this happens sooner rather than later, I hope you get to do it from a place of deepest expression versus often. 

For myself some of my drive was coming from a true expression, and there was another part of me coming from a bit of insecurity as well. For those of you who have hit that inflection point of achievement there may have been a part of you that was striving for significance and needed to prove something to yourself. I know there was a part of me that needed to prove something to the world and it really drove me hard, and perhaps needing to prove something is what drove you as well. Yet of course this is a conversation between you and yourself about what’s really driving you and only you can reflect on that.

But it was a double-edged sword because I learned so much from it for myself while also impacting other lives. This brought me full circle back to myself, and now it’s the opportunity to paint something new from a place of expression, a place of authenticity, a place of actuality. This is like the way a painter just paints for painting’s sake, or the way a bird sings because that’s what they do, they sing. There’s no reason to do it anymore, it’s just what there is to be done. 

This is a pretty incredible place to be, so if I can support you in your next chapter by sharing this, please make it as true to you as possible, because we don’t need more successful people out there, we need more impactful people. 

I found the need for recognition dissipated massively and now, while recognition can be useful to get a message out there, it’s not something that drives me as much as it used to. To those of you who are potentially seeking recognition for your accolades, some of the greatest acts of service can sometimes be done where nobody knows who’s behind it, so just do them. 

This is what’s needed now so my greatest feedback to support you is to be willing to be wrong about everything you thought and everything you felt was real, and everything that you thought was the way it was. And be willing to come to terms with, like I did, that most of your life is built on society’s standards of what life is supposed to be. 

This is just wrong, and has no bearing on what has brought me the greatest fulfillment in my life. When you have the opportunity to write that next chapter in your life that takes you beyond success for yourself make sure it’s really, really true and consider that most of the standards society has fed us are total lies that will lead you nowhere. This includes the ones about getting the recognition you’re looking for, or the accolades, the praise, the money you want. That’s not it. 

But this is just my journey and maybe yours will be different. I don’t know but I have definitely witnessed some of the most successful business owners and leaders out there coming to terms with the fact that most of the things they thought were true no longer are, and that changes the whole identity construct of their reality. They say that identity coherence is the most important thing for a human being, and when what we thought was real is no longer, our identity becomes scrambled and we go through an identity crisis. 

You know we’re all doing the best we can here and trying to navigate this. I know I am and although I have a lot more to learn, it’s a wonderful place to be for the next chapters in my life. 

Learning that what I thought was real actually wasn’t was challenging to come to terms with for myself, but it was very freeing and I hope you find the same.

Take care,




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