from Taco Bell’s Glen Bell, late Founder/CEO
01/10 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
If you want to look back on a life that fills you with joy, conventional rules for success are not the place to start. Try these.
1. Don’t chase money, power, or status.
If they come to you, that’s fine. But most conventional ideas about success go wrong because they focus on outcomes instead of on the processes of living. Outcomes come around from time to time, but life itself—the process of living, acting, thinking, and being—happens all the time. No outcome is going to make a lousy, miserable process feel worthwhile.
If you hate what you do, no amount of power or money will make up for that. If your life is constantly stressful, boring, unhappy, or frustrating, how can achieving some high status once in a while make up for all the miserable days and weeks you spent getting there? It’s tempting to feel that the end will more than make up for the means; that you’ll forget the misery in the blaze of achieve-ment. And you will—for a few moments. Then you’ll be back on the treadmill, with only the distant hope of some fresh achieve-ment or monetary gain to console you. That’s like being a laboratory rat conditioned to unnatural behavior by occasional pellets of food
2. Take whatever time you need to discover what matters to you the most
Success isn’t simply a matter of money, power, or prestige. You could gain all of those and still feel that you have fallen short of what you wanted; or you could gain none of them and be blissfully happy and fulfilled. What constitutes personal success is mostly in your mind. It has much less to do with finding the best career in other peoples’ eyes, creating a killer business, or holding down a fancy job with a big salary than with achieving what really matters to you. Many people find this out too late. They struggle for years to get where other people said they should go, only to find it does little or nothing for them. Sadly, it’s often too late by then to do anything else.
3. Don’t base your choices on others’ approval.
We all want to please those we care about, so it’s natural to try to do what they approve. Natural, but rarely a good idea as the basis for life’s choices. I don’t say that you should deliberately ignore sound advice, or reject a career path simply because other people suggest it. But even the most loving parent or friend can’t always see what is going to make your heart sing. Listen to others. Value their input and their support. But go your own way. It’s better to be committed to doing what you truly love than accept something lesser for the sake of being approved by someone else.
(Stay Authentic, Go for Meaning, Love Learning, Failure + 3 more in Premium Content)