The Roman Emperor Commodus, who ruled for many years during the Pax Romana, is a great lesson why that “greats” never fully sleep. He enjoyed the benefits of having a cult like following, along with a knack at the dictatorial arts. He is evidence that the great never fully sleep.
In true fashion, Commodus had many that desired to usurp power through the historically popular means of assassination. His own sister had been involved with a plot, along with supposed lovers and other political rivals. Commodus found himself strangled in a bathtub shortly after he survived a poisoning attempt. I read about this and I remember that the great can never sleep, someone is trying to knock you off or even kill you.
It didn’t matter if it was in boxing or in the creative world. It sure as heck applied to the political world. There is always someone near you with an angle or even an outsider with an itch for your downfall. (Never discounting those that don’t have hunger for power, specifically those operators that only thirst for revenge or matters ideology. Many of these entities are much dangerous than someone operating in the open for a seat at the top).
I have personally seen members of law enforcement embarrassed by a member of their “opposition” that they had written off as inconsequential. The law enforcement was later embarrassed by scandal brought on by their oversight. Their toadies and strong arms didn’t stop them. Empty threats just made them look like petulant rednecks. I learned something from their targets: Turning your nose up to someone or laughing at them often create the conditions where you underestimate their abilities. This in turn, bites you in the rear end. They work behind the scenes to grind you soft. It doesn’t matter if you are the strongest one around; someone’s grandmother can take you down. It is up to you to stay ahead of the curb and be smart with the way you handle this.
You must be aware of what it takes to stay on top. Never resting and being aware of what nips at your heels. Knowing who requires “sticks” and who requires “carrots”. The end may find you when you don’t.