- Gerrick King
"If I work as hard as I can and become successful, then I will be happy." That is the prevalent belief in our society these days. The classic equation adults tell us growing up, success = happiness. If you become successful, then you will be happy. It's as if none of us deserve to be happy unless we are successful. This false belief has led people including myself to work years and years to reach "success" only for the sad reality to set in, success doesn't equal happiness. This carrot and stick approach to happiness results in fleeting, scarce happiness. It adds pressure, stress and negativity to all aspects of our lives. And in fact, striving for success first actually impedes success.
When I was building the gym, I always said, "I'll be happy when...we hit this many numbers, when we make this much money per month, when we conduct X amount of personal training sessions per week..." I was pushing off happiness for the attainment of success. I didn't think I was allowed to be happy. "Why would I be happy if I am not where I want to be?" This way of thinking in addition to wanting to please everyone eventually led me to burn out, and the business almost collapsing. It was at my lowest point that I started to question this belief and my values. It is so easy to become overwhelmed with the day-to-day activities and work that you forget to take care of yourself. I started to search for another way, because what I was doing wasn't sustainable. I was letting myself, my team and my loved ones down.
Happiness isn't this nice thing that you have after you are successful. Happiness must precede success and fuel it. Be proud of where you are, who you are and who you are with. You're allowed to be happy and still strive for more. Remember, this will actually make you more successful, it will make you perform better in all aspects of life, and you will enjoy the ride so much more. Happiness is a journey, not the destination.
I'm writing this now because conceptually, I understand this but it's something that I struggle with. I love work, I love being busy, I love making other people feel happy but I neglect my own happiness. I hope that someone reading this will be better than me and work to be happy.