Are you enjoying your job? Is every day satisfying and energizing? Do you feel free to be yourself, to express your thoughts, to do things your way?
Being unhappy is like holding your breath.
So many successful people have bought their success at the price of their freedom and happiness. They found something they could do that would reap significant financial reward but at a very high personal cost.
The signs of unhappiness are clear:
First, you lose track of your personal vision for your life. Instead of working as an expression of your gifts and talents, it becomes only a way to make more money. You become drawn to the next deal, the next big payday, the equity stake.
Second, you compensate. You find yourself having a few extra drinks after dinner or staying up late watching television that doesn’t even interest you. Instead of feeling sharp, you feel dull, bored, a bit lifeless.
Third, you start to lose it. Maybe you get snappy with your spouse or your kids. You notice you don’t have much with the people around you and find yourself full of judgments. In your head you keep saying, “My team isn’t smart enough. They don’t care enough. They don’t try hard enough.”
Finally, money becomes the scorecard. If you aren’t going to be happy, at least you can be rich. Comparing yourself to your peers becomes an obsession. Pride in your car, house and net worth becomes the substitute for happiness, joy and peace.
This is an all-to-common mistake. You start heading down the wrong road without even noticing. When you finally wake up and realize you don’t like the person you have become, it seems difficult to get back. What do you do now? You have built a lifestyle that demonstrated your “success” at the cost of your happiness. Do you throw it all away?
Such radical surgery may not be necessary for you to get back on the right road. But, change will be required. There are a few changes that are absolutely necessary:
- Measure success today in terms of your personal fun and happiness instead of business success. If you didn’t have fun, you failed. If you had a great time, you succeeded.
- Stop controlling outcomes. Sometimes you have to let life be bigger than you. If a deal doesn’t work, perhaps it wasn’t meant to be. Learn to trust life more.
- Build balance into your life. Make your lifestyle important. Make time to workout, to eat healthy foods, to take a walk, to go on a date with your spouse, to attend your kids’ soccer games. Make quality of life more important than net worth.
- Delegate, delegate, delegate. Make a list of all the tasks you do that aren’t enjoyable and satisfying. Delegate as many of those to others as is possible.
Being unhappy is like holding your breath. It isn’t sustainable. After a while bad things will happen unless you value your happiness more. On the other hand, when you learn to work from a place of balance and happiness, you will find you are able to find a pace that is meaningful and long-lasting.