Why Success Doesn’t Create Fulfillment (And What Does)

by Bamboo Forest

It’s not success that makes you fulfilled.

It’s having tried.

Here’s a scenario proving my point:

You approach a girl, have a little conversation with her and then ask her for her email address. She declines to give it to you.

You didn’t succeed, right?

But you experience fulfillment because you tried.

There’s no nagging feeling where you wonder what the outcome would have been had you approached her because you did and you feel damn good that you did.

The opposite of the above scenario is allowing your fear dictate your behavior which places you in a self-induced prison where you’re not only guaranteed failure but you’re also guaranteed that you’ll never experience the sweetest taste in the world which is fulfillment. And I’m unsure whether the former or the latter is worse, frankly.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” ~Wayne Gretzky

This concept can be applied to many more things:

Opting not to ask for a raise.

Opting not to ask someone to hang out.

Opting not to try something new like martial arts.

Sure, you could “fail” at all of the above.

But you and I both know that having tried any of the above and “failed” will make you feel good down to the bone.

Opting not to do them, out of fear of failure, will make you feel deep dissatisfaction.

Take my advice and give it a shot.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Bamboo Forest is a professional email life coach and the founder of Tick Tock Timer

Photo by titoh44

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

The Vizier October 16, 2010 at 2:48 am

Good post Bamboo Forest!

“You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you haven’t done that will torment you.” –Wayne Dyer

I agree that we should never allow fear to hold us back from taking action. Even if you do not succeed, you will have gained valuable experience apart from fulfillment as well. This experience will pave the path for future successes. Woe to the person who refuses to take any risks and ends up having no experience to draw upon at the crucial moment when they need it. Failure should not be feared, but embraced as a stepping stone to success.

Thanks for sharing!


Bamboo Forest October 16, 2010 at 3:00 am

@ The Vizier: That’s a good quote by Wayne Dyer. That said, it’s also important to underscore not to dwell on regret either and to be the best from where you stand right now!

Good points. Thanks for sharing.


Scott McIntyre October 16, 2010 at 9:36 am

Hi Bamboo,

Fear of failure is definitely a self-imposed prison as it keeps us stuck with what we have now. Rather than trying to do anything that could change things for the better (which is surely what we all want), we allow fear to steal our opportunities.

Learning what makes you as an individual fear failure is a basic skill that pays off big time. Everyone has different reasons why they fear failure and it really does help to spend time working out what yours are. The pay off is future success.


Bamboo Forest October 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm

@ Scott: “We allow fear to steal our opportunities.” That’s a very powerful way to put it.

Thanks for sharing. And will keep that in mind.


Steven October 21, 2010 at 2:47 am

Hey Bamboo, nice post.

I saw your feature over at ProBlogger and decided to come over. So weird though – I was literally just looking for a site like yours (with the timer) about a week or two ago. Genius idea! And I am going to totally take advantage of it the next time I need to time myself for something.

Also LOVED your post at ProBlogger. Left a meaty comment there as well. Very cool to see you responding to all of the replies!

Will be around again soon,


Bamboo Forest October 21, 2010 at 3:40 am

@ Steven: Thanks for hopping over from ProBlogger! Welcome aboard!

Yes, please. Use this timer whenever you think it could help. I use it myself!

I’m going to check out your comment on ProBlogger and respond.


Bamboo Forest


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