Have you ever felt like you should be happier than you currently are? Maybe you feel like you’re doing all of the right things, you’re successful in many ways … but you feel like there’s something missing. Discover one of the not-so-obvious myths we learn that actually creates unhappiness and make it harder to thrive. Let’s jump in!
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When Success Isn’t Working
Hi, my name is Elari Onawa. I’ve been a Lifestyle Design Expert/Life On Purpose Coach since 2003 and I’m also the author of “Just Believe: How Faith In Yourself Shifts Everything”
Have you ever felt like you should be happier than you currently are? Maybe you feel like you’re doing all of the right things, you’re successful in many ways … but you feel like there’s something missing … like there should be more to life than what you’re feeling right now. On the other hand, maybe you’d love to feel more successful or more prosperous in an area of your life, but there’s something that keeps getting in your way.
Well, there are a lot of reasons you might be feeling that way, and we’re going to talk about one of the most common and “not-so-obvious” lies that we often learn that strips us of greater happiness and true success.
So, let’s jump into this week’s message “When Success Isn’t Working”
First, we need to realize that success and happiness are not the same things. Success, as in achieving a goal, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re happy. They are different ways-of-being and they vary because we’re all wired differently. We also learn myths about happiness and success on our journey through life, that rob us of the success and happiness that we actually want to expand for yourselves. They’re like lies that we’ve unknowingly taken on as true, that work against our happiness, prosperity, and fulfillment.
See if any of this rings true for you.
If you’re working really hard and not getting the results you want … if things feel more stressful than you want them to be, if you have “success”, but aren’t feeling happy or feel like you’ve got to keep pushing yourself to get more done … you’ll want to listen to this myth, and it might even sound a little shocking when you first hear it. If it does, release the urge to get angry or dismiss it, because the level of happiness you can feel is at stake.
The lie that makes life harder, for a lot of people, and it can also rob you of happiness is “work hard and you’ll be successful.” I’m going to say this again …
The lie that makes life harder, for a lot of people, and it can also rob you of happiness is “work hard and you’ll be successful.”
This is an oldie but almost never a goodie. It’s a myth that I grew up with too. My parents bought into it and absolutely thought they were doing the “right thing” by passing along this nugget to their children. It was well-meaning. Their ancestors probably thought it was great advice too, but stay with this conversation, and you’re going to see something enlightening.
Hidden within the myth “work hard and you’ll be successful” is that in order to do a good job, have a positive impact, make a difference or prosper, that means we have to work hard. So, to be successful you have to endure arduous, exhausting activity. The definition of hard means requiring a great deal of endurance, effort, and energy. If hard work is a requirement of being successful, then you’ll experience patterns of overwork, burnout, exhaustion and feeling like you’ll never be enough, despite all the successes and accomplishments you may achieve.
Notice, I’m not saying don’t do good work. Instead, I’m inviting you to think about the lifestyle that lie will create for you. You’ll either avoid success or hold back because you’re not willing to sacrifice the happiness you feel it will ultimately rob you of … or you could be somewhere toward the other end of the spectrum, and you’ll keep pushing yourself, over-giving and overworking until you’re emotionally and physically exhausted. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you might be on, you’re not going to feel as happy as you know you want to be and could be.
Working hard means always doing more, having and overcoming challenges, pushing yourself, and sacrificing ease and wellbeing. Hard is the opposite of ease and isn’t also interesting that there’s so much stress-related dis-ease?
Working hard in order to be successful also means that you aren’t having as much fun as you could be. Think about it, you certainly can’t play or feel a great deal of joy if you have to work hard in order to be successful, to be good enough or makes yourself or someone else proud of you.
The problem with this Life Philosophy is that it locks you into constant striving and that just stinks! Who wants to keep pushing through a hard life in order to “be successful”? If success is hard, will you enthusiastically spring out of bed in the morning … or will you keep hitting the snooze button? Eventually, you’ll wear down, even if you have an iron will! You’re not going to want to keep “working so hard”.
If you’re not happy as you achieve your goals, are you really successful? If you think something is going to be hard aren’t you more likely to procrastinate or feel resistance around your goals?
This lie is insidious because most people don’t realize what it’s really costing them and they don’t realize that it’s not even True, as in True with a capital T, which is a “universally true for everyone” Truth. It’s just an opinion and not a helpful one if you want to be happy and successful!
I recently heard a famous motivational speaker share the “work hard and you’ll be successful” myth with thousands of recent college graduates. It just made me cringe because I know how this myth impacts the quality of someone’s life. Can you see why so many people are unhappy? Working hard means you’re never done, and will always have another mountain to climb.
According to the CDC, one in eight Americans, that’s 34 million people, aged 12 and over reported taking antidepressants in the past month. The likelihood of antidepressant use increases with age too and is twice as common among females than males. And 25% of all people who took antidepressants in the past month reported having taken them for 10 years or more. And these statistics don’t include those who aren’t as happy as they want to be, but aren’t taking medication … or the ones that are self-medicating to “take the edge off”. This data is 5 years old at the time I’m writing this and unhappiness and overworking are still trending upward.
The “work hard” myth is obviously not the only contributor, it’s actually one of many. But, it’s time to stop this craziness. Everyone deserves to be happy and to thrive in a way that lights them up! Everyone deserves a lifestyle they love!
The truth? Nothing has to be hard, especially success. Success can be easy and fun, but you do have to see what’s running you and then step into a better choice, one that’s aligned with your perfect-for-you fun and prosperous map.
I’ll be sharing more about your happiness archetype and a roadmap for a fun and prosperous life in my new training program with Alex Then. We’ll also show you how to quickly identify and be free of the other not-so-obvious myths that actually rob us of true happiness and property. We’ll be opening registration soon, so look for your invitation in your email. You’re not going to want to miss this!
You are surrounded by magnificence. It is everywhere and it’s time for you to feel more joy, more ease, more self-love and have the perfect-for-you prosperity map that supports your happiness!
That means stepping away from those worn-out, counter-to-happiness myths that don’t serve your magnificence and your ability to thrive in the ways that you really want to.
Here’s to you and your fun and prosperous life.