Note from Wes: I wrote the following for Wisdom Pills. I repost it here for those who are interested.
By Wes Annac, Wisdom Pills
If you’re striving for success — independently or through employment with a company you’d like to move up in — a few things should be kept in mind to help you stay motivated and ensure you move up in an honest, conscious way.
Nowadays, success is being sought more and more through independent, creative outlets rather than through the traditional path. Making a living from writing, music, and various art forms is nothing new, but it’s catching on amongst those who see that they can achieve their dreams, however unorthodox, if they work hard.
Success can be tricky; some people work their whole life for it and tragically discover it’s not what they expected. Then, they question whether the path they took to get there was worth it. They question the value of wealth, fame, and material things, because no matter how much they accumulate, they never feel whole. Despite not having to worry about bills or ordinary stresses, they discover other, more existential problems money or fame can’t solve.
For anyone striving for success, here are five things to remind yourself that can help you achieve it on positive terms.
1) True Success Is Defined By The Way You Treat Others
True success is not defined by money or fame, but the quality of the life you create. This depends primarily on the way you treat others.
What are you willing to do for success? What would you do with it if you had it? Some people have no problem stepping on their enemies to get ahead, while others are genuinely in it to help the world. Sadly, the genuine are often betrayed by the greedy.
Try to be aware of the way you treat people and how it helps or hurts your success.
If you play your cards right, you can not only succeed, but rise to a position where you can help others who are trying to do the same. This can only happen if you’re willing to do something revolutionary: embrace compassion.
2) Being Compassionate Doesn’t Mean Being a Pushover
To say our society lacks compassion is an understatement. This, among other reasons, is why it’s good to be mindful around people who’ll take advantage of you if allowed. You might come across those who are willing to exploit your compassion for personal gain, so attempt to be discerning when meeting someone new.
Be aware of the way they treat you and the effect they have on you. Do they take advantage of your compassion and ask for more, or do they appreciate your kindness and respect your boundaries?
Reserve your empathy in some situations; not to be cold or heartless, but to discern a person’s true motives before going out of your way for them.
We wouldn’t have to worry about this if people were generally more compassionate, because nobody would be out to swindle us. Unfortunately, we don’t yet live in that kind of world. We can show the way by walking a fair and morally balanced path to success, but we have to make sure the world doesn’t drag us down.
3) The Bolder The Vision, The More Work Required
If your goal is just to survive with minimal work, I recommend a 9-5 job that’s relatively unchallenging. But if you have a dream you want to make reality, you can only do so by devoting most, if not all, of your time and energy to it.
Your dream won’t manifest overnight, and if you aren’t willing to struggle or put in the hard work, it won’t manifest at all.
Sometimes, pursuing it will be the last thing you want to do. You won’t want to think about it, much less do it, and it might take you a while to get back to it. Though understandable, this can cause opportunities for something good to slip through the cracks in favor of something that doesn’t take you as far.
You can avoid this consequence by accepting that success will require you to push yourself and, in doing so, break free from limitations you never knew you could escape. Your work will become your purpose, your passion and your obsession.
The willingness to spend endless hours engaged in your work is crucial to true success, but as we’ll discuss below, this doesn’t mean you should abandon your family or your personal life.
4) Overworking Can Be Just As Bad As Underworking
Too many brilliant minds have overworked themselves and burned out as a result. Some people think there’s no such thing as overworking, while others believe setting healthy limits is important to success — especially if you have a family or other reasons to step away from your work now and then.
Some aspects of your personal life can become a distraction if you let them, but if you’ve spent countless hours working and want to take a break, why not spend time with family and let the weight of the work fall off your shoulders?
Taking a break will refresh you and inspire you to invest the necessary time and energy when you get moving again. Your work will reflect your refreshed state of mind, and you’ll find it easier to push yourself and achieve more in the long run.
I recommend getting away from your work now and then and spending time with loved ones, going outside, or doing something fun you haven’t done in a long time. Enjoy life; don’t work it away, because the success won’t be worth it.
5) You Have To Love What You Do
I saved this one for last because it’s the most important. If you don’t love what you do, then you won’t succeed, or you’ll feel like something’s missing when you do. Those long hours spent working won’t seem worth the result, and you might begin to feel like you’ve lost your spark.
It’s natural to be passionate about one thing only to discover a passion for something else later, but instead of honoring this change, some people fight it by sticking with a career or hobby they no longer love.
If they embraced the part of them that’s ready to change, they’d remember what it’s like to enjoy pushing themselves and achieving things they thought impossible.
In my opinion, too many people miss the opportunity to do what they love for a living. Others commit to their passion and refuse to give in even when success seems impossible, because they love what they do too much to quit.
This is the level of impassioned commitment required for success. It alone doesn’t promise success, but without it, the work would quickly become overwhelming or tedious.
In a society that measures your value as a person by your level of success, it’s more important than ever to break those traditional views and succeed through independent, compassionate, conscious living. Put simply, my advice is to work hard, live authentically, be compassionate to a reasonable extent, and celebrate who you are.
Acknowledge and utilize the shadow side as something that can teach you rather than hold you back, because it can help you as much as your “light” side and avoiding it will make things more difficult.
Most importantly, remember that true fulfillment comes not from success, but from loving life and the purpose you’ve chosen. If you succeed, remember to share the wealth with others and give back to a hurting yet repairable world.