What happens when you let others define success for you
Ahhh, this is going to be a very vulnerable post (because I talk about being fired for the first time to ANYONE besides the 5 closest people to me…here it goes! <3
For a long time I let my version of success be defined by other people. I think most of us do, it’s almost a part of being human – we care what other people think of us, we want to be liked, and we want to fit in. So we often define our version of success or a happy life based on what other people think success or happiness means so we can fit in and be liked.
It wasn’t until I got sick that I stopped and paused long enough to realize this was even happening. For most of my 20’s, I thought success to me meant climbing the corporate ladder, earning 6 figures for a company that was “cool” or highly respected.
After college I worked hard to find a job that I could wear as a badge of honor. I was praying I wouldn’t get one at a company no one had heard of doing work no one would see – the horror! I guess fortunately for my ego at the time I landed a job at a well known advertising agency working on one of the most well known & cool brands in the world.
“Cool!” I thought, “Now anyone who looks at my LinkedIn page will think I’m awesome!” LOL, or something along those lines.
I’m pretty sure NO ONE thought that when they found out I (sort of) worked for this big name brand. In fact, I’m positive no one thought that. Truthfully, no one cares where you work and no one thinks you’re cooler or any better of a person because of that either. Even though it feels that way. Trust me, I know the feeling.
But when I got fired from that job (more on that in a bit) and started working at my next job at a place no one had heard of, nothing changed. Well that’s not true, I learned a lot from being fired, but like I said, more on that in a minute. When I mean nothing changed I mean the fact that I had gone from working for this cool brand to company “unknown” didn’t affect any of my relationships. I didn’t become less cool. I didn’t become any less of a person because of it…
Want to change your life? Stop relying on willpower and do this instead.
I feel like we were all fed the same BS when we were younger – if you want to accomplish something you need to have willpower. If you’re trying to change your life and it’s not working, you might think to yourself, “I must not have enough willpower. I need to work harder.” But you just find yourself getting more tired and frustrated the harder you force yourself to work. Let me tell you why this is wrong!
You know when you’re working on a project for school or work and it’s just totally uninteresting and boring? That’s when you need willpower. But have you ever worked on a passion project where time just flew by and you finished it almost effortlessly? As if you didn’t have to exert any willpower whatsoever to make it happen? The difference is working on something that you are excited about and really want versus something that doesn’t align with what you really want to be doing. So what does this mean if you want to change your life and go after some big goals?
If you feel like you’re forcing yourself to work on something or asking yourself to dig deeper for more willpower then you’re not working on the right thing for you. In other words – you need to re-evaluate what it is that you truly want.
In my experience, if you want to change your life and accomplish your goals you need to get crystal clear on what you want first. Not what you think you want, not what your family or friends want, not what you wanted a year ago, but what you truly want now. What sets your heart on fire, what excites your soul, what drives you to work tirelessly without force? That’s what you need to identify if you want to change your life and turn those dreams into reality.
You can exert all the willpower you want, but without knowing exactly where you want to go you’ll just be spinning your wheels.
In this episode of the podcast, I’m speaking with Coley Lane, the founder and editor of lifegoalsmag.com, an online magazine for becoming your best self. It’s a wonderful resource for anyone interested in personal growth and self-exploration. There’s a lot of great content on it, I even contributed an article myself about what you should be doing instead of soul searching. In this episode we cover a ton of ground in the world of personal growth, from how to find your passions, exploring your life’s purpose, to meditation, to self-awareness, to our personal habits and routines that we use to stay aligned with and be our best selves.
I was excited to talk to Coley because having founded an online magazine all about personal growth I knew she would have some interesting insights into what we could all be doing to be happier versions of ourselves. I also have gotten to know her personally outside of the podcast and I knew that her own journey of sort of growing up without any passions or direction might resonate with a lot of you, I know it did with me.
In this episode you’ll learn…
What’s Blocking Your Happiness: Self-Awareness
Happy February, everyone! I love this month, it’s always so full of luuurvvv (sorry, love, I just like to say it weirdly sometimes). I always say that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a day because we should be spreading the love around every day, but I guess it is nice to make one day extra special. Just be sure to keep on lovin’ the rest of the year too, especially yourself! 😉 Ok, so self-awareness, let’s talk about it and how a lack of it will majorly block your happiness, yo (and I def don’t want that for you!).
I’ve been wanting to do a series of blog posts on what I feel are the most common factors that limit our happiness and hold us back from living our best life because if we can pinpoint what it is that’s holding us back, we can take the necessary steps to change it. What limits our happiness is different from person to person, however, there are definitely a few themes that we all seem to struggle with and I want to talk about them so we can kick those things to the curb. First up, is self-awareness.
Want to be happier? Stop Trying to Find Your Life Purpose Now
Do you ever stop and wonder how to find your calling or your life purpose? You’re not alone.
Our generation (my generation, aka Millennials) has become obsessed with chasing after what we call our true calling or our life purpose. And it’s making all of us damn crazy, depressed and confused! I’m certainly not the only one who has felt unsettled, like something’s missing from my life, a little unfulfilled for reasons I can’t explain.
I have a happy, damn-near perfect life with family and friends who love me – so WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I feel like I’ve got some #firstworldproblem here. And I do. Trust me when I say people my age in developing countries or countries plagued by war are not consumed by searching for their life purpose. Unfortunately, they’re more concerned with meeting their basic needs like food, safety and shelter than fulfilling their life purpose – for the most part.
Honestly, this is a pretty modern, “rich” people problem to have (disclaimer: I am not rich so don’t come to me begging for money…, but compared to people my age from previous time periods we’ll say that I am). My life is so great, what could possibly be wrong? What’s wrong is I’ve been chasing some abstract notion of my life’s true calling or life purpose when there isn’t one to be found. There just isn’t. It doesn’t exist, so everyone, please stop looking! Trust me, you’ll be so much happier you did.
Related Post: What’s Blocking Your Happiness: Self-Awareness
**Edit – since writing this, I have come to realize that my purpose is to just experience life. I believe this is everyone’s ultimate purpose, experience life and have fun. That’s all. Just enjoy this lifetime.**