Hustle. Grind. Push. Bleed. Work past your dogs’ dinner time on a regular basis. Collapse. Rinse. Repeat. If you’re like most of us self-employed writers, or any solopreneur for that matter, you may think the above equation is the recipe for happiness and success.
So we hustle, grind and ignore our dogs – only to collapse, rinse – and weep. Happiness and success feel so over the hills and far away. No matter how hard we push and push, they’re both just beyond our reach.
Just why is that? There are two things here working against us. One is thinking we have to push ourselves harder than humanly possible to achieve any level of happiness and success. The second is a faulty definition of happiness and success to begin with.
Let’s start with the faulty definition. While people may kick any number of definitions around, many of us are brainwashed to believe happiness and success are rooted in material things. Things like fancy cars, massive mansions, high-priced haircuts, and more pairs of shoes than we could ever wear in a lifetime.
In addition to pegging the end result as some mound of riches, we may define success based on the type of work we do. If we’re not writing books as prolifically as Stephen King, raking in movie deals as rapidly as J.K. Rowling, or being name-dropped as readily as Shakespeare, we may think our writing is not worth squat.
After all, how many times has someone’s face fallen when they asked what kind of writing we do and we responded with “mainly content marketing?”
In any event, the criteria we’ve set forth makes it really, really tough – if not impossible – to achieve success and happiness. And even if we were to earn enough riches for $500 haircuts and hundreds of shoes, there’s no guarantee we’d be happy.
The simplest way to attain success and happiness isn’t to push and push until we collapse. It’s simply to change our definition of success – and then relax into doing what we love to make that success happen.
Credit for this suggestion goes to marketer and life design coach Carlos Hidalgo. But while the suggestion is certainly simple – no one says it’s easy.
Try it anyway. Instead of defining happiness and success by the parameters society serves up, let’s define it in our own terms. What do we value most in life? How can we live in a way that allows us to experience it every day? How can we use our talents to make the world a better place?
A massive mansion and fancy car aren’t necessarily big on my value list. As long as I get a V-6 engine in the car and a meditation room in the house, I’m good. I cut my own hair, so forget the high-priced haircuts. And a handful of boots, clogs and flip-flops are really the only shoes I need.
More important is spending time with my dogs and beau. Getting out and embracing nature. Making a living doing what I love. Helping others enjoy their lives. Having time to play Scrabble, nap and do Reiki. What do you know, these are things I do already. That means I have already found happiness and success! Chances are high, you have, too.
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