I’m a big fan of success. And I’m also a big fan of some things that the traditional model of success in America doesn’t do well most of the time. Like happiness an health, and time for family, fitness, or recreation. It’s almost as if success is a catch 22 – you have to give up what you want to get what you want. But if we read closer, we realize that is not actually the case…
“the president had some success in restoring confidence”
the attainment of popularity or profit.“the success of his play”
a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.“I must make a success of my business”
Success includes accomplishing YOUR desired aims or purpose, as well as profit or prosperity, and popularity, influence, or acclaim. I would argue that accomplishing your purpose (ie. being healthy and happy is necessary before your professional calling) supercedes the financial component, once you are at a level of income where your basic needs and a few extras are met.
If you’ve been chasing success for long, you might be feeling pretty tired. You might not see your spouse or your children a whole lot. Stress or anxiety may be high or chronic. Relationships may be deteriorating. And, daily exercise and enjoying occasional, healthy, home-cooked dinners at the table might seem like nothing but a pipe dream. The average adult employed full time works 47 hours in America, according to Gallup, which is equivalent to about 6 8 hour days. Add on a commute, and you’re easily up to 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, or 12 hours, 5 days. If you are working 7-7 when are you preparing food? Sleeping? Which of your children’s activities are you attending or missing? Do you see your spouse, or are you like two ships passing in the night? This 12 hour day doesn’t leave much time for sleep, family, or recreational pursuits.
So what if health, family, and feeling good are values for you? Then how are you going to be successful? The best way to define success is by first identifying your values. And then aligning your actions with your values. If you are years or decades down the path, this might require a course correction, which can be tough because you’ve got a lifestyle to maintain by this point.
So what is the answer? Entrepreneurship and business ownership is a good option. Or investments. Creating multiple streams of income, and ideally passive and/or residual income. It would be nice if practical personal financial strategies were taught in high school and college rather than higher math. Instead, we often learn later in life the hard way. We resolve our own financial issues or knowledge gap when we experience a situation that is painful enough to cause us to act, such as an illness, failed marriage, or lost job. One of the pearls of these types of painful experiences is that they cause us to reflect and decide how we really want to live. Sometimes, this is powerful enough to motivate us to make a change and create the life we want.
If you’d like to explore what success means to you, and maybe even make the changes required to create it, I invite you to schedule a coaching session today. I can assure you that you will not regret taking steps and investing the time, money, and energy required to create a life you love.