If you are already successful, then you know that success does not create happiness. In fact, success often creates the exact opposite. Success is often defined as a series of well-managed breakdowns. The more you succeed, the more there is to manage, the more goes wrong and the less time you have for yourself. Look at the landscape of superstars and notice how many self-destruct under the pressure of their success. Often, the more successful you get, the worse your life gets. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
As a life coach to the biggest players in the world in business, entertainment, and sports, I have found that there are five reasons success will not make you happy:
1. Happiness is a point of view and not a set of circumstances. Most of my Clients have achieved extraordinary success in their area of expertise and yet they come to me unhappy and wondering when life is finally going to work out. Nothing outside of yourself will make you happy. Only a change in your perspective will make you happy.
2. The mind, which I call “The Drunk Monkey,” is not designed for happiness. The Drunk Monkey, all that talking in your head, is just a part of your biology. You are genetically programmed to survive. The problem for successful people, is that they are not in survival situations. Yet, The Drunk Monkey is focusing its attention on the potentially negative situations in order to avoid it. Put another way, 1000’s of things are going right and the crazy Drunk Monkey focuses all it’s mind power on the 2 things that are going wrong.
3. Success in business, entertainment, athletics or politics does not mean that you are good at everything else. Many of my clients focus all of their attention on the one area they are superstars, because they can derive external pleasure from it. This is often masking the internal pain of being ineffective in relationships, health, mindset, finances, their social life, recreation and being a contributor to society. Happiness occurs naturally when you bring everything into balance.
4. The drive to succeed is often fueled by its opposite. Most people achieve success and then are disappointed to discover it does not resolve the internal feeling of not being enough or not fitting in. Happiness is the next level of success for most people. It takes realizing, that years ago, you accepted false conclusions about yourself as correct and began to live your life as if these misperceptions were true. Now, no matter how much you succeed you never feel like you have made it.
5. To be a big player in the world, is a different skill set than being truly happy with every aspect of your life.
6. True happiness is the next frontier of success for most big players. To achieve it, will take an entirely new set of skills, disciplines, systems and procedures. Many mountains will need be climbed, but in the end, it’s the only journey worth taking.