No matter what your vision of success is, it must include happiness and a sense of fulfillment. There is no definition of success that doesn’t include both. It wouldn’t be success, it may be accomplishment, wealth, and prestige, but it would be an empty and incomplete defintion; a fact realized often only after years are spent working, trying to attain a goal until that point we realize that the goal you sacrificed your life for wasn’t the right goal.
Just as Diego Delgado leans over to George Jung in the movie, Blow, and says, George, you failed because you had the wrong dream. We may one day come to that realization, one that typically happens far too late in life.
So what’s the solution? Is it to just drop everything and do whatever you damn well please? Yes, kind of, but not in the way you think.
To start, the only way we’re going to be truly happy is if our life has some kind of purpose. This purpose is usually tied to what we do for work, and our families. Often to both. Therefore, we need to be able to take care of our family while doing something that we enjoy doing. That thing that we give our days to needs to make us happy, it must fulfill us.
This “thing” is different for everyone and it often takes a lot of searching to find. We have to go through failure, even jobs we hate, to create a better idea of what we really want to do with out lives. So never think that you don’t have to date a few 6′s before you find your 10. More is learned by dating the 6′s.
This is True in My Life
I’ve worked in a garage fixing cars, performing oil changes, and cleaning up around the shop. The guys were awesome, I was young, and I learned a lot. But I wasn’t passionate about it; my boss, however, was. He’s opened multiple stores, owns a few cars, a bike, and a big house. We wakes up early with a smile on his face because he loves what he does. He also has the freedom to live HOW he wants. That job wasn’t for me, but it did provide a number of much-needed paychecks.
I’ve had a paper route, worked as a trainer for a company, and worked in sales. I learned a lot in sales. How to build relationships on the spot, find common interests, get the potential client to make his own mind up by asking the right questions rather than telling him or her what he or she needs. I did well at it. I learned a lot, but again, it wasn’t for me.
I’m only 27, so I’m sure what I’m doing now will morph into something else and my passions may change, but I’m doing what I love to do. I’m also working more and harder than I ever have in my life – outside of boxing and basketball. Everything I’ve done in my life thus far has led to this business. The English courses in high school and college, the sports, the training, the sales job, even the job as a mechanic had a part in allowing me to wake up and do something that makes me happy.
Doing What You Love Doesn’t Include Laziness
Watch the following video to get a background on why we al need to do something that makes us happy, it makes no sense to do otherwise…
He makes a compelling argument. One that I agree with completely. A point that many deem as impossible, but in my life, through the people I know, through my close friends, through MY story, I’ve seen that it can – and should – be our reality. There is a catch…
Doing what you love to do often means taking greater risks and doing more work. For me, it’s meant waking up at 5 am 6 days a week, and drinking more coffee than I probably should. It’s meant sacrifices of both time and money, as well as a multitude of others. But to exchange those sacrifices for the business and life I’m building isn’t an option, it can’t be an option. I’d have to be insane to even think of it as one.
What Do You Love to Do?
School wasn’t for me. I basically went to school so I could play basketball. To be honest, other than certain writing skills, I learned nothing in college that has ever helped me in the real world. My best lessons have come from experience in the work force, and through books. I’ve taught myself more about writing and business than I would ever care to learn in college. I’m stubborn like that. But college doesn’t really teach you what you need to be taught to run your own business, or your own life for that matter.
School, however, may be where you learn more about what you want to do in life. Your family, friends, and travels may teach you what would make you happiest. Again, being lazy isn’t in the cards. It gets old. You may want a simpler life though. A Maui home, surfing in the morning, writing in the evening, stress left somewhere on the mainland. You may, as he says in the video, want to be around animals. You may want to be around kids, to help kids.
Only you know what will make you happy. I like writing and helping people get in better shape. I like answering your emails, and it’s fulfilling when I read your testimonials. I like – love – reading. I read about writing. I read about business. I read fiction. I love business. I love the idea of creating something. Some of my closest friends are the same – I’m pretty sure that’s not something that has happened by chance.
Our Obligation to Happiness
The Wealthiest Places on Earth Are Cemeteries
Most of us will die having not given the world all we had to offer. That’s why cemeteries are the wealthiest places on Earth. They’re filled with wasted talent.
Another movie quote:
“The greatest tragedy in life is wasted talent.”
The world is filled with stories of tragedy. Stories of great promise that was accompanied by a lack of discipline, passion, or work ethic. Laziness is one of the most commonly held traits among humans. The heeding to distraction is something we all do. It’s also something that holds us back.
Our obligation to do what makes us happy is an obligation to those lying in the cemeteries that didn’t. It’s an obligation to ourselves to ensure that our lives aren’t ones of waste.
We also have the obligation to leave it all here.
The video you just watched is a beautiful speech. I listen to it everyday. I love hearing those words, thinking if what I’m doing and where I’m doing truly is in line with what he says. It can also be misconstrued.
The lazy’s of the world hold on to the argument that This is my life, I can do whatever I want with it. No, you can’t. I don’t think we have the right to waste our lives. More than gold, money, land, knowledge, time, or any other commodity, life is the most precious.
It’s the single most precious thing on the planet. Nothing is of greater value. It’s something that both the richest man on the planet, and the poorest, own. And we get it for free. We, those lucky enough to be born into this world, have to do nothing to recieve this immeasurable gift. We pop out, open our eyes, and start living.
Where it gets tricky is in what we do with this commodity. Do we invest in it? Do we develop it? Or do we waste it? Do we ignore the fact that our only option, really, is to make something of it? I don’t know the stats, and to be honest, I don’t really want to dig deep and find out what it is, but a low percentage of us don’t even make it out of the womb. Few reach the age of one.
The very act of breathing daily gives us the obligation to make every breath count. To find that which makes us happy, and work harder than anyone else to make it our reality. We, the breathing, have no other option but to make every breath count. To make every day count. To laugh, to cry, to smile, to create something great out of an amazing gift that we somehow take for granted more often than we appreciate.
In the end…
We can do whatever we want, if we have the courage to pursue it. If we have the patience to understand what it is. The perseverence to fail, fail, and fail again before it ever becomes a success.
More than that, as we’ve discussed, we’re obligated to do so. I’ll leave you with this quote…
“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Emerson