Would you sacrifice satisfaction for success? Many people are stuck making that sacrifice every day. They are giving all their effort to a dead-end job or working diligently at a career that makes them miserable. Many people have even mastered a life that makes dread the next day.
Few realize that they’re putting so much work into being miserable. And fewer still dare to change their circumstance.
Jamin Heppell was my recent guest on Unbeatable. He described how miserable his life was while running the corporate rat race. And what’s even worse… he was good at it. The more successful Jamin became, the less satisfied he was in life. Jamin is living proof that winning at the wrong game is ultimately losing in the long run.
I want to dedicate the rest of this article to helping you invest in something you love. Here are my three steps to living a life of satisfaction.
Be authentic despite the pressure
The old fable says that the way to keep a frog from jumping out of a boiling cauldron is to turn up the heat gradually. This is precisely what happens to people who find themselves at the top of a career that makes them miserable. It’s the sports equivalent of scoring against your own goal.
No one sets out to master a career that they hate. It usually happens gradually.
But before they know it, they’re at the top of a profession they really don’t love. It takes someone with great self-awareness to recognize when they’re being asked to do something inconsistent with their values or dreams. It requires even greater self-discipline to reject opportunities for advancement in a line of work you don’t love.
Developing the inner strength to say ‘no’ to great opportunities only comes through a clear picture of your future goals. It also requires constant vigilance to be true to yourself.
Be your best at the moment
One of the greatest tragedies in life is to spend your life climbing the wrong mountain. However, the kind of effort it takes to get to the top is well-spent IF you climb the correct peak. Part of Jamin’s focus in life now is to help people deliver their best efforts at the moments when it matters most.
Now that you’ve made the conscious decision to be authentic to yourself, the next challenge is to ensure you’re giving your best efforts when your best efforts are most important.
Jamin takes people on a leadership development journey that ends with an epic physical challenge like running a marathon or climbing a mountain. You don’t fall out of bed tomorrow with the physical ability to tackle challenges like this. You must work to get to the top of a mountain or the finish line of a marathon.
Giving your best effort to any endeavor is hard enough. Make sure that you’re giving your best effort when it matters most.
Be happy in the challenges
Nothing great ever comes easy in life. It doesn’t matter what your dream is. There will be some challenges along the way. Jamin has proved that it’s possible to find satisfaction during the obstacles if you’re chasing dreams that matter to you.
The most painful lessons are often the most powerful life lessons. Don’t let the obstacles and the challenges cause you to give up. Of course, there will be some difficulties along the way to your dreams. But, don’t let the difficulties rob you of the joy of pursuing something great.
Leave the misery of mediocrity to those cold, timid souls who gave up when the going was difficult. Look to Jamin and others like him if you want an example of how to find joy in the face of obstacles on the way to accomplishing your dreams.