In the above video, I am discussing a counter-intuitive phenomenon just about every successful entrepreneur encounters on their journey to success. I am now going to share the disciplines I was referring to.
This phenomenon can be frustrating and subtly, if not significantly, debilitating over the course of time. Like a ship which slips a few degrees off course each day and arrives on the wrong continent.
So what is this counter-intuitive phenomenon?
Setting and achieving goals may not result in your long-term happiness.
Let me begin by sharing some good news - as with most of life’s challenges, you can stop it before your life is off track. Forewarned is forearmed.
I’ll be discussing what true inner-happiness actually is, and how getting your happiness right sets you up to take your success to the next level.
After being a success coach for nearly twenty years and building my own training companies that have guided over 100,000 students in 200 countries, to achieve greater levels of success as entrepreneurs, I have learned that success and life long happiness almost never go hand-in-hand. Not by accident, anyway.
So where does it all go wrong?
Incorrect beliefs lead to uncertainty in your mind and heart
People commonly believe that setting and achieving goals, thereby creating the level of success and lifestyle they desire, will make them feel successful and happy.
And in the short term it usually does. But in the medium and long term, not so much.
This erroneous belief is actually at the heart of why success does not equate to long term happiness. The feeling of success is fleeting, and I’ll share why this is in a minute.
Change your focus to something more fundamental
What can we do to dramatically raise our feelings of success and happiness as we achieve our goals and experience our daily life?
When we do everything right and still don't achieve the desired result, then it stands to reason at least one of our guiding assumptions is incorrect. This means we need to change our way of looking at things.
So open your mind and hang on for the ride… It’s about to get deep in here!
We are not human ‘havings’ or human ‘doings’, we are human beings. Your sense of self esteem and success is not grounded in what you have or what you do. This is because what you have and what you do are byproducts of something else and are not the primary cause of your successes in life. What you have and what you do are the byproducts of who you are being.
Therefore, your daily sense of wellbeing and happiness are actually rooted in this aspect of life, of who you are being.
So what does that mean and how can we make sense of it in our daily lives?
The concept of who you are being eludes most people on a conscious level, but unconsciously drives the majority of our behavior and interactions.
I attribute much of my personal success to this concept, which has also allowed me to assist others to achieve breakthroughs. This is one of the central concepts included in my training for advanced personal and professional coaching.
Who you are being: unpacked
If we look at what a person has or what a person does we are looking at fragile and impermanent things. Everything created begins to decay or deteriorate as soon as the force that created it ceases to continue to create it. Relationship, a house or business. This is a universal law.
When a person focuses their ‘success equation‘ or ’success meter’ on achieving fragile things they will feel unbalanced, stressed and unfulfilled. If a person is focused on objects to have instead of focusing on being the person who can create what they desire, they are likely to neglect what they create.
For example - A person starts a diet, loses weight, feels they have achieved their goal. Then reverts back to their old ways of eating and gains the weight back. This is a person who changed what they did, but did not change who they are, or more specifically, who they are being. They did not nurture their creation - their new body.
Being a successful dieter is not the same thing as creating a fit body. The dieters job is done when the desired weight is achieved, but the person who creates a fit body has guaranteed employment for life. There’s always room to improve your fitness and consistently improving your fitness is required for a long term positive life experience.
So the lesson here is that success is created at the level of being, and then can progress onto the level of doing and having. If you do not make a shift in who you are being, ultimately you will never do what is required to have and continue to have what you desire.
In contrast, we have been taught from a very young age that who you are is really what you have. We are taught that we are our looks, our abilities, our belongings and that losing any of these things is tantamount to losing a part of ourselves.
Getting the real prize
The greatest prize in life is becoming a faithful expression of our deepest nature as a human being, and confidently growing from that point outward into having and doing in the most rewarding ways possible.
I think of this as becoming our authentic self.
All we have, and all we do, springs from who we are being. If we are being our authentic self, we are stronger, more vital, smarter and more attractive to others. And most importantly, we tend to strive undaunted toward worthy ideals. Famed author, Earl Nightingale, defines success as “the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”
Here are the first steps to being your authentic self.
