“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
When students are sailing into University taking courses they’re not sure about quite yet, it’s a little daunting to say the least. They are expected to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives and then work in that field happily ever after. Wheww!!! If that’s not enough stress and pressure then I don’t know what is.
I was in this boat before and it was really hard trying to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I completed my first year at University taking random courses with no direction. Kind of like a fly in a sand storm. At the end of that year I realized I didn’t want to waste any more time or money on something I knew nothing about so I took two years off and worked full time so I could think about it. Later I went back to school became a nurse and the rest is history.
To all my University friends and young career hunters and warriors, I feel for you. However…if you can take a step back and dig really deep to know who you truly are and find out what you’re made of, you will be more prepared to take the right path for you.
Two big reasons people go into the wrong field is because their parents told them to or because of the money it will bring after they graduate. These might be good reasons short term but eventually you will get bored, guaranteed.
Let me ask you this; would you rather be happy or successful?
Most people say successful. Does success bring happiness? Especially if you are working in an area where you make good money but you don’t enjoy what you do? How many years can you work and live like that? You might work so hard at being that amazing surgeon but if it conflicts with your values, you are like the fish trying to climb a tree. Fish do much better in the water therefore maybe you need to change your environment. Do what you were born to do, what you are good at doing, what comes naturally and puts a smile on your face. It’s not that you aren’t good enough you just need to find your tribe. When you are happy, success follows you.
There was a study conducted at Harvard University a few years ago called the Happiness Project. 5000 graduates from Harvard University set out to conquer the world with their new degrees in hand. All were extremely intelligent and became successful in their careers. A year after their graduation the question of happiness was asked; “Are you happy now that you are successful?” Do you know what the percentage of those 5000 students were happy?
A sad 3%. That’s it.
Why? They chose paths based on statistics, not their values. They were good at what they did but it somehow clashed with who they were as a person. If you are a social person both personally and professionally, then sitting behind a desk all day gets pretty boring no matter how much you make. By choosing a profession that is social it fits who you are and chances of staying in it long term are higher.
In career coaching there is an awesome tool that helps fill the gap of what’s missing. It’s called the Success Strategy. Ultimately when you’re doing what you love, aren’t you happy? Isn’t that success right there?
Every day you need to focus on four key areas in your life in order to have a balance of success and happiness. It doesn’t have to be a long exercise but each day needs to have these four ingredients.
The first is Legacy. What are your long term results or plans? What do you want to be known for? What are you leaving behind for others?
The second is Creativity. Let it blossom every day. Being creative is found in anything and everything. Many of us are bloggers here and this is one creative way of many. Let your inner child out.
The third is Results and Achievement. This can include professional, family and personal areas. Get something done in one of these areas every day to feel productive.
The fourth is Shining Moments. It’s the time where you stop and smell the roses, pause for a moment, enjoy and share them.
Where are you on the scale of 1 to 10? Which areas need improvements? What are you missing? Why is that?
You might be a successful person bringing in results and achievements every day, have several shining moments and creating a legacy for yourself, but something is missing; your creativity. Sadly creativity takes a back seat when we are busy planning our lives. Maybe you used to play the electric guitar back in the day and one weekend you decide to pick it up and start playing again. There’s that creativity vibe back, you feel fulfilled because you were able to find it elsewhere and still maintain your work and other areas of happiness and success. Now all four areas are complete and so are you. Yeah!!
Go out and find your passion based on who you are. Don’t let someone else tell you because even though their intentions are good, they’re not you.
If you’re a fish, swim. If you’re a bird, fly. And so on. Not only that, practice the four key areas of success and happiness each day to find even more fulfillment.
I wish you all the best in your endeavors whether that’s in University or out in the working world.
And remember….Everyone is a genius.
Thanks Albert Einstein…