I was talking to an old friend yesterday and he was asking me if I was happier since I followed my passion and started a new business.
Here's what I said:
"I would say that I'm more fulfilled since I've transitioned. I feel like I'm positively contributing to the world in some way and this feels good. I'm not sure that that consistent happiness is viable...we get fleeting moments of happiness and then it escapes us...it's fulfilment that's more important."
Here's what he said:
"I don't feel fulfilled I guess...always feel like I could do more. Maybe I'm just bored of design / advertising. Sorry I'm really tired and can't sleep - not sure why, think it's because I know I've got a really stressful week ahead. I'm glad you're good Zoe and it's all working out. I'm going to think about how I can feel fulfilled. I've worked at some top companies, turned from designer to art director, won awards, had a blast in Cannes, started my own agency and it's not doing it for me."
I see this alot. People who are at the top of their game, smashed all their goals, achieved everything that the world defines as success...and yet when they get to the top it's lonely up there.
And something's missing.
The world tells us that we'll be happy when...
We'll be happy when we get the husband, the kids and the house.
We'll be happy when we get the nice car, the expensive wardrobe and the new kitchen.
We'll be happy when we nail the top job, bring home the big pay check and the fancy title.
We'll be happy when we can go on the exotic holiday, buy the best computer, travel the world in style.
We'll be happy when we get the fame and glory, the TV show appearances, the media attention.
We'll be happy when we're busy, busy, busy, too busy to stop.
We'll be happy when...the list goes on.
I've got a question for you.
Why do you do what you do?
Is it because you're so passionate about it, you just can't wait to get out of bed in the morning?
Is it because it lights you up and makes you feel alive?!
Is it because you're using your special skills and talents to make the world a better place?
Or is it because you just fell into it?
Someone once said 'You'd be good at that.'
You saw a movie on TV and it looked glamorous.
You thought that it would make you happy?
You see, I believe that success is killing us.
This version of success anyway.
We've been told that there's only one way to get to success.
And it means working damn hard and climbing the ladder.
It means acquiring more and more and more and more.
Upgrading to the next best thing.
Keeping up with the Joneseys.
And the higher we go, the bigger the stakes.
Yet the one thing that's missing in this picture is fulfilment.
There are so many successful people in the world.
There are people who from the outside -look like they have it all.
Yet on the inside a part of them is dying.
They're showing up each day, playing the part.
But fulfilment...there's a gaping big hole.
You see no one told us.
No one said that success alone will never make us happy.
And so we must redefine our own version of success.
We must figure out what success really means to us?
Forget about what the world says is success!
How do YOU want to feel when you're successful?
How do YOU want your life to look when you're successful?
And how can YOU find fulfilment in what you do - as-well as success?
Something to think about.
This article first appeared on SimpleLifeStrategies.com. Zoe B is an acclaimed Career Strategist who helps thousands of people all over the world change careers to do work they LOVE. To get started with your own career change, register for Zoe's free online MASTERCLASS: Find a New Career in 30 Days.