HAPPINESS VS SURVIVAL
What does “success” mean to you?
Remember when success meant going to school, obtaining a high school and college degree, getting a job with a nice pension and 401k (or 403b, if that’s your thing). Then spending the next 35 to 45 years in that job so that you can retire and receive social security payments.
Or, do you remember when success meant just being “Rich”?
Be honest, has the “Pursuit of Happiness” turned into the “Pursuit for Survival”?
Nowadays, we live in a world where graduating college with a four year degree guarantees you NOTHING! Where a job can fire you just to make the bottom line attractive to shareholders. Some people have become so disengaged with their work that it has become normal to feel doom and despair every Monday morning.
This has resulted in the creation of the rat race. What is the rat race? Here are a few definitions:
- An endless, self-defeating, or pointless pursuit.
- Attempting to earn a reward, in vain.
- A competitive struggle to get ahead financially or routinely.
- An exhausting, repetitive lifestyle that leaves no time for relaxation or enjoyment.
The rat race is an emotionally draining experience because it refuses to acknowledge your talents, your skills, or even your existence as a person. In the rat race, you are a cog in the machine. This brings despair but you can’t get out because you have responsibilities and bills to pay. Food must be put on the table and roofs must be placed over your loved one’s heads. The rat race is the easiest way to provide all this, so we are forced to join the rat race sacrificing our dreams in the process.
So, given all this, what does success really mean and how can we avoid the despair that comes with the Rat Race?
I believe the answer is to become a Success Warrior.
WHAT IS A SUCCESS WARRIOR?
A Success Warrior is an individual who can pursue his/her dreams while fulfilling the responsibilities placed on him/her by a 9 to 5 or any other responsibilities he is tied to. This person can perform at a high level because he/she is constantly refueling their energy by keeping passion at the forefront of his/her mind. Therefore, the energy that is sucked out during their 9 to 5 is replaced by the knowledge that they are working on their passion and one day they will have their definition of Success.
However, this path is a grueling one. It is filled with disappointment and stress. Only pure determination will guarantee victory. However, the Success Warrior acknowledges his/her passion through the pain. That passion drives him/her to wake up every day, despite the struggle, despite the stress, and put their all into everything that he/she does because they know that it is all part of their bigger plan.
Since the Success Warrior lives within their passion every moment of every day, he/she is constantly being fueled. This in turn allows them to be happy and productive despite their current environment and it also allows them to put their all into the work, no matter what that work might be. The Success Warrior understands that the world will not provide you with much, and it is up to ourselves not only to define our SUCCESS but also pursue it!
HOW TO BECOME A SUCCESS WARRIOR?
To be a Success Warrior, you have to 1st be willing to carve out time dedicated towards the Pursuit of Happiness. I had a great coach who would say to me “you give you job the hours of 9 to 5 every day, but what are you doing from 9 to 2”? I took that to mean that I had to have time where I was as engaged with myself as I was with my job. From that place of concentrated energy and focus, I could build my dreams. I call this time the Success Warrior’s Hours of Operation.
Once you have identified your Success Warrior’s Hours of Operation, you must now apply the following framework in that time to begin the journey towards your ideal future.
- Create Your Ultimate Vision
The bible says, “Without a Vision, the people Perish” Proverbs 29:18. It Also says, “write the vision and make it plain” Habakkuk 2:2.
These words of wisdom are practical tools to get us started towards any journey worth embarking upon. If we are to take control, then it is important that we define our success by establishing the ultimate vision we are trying to attain. For some, the vision is easy to define, for others, not so easy. That is why it is important to have time dedicated towards the pursuit of happiness so that you can give space for you define your vision so that your success can be made plain, allowing it to drive you into new Heights.
- Do A “Small Thing”
Now that you have a vision, ask yourself, what is one little thing you can do to get your started on this path. Consider it homework or a pet project. This usually includes things like:
- Doing research on the web
- Talking to someone about a particular topic that concerns your vision
- Reading a book on the topic.
The main thing you are doing is gathering more information that will help you make major decisions as you get closer and closer to your ultimate vision and requires no major commitment.
- Do a “Big Thing”
This is where you must do something to commit yourself by doing something that locks you into the pursuit of your ultimate vision. This could be:
- Signing up for a class
- Getting coaching
- Applying for the license
- Setting up the business
- Writing the business plan
- Telling someone what you are committed to doing in the next 6 months and allowing them to hold you accountable.
You need to make a major commitment that is timebound and designed to push or pull you forward. This part takes the greatest leap of faith but once you do it, it will make your ultimate vision a lot more real and achievable.
- Track Your Progress
What gets measured, gets done! When you created your ultimate vision, you gave yourself the power to chart where you are to where you are going. Its like you have google maps for your success because by doing the “little things” and the “big things”, you get closer and closer to your ultimate vision. Therefore, you need to monitor your progress because accountability drives results.
When doing this, it is important to celebrate the wins and learn from the losses. Do not just look at the results, analyze them and see how you can improve on any part of the process. If you missed a deadline, figure out why and come up with a plan to avoid that from happening in the future. Discover the patterns that serve you and the ones that do not so that you can manage your progress and fuel your growth.
- Revisit & Repeat
When a building is being built, the workers do not look at the blueprints once, then start building. They are constantly checking the plans and making corrections as they go. Your ultimate vision is your blueprint. Make sure you revisit your ultimate vision often. Get comfortable with it. Memorize and visualize it. Make it a part of you so that it is deeply engrained into your psyche. Read it much as you can then run the framework again by doing a small thing, a big thing, tracking your progress and revisiting the vision again.
Ultimately, your vision and this journey is about who you are becoming in the process. You will discover that true success is about who you are as a person, not what you have. Make sure you enjoy the journey, learn the lessons, and celebrate your growth.