“Success” is an empty goal

By November 12, 2017 No Comments

If you want to slam your head in a door when you see the Gary Vee fanboys’ HUSTLE!! GRIND!! #ENTREPRENEUR posts on Instagram — this one’s for you 😉

There are currently 10.6 million Instagram posts under #hustle: the “hyper-achiever” trend is out of control.

And aside from being a generally annoying internet sub-culture, the truth is that chasing “success” — where “success” is defined as being a larger-than-life, work-23.5-hours-a-day charismatic #entrepreneuer — is dangerous, and it’s just plain dumb to ignore that truth.

What nobody seems to want to acknowledge is that achieving “great” things — the kind of things people write Fast Company articles and Medium thinkpieces about — almost always requires some extremely difficult sacrifices.

And I don’t mean trivial stuff like waking up a little earlier than you’d like to or foregoing a camping trip with your friends — I mean the truly painful shit like your physical and mental health, family, and relationships.

Permanent, irreversible stuff that keeps you up at night and haunts you, making you question everything you’re doing. Stuff that makes you ask yourself if this is really worth it if maybe you fucked up and lost sight of what’s really important.

Putting on 40 pounds because you spend 14 months glued to a desk, working 90 hours a week, eating garbage and not even thinking about a gym. Getting divorced because you put more energy into your business than your marriage. Waking up and realizing you’ll never have kids because you’re 45 and it’s too late.

Real shit.

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Remember: “success” and happiness are NOT the same thing. When your wife leaves you because you’re a workaholic, you aren’t going to give a FUCKhow many strangers on Instagram told you how great you are earlier that day. All that “success” is going to feel emptier than a Greyhound bus station at 3am.

If you are OK with making those sacrifices then by all means go for it — it’s not my place or intent to tell you what to do with your life. You should do whatever makes you happy.

I just want you to go into it with your eyes open, understanding that success (at least the hyper-achiever flavor of it currently in vogue) always — ALWAYS — comes at a price.

Remember: the goal is to be HAPPY, not to fulfill someone else’s definition of “success.”

The happiest people I know are not in any way “remarkable.” Nobody will ever write a Fast Company article about them. They have 10s of followers on Instagram, and have probably never said the word “entrepreneur” in their lives.

But they’re HAPPY — can you say the same of so many hyper-achievers who found “success,” but gave up their health and relationships in return? Maybe, maybe not.

My point is NOT to tell you what to do with your life – that’s not my place nor my desire – that’s your choice to make. My point is that if you’re going to set your sites sky-high, be prepared to make equally sky-high sacrifices.

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