Success Can Make You Flap Out

Most of us would say that we want to be successful in life. We want to be successful in our professions, relationships and parenting. But what if success is not all its hyped to be?


Meet Dong Nguyen. Nguyen is the creator of the wildly successful Apple and Android game Flappy Bird. His game was recently the most downloaded game on Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store.

Most would be happy. Not Nguyen. The poor guy seemed super distraught about the success. His tweets said this:

Press people are overrating the success of my games. It is something I never want. Please give me peace. (12:36 PM – 4 Feb 2014)

I am sorry ‘Flappy Bird’ users, 22 hours from now, I will take ‘Flappy Bird’ down. I cannot take this anymore. (2:02 PM – 8 Feb 2014)


What happened?

The simple answer is, nobody really knows. But we can gather from these tweets that the brother was not ready for the success of Flappy Bird.

This can happen to you?

We watch athletes, entertainers and even other individuals crumble when success comes. Remember the founder of Invisible Children?

What I’ve observed is this. The process of becoming successful is slow. But when it finally arrives, its like a torrential downpour. We have to be prepared.

Here are three things you should keep in mind as you climb your ladder to your success:

  • Define what success means for you. What is your desired outcome? How will you know that you have become successful?
  • Surround yourself with people you trust. Remember when Shaquille O’Neal’s dad popped out of nowhere? When you become successful, everybody and their momma will want a piece of the pie. Be careful of who you let in your circle.
  • Understand that it’s for you but its not about you. You’ve put in the work. You’ve reaped the rewards. But you did not make it alone. I can almost guarantee. Also, you have a responsibility to steward your success well. You’ve been blessed to be a blessing.

I’ve never really met anyone who didn’t want to be successful. But I’ve witnessed people who’ve not been prepared.

On the journey up, let’s define what we are looking to achieve, surround ourselves with people we can trust and pray that our achievements don’t go to our heads. Otherwise we might “flap out”.

It’s only February, you still have time. Let’s make this the year of the underdog!

(Disclaimer: I don’t mean disrespect for the “flappy” comments. I really do wish Nguyen well as he deals with all surrounding Flappy Bird.)

Have you ever been unprepared for something? Anything? Share your story with a comment below!