A Career in Suicide

Even though it is highly publicized, seppuku, the samurai form of ritual suicide, was not done very often. It is actually done much more frequently today.

“Most companies don’t get murdered. They commit suicide.”

I read this quote in an article about Twitter last week and it stuck with me. The article talked about the head-scratching reality that the company has not figured out how to monetize their audience yet. Saying that if their company does implode, that the owners and managers themselves are responsible for destroying their own creation.

What struck me about this, is that it is a perfect sentiment to attach to and a perfect label to put on our own personal failures.

Most of our attempts to get something we want aren’t killed by other people or outside forces. There is no man in a dark cavern twisting his mustache at the thought of your demise. There are no evil forces in the universe working against you.  

Our efforts towards something are crushed by our own lack of productivity, lack of perfection, and lack of performance. They are crushed by a lack of will, that lack of desire to truly push something over the top to greatness. They are doomed by the lack of pride we take in what we do. A lack of understanding about the effort it takes to achieve our dreams. They are killed by thinking we can do it all on our own. Or in depending on the wrong people to help us get there. There are a million ways our dreams die, and at the outset of every one of them, we are left holding the smoking gun.

Sure, there are other people out there going for the same things you are. If what you want is great enough, there will be many others who want what you want. But that alone doesn’t make them your enemy. They aren’t playing against you, they only play for themselves and their own success. And they may beat you. But don’t beat yourself.  

Do not commit suicide, in any area of your life. This is with respect to the girlfriend that is thinking about breaking up with you and the promotion you’re on the verge of getting. This is respect to the D minus you currently have in Spanish class and the cholesterol level that is teetering on the edge.

Know what you are doing to sabotage your own efforts. Don’t make a career out of committing suicide.