Stress And Success: Can Success Become A Curse That Leads To Greater Stress?

by Doc Orman, M.D.

This week, I’ve been focusing on several aspects of the relationship between stress and success.  If you missed either of those first two posts, here are the links:

Why Do So Many Successful People Have Stress

Does Stress Motivate Us To Have More Success?

Can Success Ever Be Bad For Us?

I believe the answer is yes…sometimes. 

We all know about people who have won the lottery and their lives were thrown into turmoil.  We also know about actors and actresses who have had meteoric ascensions to fame and fortune, only to become despondent drug addicts and occasionally suicidal.  We also may personally know people whose businesses took off and grew way faster than they had imagined, finding themselves ill-equipped to deal with the demands, both personal and business-wise.

And then there are people who get promoted from jobs they are well-suited for to positions of greater demand, responsibilities and skill sets.  Often this is a recipe for increased stress.

So rapid success can sometimes backfire on us and cause us to experience stress.

A Father’s Dilemma

One thing that attracted me to this particular topic today was a post on that I read earlier this week by Dr. Sam Blackman.  The title of this post was “How Do You Know If You Have Become An Adult?”

success and stress 2Dr. Sam had a goal to become the very best physician that he could be.  During his almost 20 years of preparatory education, he had several big challenges he had to overcome.  But he was so driven and determined to reach his goal that he overcame them all.  He finally reached the pinnacle of his dreams, becoming a successful pediatric hematologist-oncologist and neuro-oncologist.

He had just landed his dream job at a large, prestigious children’s hospital. In his own words:

“I had not just achieved everything that I wanted, but I had exceeded my every dream. I was doing the one thing I loved doing more than anything else in the world—caring for the sickest possible children.  And I was working 80+ hours a week without complaint.”

A life purpose fulfilled, right?  Happiness, contentment and success, yes?  There was just one little problem…Dr. Sam and his wife had just adopted a child.  Now he was about to live a life full of conflict and stress.  If he continued to pursue his life-long professional dreams, he would be away from home an unavailable to his child.  The same success that had previously been very satisfying had now become a curse.

To find out how Dr. Sam resolved this conflict and avoided being stressed, you’ll have to read the whole article yourself.

Click here to read the full post on


NOTE: If you haven’t checked out my new Stress Mastery Academy website, click here to take a tour.


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