Unlike a novel that's finished once it's read, success is like a garden that changes each day and therefore is always in need of constant tending.
It is a moving target and must be constantly tracked.
One of the main reasons people achieve success in life and then lose it again is that they mistakenly think, "I've arrived!"
Often, the precise moment we think we have it made is our most vulnerable time.
Here's what happens when a civilisation thinks it has arrived.
The Romans built a great thriving empire through hard work and dedication.
Nevertheless, after conquering the world, they didn't know what to do next nor did they know how to benefit from what their efforts had wrought.
Just before its fall, Nero extended their leisure time so they could celebrate 176 legal holidays every year!
What was the outcome of this supposedly brilliant decision? Their kingdom became soft, apathetic and finally ceased to exist.
It's interesting that one-third of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in the US drop off every decade.
Perhaps this is one reason why Bill Gates, when asked why he doesn't fly first class, replied, "I'm afraid that I'd get used to it." He hasn't yet "arrived".
"When you're green you grow, when you're ripe you rot." - Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's
Remaining at the forefront in the business sector without reinvesting, reinventing or having the courage to take risks again can be compared to drawing in a nice big breath of air and then holding it.
Think of a company like Coca-Cola. It was huge in the 1950s and 1960s but it hasn't let this fact go to its head.
If you were to flick on your television set right now, chances are pretty good that before too long you would see a Coke commercial.
The executives of Coke realise current success is no guarantee of future success.
As success is akin to growth, we must wage a war on complacency every day of our lives.
If at present in the area of your relationships you feel you have arrived, I have news for you.
A husband and wife don't wake up one day after seven years' marriage and say, "What a lovely day, let's get a divorce!" The spark dwindles over time.
Therefore, our relationships must be reinvented and expanded daily, otherwise they, too, will eventually cease to exist.
Some people feel they have arrived spiritually. Saint Paul, one of the most spiritual men who ever lived, wrote, "I have not yet arrived!" He realised the need to remain green.
On a personal level, if we fail to use our muscles they turn to flab. Courage unused diminishes.
Our memories, imagination and belief systems all shrink without use.
We are either climbing or sliding in every area of our life but we're never standing still.
Like walking up a downward escalator, to maintain success, we must be constantly ascending!
To guard against the dangers of "arriving", as you achieve each of your short-range goals, write "success" next to them. Then set bigger and more demanding goals!
Go after your mid-range dreams. Set your sights on your long-range dreams, break them down and create systematic plans for their achievement.
Progressive, ever-expanding goals are essential for ongoing success in life.