1) Change who you are being by choosing to be the creator of what you find beautiful. An on going relationship, a business, a product a book, a work of art, a note to your spouse.
2) Remember that you are not doing this to please others, you are doing it to honor yourself, your true nature.
3) Be mindful of how you choose to interpret the nature of life.
Take the time to see the control do you have within every situation.
Start broadening your understanding of this principle and a shift will happen within you. Instead of believing you are a victim of circumstances happening to you, begin to recognize you have a more empowered and constructive role in creating your life.
How creating this shift changes everything
As you shift roles from victim to, at least to some degree, a creator within your life,you automatically interpret everything through a different lens. This is called a paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts change behavior. Contrary to popular belief - consequences, willpower, rewards or discipline only deliver short term changes in behavior. A person can’t help but express themselves through the lens of the role they believe they’re playing.
This belief is typically just below the threshold of conscious awareness until it's pointed out. So unless we are nudged to look at life through the context of the role we are playing, creator or victim, we will probably never look. If we don't look, we will never make the shift I am talking about.
Here is the KEY POINT
The secret to success is to recognize and reject that negative lens role, and start playing a new more proactive role. The role you were born to play! And feel the happiness, joy and calmness envelop you.
The true reward
Being an undaunted expression of your authentic self is the most significant reward. And as your value grows so do your options. Eventually your circumstances will change for the better in ways you could never predict.
Anyone can do this
This is a level of control we all have. But it is easy to get caught up in counter productive contests with less conscious people.
Getting into one of these contests usually stems from being provoked into playing a false role.
Once we tale the bait we are no longer expressing our authentic nature through our productive, positive lens.
What to do next
1) Begin to purposefully tune into your authentic nature as you conduct your life. Check in and see how each interaction feels. Label each of your interactions as “authentic you” or “false lens”. If false comes up, find out what is making it feel false.
2) Remember, this is your authentic self, not your best logic or your ego. We have been taught to think logically first, and consider emotions second. Our emotions tells us what things feel like. Imagine someone hands you a fake twenty dollar bill, the first clue will be the way it feels. Our sense of feeling is our guide and our sense of logic should be used to figure out how to express our true nature in spite of our situations and problems.
Imagine this, a person might yell to get an employee to listen. But yelling makes them feel like crap, which adds to their frustration.
If this person was to check in with their authentic nature during this type of episode, they would see this expression is a learned behavior. By realizing this, they now have the space to find a new way to deal with these situations that leaves them feeling calm and on-purpose.
Allow life to be your teacher
When you’ve really opened the mind and created the space to embrace this philosophy, you will see that life provides all the answers. You will see there are many great examples of how to do things that feels right and is more effective than the original strategy that was led by learned behavior, and not aligned with your authentic nature.
Locking in your new perception
When you make the shift to your authentic self, and start deciding and acting from this point instead of a learned role, you become the source of the beauty you wish to see.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Gandhi.
Don’t fall back into the trap
Everything we own can be taken away from us, but instead of feeling a loss of self when it’s gone, by connecting to our authentic self, we know we can always continually create more of what we desire and continue to be an indomitable expression of what we find beautiful and beneficial.
My guiding truth and how it empowers me
It is my authentic nature to observe, understand and transform what is in my environment in a way that serves others and myself. It is the nature of life to operate by a clear set of principles – cause and effect – that can be learned through humble experience and unbiased observation.
In this context, my most valuable asset is my authentic nature and my understanding and connection to the nature of life. These will never change. The principles I discussed here are the disciplines to stay grounded in being throughout each day to ensure the greatest success in life. Easier said than done, but holding accountability for yourself to continuously express your authentic nature, no matter what is going on around you, is going to give you high returns now and well into the future.
Once you train yourself to implement this habit, you will be able to experience all the joy of your success and your journey from day one. And you will never fear material loss (although you might not like it!), or be jealous of a bigger house, flashier car, or thicker wallet. You have the biggest win of all, your being, your authentic self and with the natural laws of cause and effect, you can create anything you want!
P.S. Share your stories, insights or wins! I will personally respond to any questions or comments.