Never Take Success for Granted


By Todd A. Smith

            Tiger Woods once had it all.  He was a transcendent pioneer in the sport of golf and his endorsement deals made him a billionaire at the age of 33.

            However, when news broke of his marital infidelity, the image that he perfected over the years was forever tainted.  Almost immediately, many critics began blaming his marital infidelity on his hubris.  They began referring to the golf icon as rude to fans and aloof.

            Regardless of the reason that led to numerous instances of marital infidelity in Woods’ life, the saga that began unfolding the day after Thanksgiving should be a cautionary tale that we should never take our good fortune for granted, and the success that we enjoy today may disappear tomorrow.  Accenture became the first company to drop Woods as a spokesperson.

            No matter what our socioeconomic condition is, many of us have fallen victim to the false sense of security that comes with success.  We worked tirelessly to climb that ladder of success and when we finally reach our goal, a disease called complacency and sometimes even arrogance, infects our behavior.

            We begin forgetting where we came from and what got us to that level of success.  We also forget those character traits that our boss, co-workers and peers fell in love with in the first place.  We begin feeling invincible and irreplaceable and that arrogance detrimentally affects our behavior and performance.

            Whether it is marital infidelity or another transgression, our own arrogance can lead to our downfall.  Although many have criticized Woods recently for his marital infidelity, all of us have been guilty of the same conceited thinking that allegedly caused Woods to behave in a way that has threatened his image.  In a day when people are losing their jobs and stability on a daily basis, we should all take the time to be thankful for the success that we have enjoyed because the same success is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow.

            Although it may be hard once we have attained our goals, it is important that we keep the same work ethic that got us to the top.  Furthermore, we should exude the same humility that would not allow us to fall into complacency.

            Usually arrogance and complacency leads to false sense of superiority and poor performance in one’s profession.  In turn, that can possibly lead to earning less money, demotions and other consequences.

            However, as Woods has recently found out that performance in one’s profession is not the only thing that contributes to success.  One’s reputation in the workplace is often just as important as performance, and damaging one’s reputation can have eternal consequences that may be hard to correct.

            Woods’ situation is a reminder to all, not just the rich and famous, that one mistake can cause one to lose all they have worked for.  And although it is quite possible that one can rebound from past mistakes, sometimes a mistake can cause people to never view you the same as they once did.


Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

Leave a Reply