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Why It's Lonely At the Top -- A Personal Perspective

Updated: Mar 28

A man operating in a computer lab.

(For the whole site's category on solitude, click here)

(For the directory on success, click here)

The Relations of Success and Solitude

The expression "It's lonely at the top" suggests that those who are successful and/or powerful in their field have very few friends. This feeling of isolation can be a surprising consequence of the relentless drive required for achievement. This shows us that a great success isn't necessarily a prerequisite for deep, honest relationships with people.

Success isn't a singular mountain you conquer. It's a continuous ascent demanding constant refinement and determination. This pursuit, even in the realm of social interaction, can be a solitary path. I speak from personal experience, which I will explain later on.

Those seeking shortcuts often fall victim to "get-rich-quick" schemes. Desperate for results, they avoid the effort, becoming easy prey for con artists exploiting their vulnerabilities.

My own journey has been one of solitude, even before fatigue became a factor. My focus on philosophy, both then and now, has kept me away from social and romantic connections. This path, while fulfilling in its own way, has inevitably led to a deep sense of isolation, which I define as cosmic-like and chronic.

The appreciation and readership I receive may provide proof for my good work, but it doesn't liberate the feeling of being alone. For being lonely at the top involves being at a high peak of understanding not many reach. This may make it difficult to convey ideas even my most loyal of readers would understand properly.

To Quote Mr. John Duran:

A quote on loneliness.

Sacrifices and the Pursuit of Mastery

Despite being only 26, I've accomplished a lot. But boasting feels pointless. The truth is, I find little joy in socializing, as I find little joy in anything either way. So, I work relentlessly, pushing forward even when I lack the energy. I made it into my habit, to work independently of my willpower. This has been my routine for years.

Success often demands a mountain of practice, learning from countless mistakes. The key is continuous improvement, and keeping in on the straight and narrow. Empires are not built in a day for a reason. They relentlessly pursue their goals, striving for mastery – a title I've been fortunate enough to receive in philosophy by some of my followers.

Since 2013, philosophy has been my singular focus, eclipsing most other aspects of life. At first the essays I wrote were very poor. It took years for my craft to be perfected or at least improve significantly. My success lies in making people want to read more by caring about my writings.

However, hard work is no guarantee. It's a gamble on a future different from your current reality. However, beyond the very rare occasion, overnight success is a myth. It's a sacrifice few are willing to make, choosing instead to prioritize social hangouts, romantic love and even aimless global travel. These people might not go far with their ambitions simply because they don't invest enough time and resources to make something succeed. To even compete in whatever you're doing, not being lazy for instance is a great advantage for starters.

The truth is, unless you possess the emotional capacity for deep connections, solitude may be your companion on the path to a success. And it's just a possibility that might as well never materialize. But there is no choice but to try, and try hard, if you even want good chance at getting whatever you want. What truly fuels this journey is an undying faith in your work and its potential impact on the world.

The Internal Rival Who Consumed Me From Within

Anhedonia, the struggle to feel joy, has become an unwelcome companion in my relentless pursuit of building Philosocom. I accepted this condition when I realized it helps me work better when I no longer depend on things to make me happy, for I am unhappy anyways, and am fine with it. The more I dedicated myself to work, the rarer joy became, until it vanished entirely. It's a void no amount of effort seems to fill. It was there, in a way, from the very beginning.

I am not used for affection. As I began losing my emotions I also began not being really affected by it. My focus on becoming a better writer and philosopher left me respected, yes, but joyless and largely unfeeling. This website's success came at the price of profound loneliness which I taught myself to accept as unavoidable. The vast majority of my interactions are online. I also taught myself to accept this fact as a necessity.

Working tirelessly, I worried about becoming a ruthless figure, consumed by ambition. I actively sought ways to connect, to feel loved – a defense against such a fate. However, I slowly fell from my personal grace when I failed doing so. I realized instead the virtue of ruthlessnes, no longer able to mourn the former self I discarded.

The truth is, my laughter with others is often a performance. The professional thing is to pretend. I do it extremely well as it's a skill I taught myself to develop. While in reality I don't even feel the vast array of emotions I display. Humor requires less of an emotion and more of logic the ability to appeal to others.

Just like my souls of which I have two. I have one in each shoe. My third one has expired and I don't have enough shoes for it anyways. It just had to be laid off despite the family it needed to feed. Humor is a good way to make people either love you or run away in terror. Mainly in circles, which is impractical, when the door is right in front of you.

Anyways, I used yearn to feel something beyond the temporary lift of a cup of coffee. But then I realized this: People at large don't really care about what you really feel, but rather what you display to them. Thus your emotions are not necessarily important when it comes to many goals. Not as much as the proper and acceptable display of them, instead.

Despite it all, Philosocom's success remains paramount to me. No obstacle will deter me from furthering its reach. I work not for myself, but for you, the users. The resources I gain fuel this platform's growth. I am not driven by profit as much as I am driven to give you the content I believe you deserve as Philosocom readers.

A Lonely Path to Purpose

Contributing holds the most importance for me. It eclipses everything else because I already worked on myself enough through philosophizing to care less about myself and more about others. After all I wish to be good and altruism is the highest good.

Yet, after years of existential isolation dedicated to my work, I can't help but wonder if connection is a distant dream. Work has become my sole purpose, leaving a hollow echo in my personal life. This existence is undeniably lonely.

Perhaps others on this path can relate. After all, "lonely at the top" isn't just a cliche. While it may not hold true for everyone, for many of us driven entrepreneurs, it's a stark reality.

It's one that can only be surpassed by having faith in what you're doing.

Extra Notes

Being at the top can mean different things as success is goal-dependent rather than a universal notion. It can vary from being wealthy to being a genius. Either way, some level of high accomplishment is a necessity for success.

Examples include:

Mr. Nathan Lasher's Feedback

Do not be altruistic at the expense of yourself. What good are you to anyone if you bury yourself trying to be selfless? You must maintain your own health to help with the health of others.
Solitude can be eliminated by finding those who can get behind your dream or who have similar dreams to you. Such as a collaboration where you can be mutually beneficial to each other is a solid asset. It allows you to selfishly focus on yourself while at the same time being aware that you are helping someone else out in the process.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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