Thursday, January 12, 2012
At a recent corporate workshop I facilitated on Work-Life Balance, a senior executive with the company asked me a tough question. Our exchange went something like this. "I've been working here for over 30 years. I'm now 55, and even though I have a senior management position in this company, and make good money, and I've traveled the world, I don't feel successful. What's missing in my life?"
Although we had never met before, I reflected on his question and then replied, "I think sometimes we confuse success with fulfillment. It seems you have all the trappings of success, but what appears to be missing in your life is you are not fulfilled." He nodded affirmatively and encouraged me to expound on my answer. I did; and, here's what I shared with the participants at that workshop.
One of the questions I write about in my book, 10,000 Days
is this: "How much happiness am I willing to forego in order to achieve success?" This is a tough question for us because we're used to having it all without sacrificing anything. But, the truth is success usually comes with a price.
We all know people who are very successful, but are miserable. They have lots of money, power and fame, but few real friends. They have rank and privilege, but no one really loves them for who they really are. This is the dilemma that many – but not all --successful people face. Why? The Course of 10,000 Days
explains it this way. Before you seek success, you should first create abundance in your life. Only when you experience abundance, which is symbolized by true happiness and peace-of-mind, can you enjoy success. Too often, we measure success in terms of the ego's needs – money, power, fame, prestige and all the trappings that success can buy us. However, abundance is rooted not in material things, but rather in those things that bring us happiness and give us peace-of-mind. Under such circumstances, we could experience abundance and not have barrels of money, a big house, an expensive new car or travel the world.
Abundance is achieved not through our ego's needs, but rather, through our Inner Spirit. Thus, we must turn to our Inner Spirit in order to find those things that create happiness and peace-of-mind in our life, not our ego. Why is this? Because our ego doesn't care about our long-term happiness, it always wants more. It's like a child with a new toy. The child will play with the new toy for a few minutes, but soon he loses interest and searches for something else to play with. Like the bored child, our ego only enjoys the trappings of success. But, possessions and the trappings of success do not satisfy our human spirit. This is why we yearn for something more permanent, more satisfying in our life. And, that something is abundance which The Course of 10,000 Days
defines as existing in a state of happiness and achieving peace-of-mind.
While The Course of 10,000 Days
embraces the motto, "Ask and you shall succeed!" it also teaches us that in order to attain true success, we must ask our Inner Spirit, not our ego. About the Author:
Tom Hinton is the author of the new best-seller: 10,000 Days: The Rest of Your Life, the Best of Your Life.
Tom is one of America's most respected authors and speakers on Work-Life Balance, Personal Development and Achieving Human Excellence in the Workplace. To order 10,000 Days, visit: http://www.amazon.com/10-000-Days-Rest-Your/dp/0983503214/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1326344004&sr=1-1
or contact Tom at: firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego, CA