Hey TSC readers, it’s been a while! Well I am back and I wanted to write a post about success, career success specifically. This post will primarily deal with what makes us tick in the work place. What drives us to pursue the careers we choose and what motivates us to get up every day and pursue the careers we have chosen.
So here we go!
Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself:
“What the F am I doing this for? What am I really trying to accomplish with this job/business? Is this what I really want to be doing?”
Most off the cuff answers have to do with finances. Making money. Paying the bills. Making a living. The real answer lies within the last part of the answer, which is the part about living. You have to live a life that makes you truly happy or the rest becomes irrelevant. You get one shot at this life.
I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately ( I know, so enlightened right? ). What makes me tick, what drives me to be the person I want to be. What motivates me to grow our businesses and expand our brands?
What does success look like? What does it mean?
If you would have asked me those questions 2-3 years ago I would have had some really shitty answers and told you success was defined by money, power, acquisition, and expansion.
As defined by others:
• Money, the measurement of my worth.
• Power, the measurement of my influence.
• Acquisition, the measurement of status.
• Expansion, the measurement of legacy.
Hopefully as you read that you thought to yourself… Wow those are really terrible things to measure your life by. I completely agree. I would also not be shocked to learn that at one point or another you thought along the same lines or still do.
Our current culture causes a lot of confusion and makes it difficult for us to define success and happiness as WE DEFINE IT. We are constantly reminded of what we don’t have, what we haven’t done, who is further along, and what we are missing out on. It puts us in a space of confusion and despair if we fail to acquire the clarity to really figure out what makes us tick.
I think it has a lot to do with the internal questions we ask ourselves. Have you ever stopped, and I mean literally stopped to think…
“What am I doing this for? Why the hell is this even important to me? Do I really give a shit what any of these people think? Do I really need any of this stuff? Do I even like what I do?”
We get up in the morning and head out the door to get on the hamster wheel of life because we think it’s what we’re supposed to be doing. We never really stop and think, is this what I actually want to be doing? Does this job/business make sense for me?
College, our jobs, and the way we dress. The way we act, the stuff we buy, the places we go, and the people we try to impress. At some point we have to stop and think to ourselves…“Is this right for me?” Is this what I really want to be doing and are the reasons for doing this really the right reasons for me?
About two years ago I had a life-altering epiphany. I started asking myself some new questions. The answers I came to completely changed the way I measure success. It was like a huge light bulb turned on in my brain. I realized that almost every single measurement I had to calculate my worth was wrong ( at least for me ). The reasons for pursuing my goals were the wrong reasons. My actions were mapping to a very unhappy future ( again, for me ). Every time I would hit a goal I thought would make me happy I found myself thinking, what’s next? I had no fulfillment. I couldn’t stop to enjoy a moment because I was constantly looking around the bend for the next one.
I was a total douchebag.
Financially everything was looking good, money rolling in, business growing, new opportunities, everything on the up and up…or so I thought.
Why wasn’t I getting happier? Why did I feel let down? Even disappointed. What the hell?!
The way I was measuring success was completely messed up, and my reasons for pursuing my goals were the wrong reasons.
When you measure success in material ways you will never be fulfilled. When you measure success based on what other people think, you will never be happy. When you measure success on bullshit milestones that nobody else cares about you will constantly be let down. When you are confused about the reasons for pursuing your goals you have no compass to guide you through the storm. Things get tough and you get depressed or give up.
Sure, you will have bursts of happiness, and bursts of fulfillment but eventually those highs will wear off and you will have to start all over.
There is always another level, always a better item, always a better place, always someone new to try and impress, always something MORE. So you never enjoy the milestones because you tell yourself there is always something better, this one wasn’t enough.
We get caught up in the momentum, grow up, get out of school, get a job or start a business, pursue a career that we fall into, get a little taste of success and think to ourselves:
“This is what I am supposed to be doing.”
This is where things can go wrong real fast. We think that because we are hitting goals and milestones that fall into society norms, we are then successful. We can go months, years, even decades before we stop and realize that this definition of success may not be right for us.
So what’s the answer? The answer, in my humble opinion, is to find your definition of success. This is going to require some real honest internal conversation. You are going to have to ask yourself the tough questions and dig deep for the real answers.
If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s this:
There is more than one way to skin a cat but you have to know WHY you are skinning the cat.
In my own life I realized I was working hard, I was financially solid, I was comfortable, but I wasn’t really happy about it. I found myself buying and doing things that I really didn’t care about with people I didn’t care about because I thought that’s what you did with success.
I WAS WRONG.
Every strategy works but not every strategy works for everyone. The strategy that will work the best is the one that works for you. The best measurement for success is the measurement that makes you happy. The best reason is the reason that gets YOU out of bed every morning, excited to do whatever it is you are going to do.
THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE RARELY STOP TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THESE ANSWERS ARE. WE DON’T TAKE THE TIME TO FIGURE OUT OUR MEASUREMENTS OR REASONS.
Life is hard, work is tough, and business is competitive. You are going to get stressed; you are going to have moments of doubt. Why go through the emotional roller coaster for something you don’t like? Why stress about goals and metrics that you don’t care about? Why worry about what others think you should be doing? They aren’t walking in your shoes every day. It’s time to dig deep and figure out what you really care about and what’s really going to drive you to true success ( again as defined by YOU! ).
I hope this post triggers something to help you find your reason to set you on the path for success as you define it. For those of you that have found your calling and are well on your way to success, I hope this is a good reminder. For those of you that haven’t, why not start now? Below is a list of ten questions that helped right my lost ship. Good luck!
10 Life Altering Questions to help you find your reasons and define your success:
1. Who am I really doing this for? Is it for me? Is it for someone else?
2. What is the reason for pursuing this career? Is it purely financial or is this something I can see myself doing for a long period of time?
3. Will I feel good about what I am doing in 10, 20, 30 years? Can I Tell my future children about this and be proud?
4. If I stopped doing this, what would really happen and who would really care?
5. Are these my goals? Is this my definition of success? Or is this someone else’s definition of success and goal standard? Are these healthy goals and success metrics?
6. Are the people around me contributing to my true definition of success or trapping me in their definition of success?
7. Does the income from this job/business enhance my life or trap me in a life I’m not so sure about?
8. Could I do something else for less money for a while to set myself up to be happy later?
9. What do I need to earn to live my ideal life as I define ideal? What are the steps I could take to earn what I need for this life and be happy?
10. Is there something I could do this year on the side that I love that could eventually be a full time thing over time?
Until next time- michael
+ read more HIM posts here
SHOP MICHAELS FAVORITE BOOKS