Can past successes really put you in danger of missing future successes?
This seems counterintuitive but is easier with an example.
Take someone who was always the smartest person in the class.
They graduate at the top of their med school peers.
Immediately their specialist medical practice is successful.
They easily net $700K per year.
How tempting can it be for someone like that to think they know how to do other things well, say make good investments?
And I think there is a difference here worth pointing out.
Past success in X is probably a hindrance for future success in Y.
But past success in X might make future success in X more likely.
What if instead of investments they know nothing about, our fictitious doctor started a research company within his own medical specialty?
Never take it for granted that your past successes will continue into the future. Actually, your past successes are your biggest obstacle: every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today. You must cut yourself loose from the past and open your eyes to the present. Your tendency to fight the last war may lead to your final war.
-Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies Of War
Also published on Medium.