Both success and happiness can seem like these elusive, almost phantom-like goals. We talk about success and happiness in movies, books and on TV, there are motivational books and speakers just on those two topics all over the place, and nearly everyone lists one or both as an ultimate life focus.
But all too often, happiness and success in life are almost treated as if you have to get there by accident. Only “lucky” people are happy, and successful people are defined more by what they own instead of who they are. Obviously, sometimes unexpected and wonderful things happen, but most of the time, you’re the person who is making it happen. Success and happiness come from developing and learning specific qualities, which then grow into a fulfilling career and life; it’s not all about external factors or how many cars sit in your driveway.
To be truly successful and happy in your life, you need balance in all areas of your life. Check out the following five choices you can make to get your sense of balance on track and optimize your success and satisfaction in life.
1. Always Aim For Consistency
Aim to be consistent in both your work and your personal life. When you think about it, you’ll see how much you value consistency in others, too. You want to be able to count on people in your business and your life, so you don’t have to worry about whether they’ll follow through on their word or show up when they’re supposed to. The people in your life want the same consideration from you as well.
Being consistent will also help you build a mutual sense of trust in relationships, as it helps both parties manage expectations and thrive on their own. At your job, consistency is probably even more important than talent, as it’s the foundation on which good teams, companies and organizations are built. This same idea applies to your family as well. Always remember that with a solid bedrock, you can make something incredible at the top!
If you’re struggling with consistency, take more time with your words and actions. Stop committing yourself to things you can’t achieve or handle with your already busy schedule. Organize yourself and your time better so you’re able to honor all the commitments you make.
2. Nurture Your Creativity
Everyone is creative in some way. Being creative means more than just drawing or painting; the ability to innovate and find solutions to unique challenges is also a form of creativity and part of what it means to be human. Don’t get stuck on a narrow-minded definition of what creativity means. Instead, look for all the ways you’re already being creative in your life so you can begin to foster yours.
Cultivate your creativity, especially if you’re always writing yours off because you can’t draw anything beyond a stick figure. You’re probably underestimating and holding yourself back. Try some brainstorming and bring a new eye to recurring issues. Think differently about puzzles that have become part of life, and see if you can come up with some type of solution.
Try something new and see if it strikes a chord with you. Experimenting and exploring will help you relax and have fun, and it will also help you become more comfortable thinking on your feet, which is one ingredient associated with success.
3. Be Selfless Sometimes
In today’s very competitive business world, it’s easy to think that the only way to get ahead in your job is to look out for yourself only. However, this just isn’t true most of the time. The top-tier basketball point guards, for instance, are the ones who best help their teammates and make the other players around them better.
Getting stuck on a rigid notion of “being the best” can also make you lose touch with some of your personality aspects and make you more likely to indulge in extreme behaviors. True success comes from making space for balance, not going too far left or too far right. Try to keep your ambition and desire to get ahead in check. While you don’t want to lose your drive, you do need to make sure you’re not stepping on the backs of others, with no regard as to who you trample. Even if that can get you ahead, chances are you’ll end up regretting it once you get there, and the achievement will become much hollower.
4. But Be Selfish At Other Times
While this may seem contradicting again, it comes down to balance. Selflessness is a choice that’s necessary for success, and so is being selfish when it’s appropriate. You simply won’t feel successful if you don’t know when and how to take care of and stand up for yourself.
You risk ending up too depleted or discouraged to be a good contributor to your workplace, family or community if you can’t take care of yourself when necessary, so know when to draw that line. Without being healthy, happy and fulfilled, you won’t be able to help anyone else. Ask yourself if you’re neglecting your needs or spreading yourself too thin before you take on yet another project, responsibility or obligation when you’re already drained and stressed. Part of being selfish when it’s needed is knowing your own limits, so start to identify yours.
5. Reconnect With The Power Of Wonder
Find ways to inspire yourself so you can continually be at your best. Take time out of your schedule to amaze yourself. It doesn’t have to be something big, like seeing the newest play in your area or spending hours at a wild new bar or restaurant. Life itself offers many reasons to be amazed, from the stars to the boundless energy of an elderly relative.
Look for the wonder in your daily life to keep your sense of awe at life alive. It could be something as simple as your child or young relative learning how to walk or talk or a co-worker or friend displaying an awesome talent. When you’re open to seeing the marvels life has to offer, you’ll start seeing them everywhere!
At the end of the day, no matter what happens in your life, you’re the only one with real power when it comes to success and happiness. Always remember to keep going even when things get tough, and that success and happiness in life don’t necessarily mean a huge house and a top job. For many people, success and happiness come from a life that is fulfilling and filled with people who love you, but it can be easy to overlook those wonderful things if you’re too busy reaching for more all the time. Learn to be happy with what you have, and remember that the definitions of success and happiness for you are personal and can change over time.