“When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

What traps most of us is relying more and more on what made us successful, without thinking about what success means. So we rely on knowledge, skills, or old formulas that may become increasingly overextended and out of touch. We stop learning. We become tired and tiring. It’s like the old adage, “When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Our strengths become our weaknesses and what caused our success now causes our failure.

  • Do you find yourself in a frantic whirl of commitments?
  • Do you compete out of habit? Is winning central to your identity?
  • Have the symbols of success or status become crucial to your self-worth?
  • Do you abuse or rely too much on your natural talents?
  • Have you found yourself blaming problems on other people or external factors?
  • Do you brood on bad news or criticism?
  • Do you have almost a compulsive need to control?
  • Do you find yourself getting angry over little things, or do you occasionally surprise yourself with intense emotions that seem out of proportion to the situation?
  • Are you becoming rigid in your views, finding it hard to listen to other points of view?If you answer yes to any of these, spend some time reflecting on what success means to you. If you don’t find yourself in this list, look again. You may be denying some inner secrets that could hurt you if left untended.

– John O’Neill from ‘The Paradox of Success’

One thought on ““When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

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