Toxic Success – Paul Pearsall

Originally Read October 2010

I can’t say the word I exclaimed after reading the first chapter. It was a curse word.

I was also angry because – I like to strive! What’s wrong with fighting for change and progress you lazy hippie?

I’ve always rationalized away my ambitious nature and sacrifice of “being present” for achievement in the service of others. I don’t earn a lot of money, I work in non-profit how can I have sold my soul?

His description of “toxic success syndrome” reads like my bio. I’m not all the way there but I’m well on my way.

He has interviewed 100 “winners” by every definition and then got comments from spouses, coworkers, children and other people in their life that see the reality of their tragedy.

A truly helpful set of warning signs to set in place with spouses, children and coworkers to tell when you’re veering into this deadly territory. Helped me to have some great discussions with my family and some good annual introspection.

Amazing part of the book outlines the original biological causes, effects and previous benefits of human stress. Then he goes through the same effects and what they do to us in our current reality in the office.

Also staggering and terrifying at the same time is how bang-on the author is on the internet and technology like smartphones – IN 2002!!!!

Ways to look at one’s destructive habits and the results from a new perspective – I would recommend this book to anyone looking to do a little self reflection: When they keep getting what they want and it doesn’t solve all their problems and only creates more – read this book.

Thoroughly powerful stuff, one of the best books I’ve read all year.

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