Greg McKeown writing for the Harvard Business Review:
Why don't successful people and organizations automatically become very successful? One important explanation is due to what I call "the clarity paradox," which can be summed up in four predictable phases: Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success. Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities. Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts. Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place. Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.
McKeown primarily focuses on jobs and jobs searches, but the bigger picture is more interesting. The more we keep clutter in our lives, the tougher it is to obtain success. Everyone may recongize that the bigger something is, the tougher it is to wield, but most can’t separate what’s truly important from what doesn’t matter.
via Daring Fireball