Whole Life Success
Inner Circle Fast Track - Success Synergy with Dr. "G"Stephen Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) asks, “Have you ever climbed the ladder of success only to find that it is leaning against the wrong wall?” I have personally worked with too many people for whom this was the case. The problem was that many of them discovered the this very late in the process and had already lost much in their lives that they valued. Things like their health, relationships and spiritual fulfillment. I believe that true success and ultimate wealth include vitality in all areas of life -- not just having lots of money or recognition.
Many of us were taught that the key to success is hard work and focus to the exclusion of everything else. However, we need to ask ourselves what is the real reason we are striving so hard? What is our true end goal? At the end of our lives are we going to be on our deathbed and regret not closing that one last deal or getting that extra interest point on our investments? I don’t think so. People usually are thinking about the time they spent with family and friends, their contribution or how they lived life to the to the fullest (or not).
Covey’s habit #2 is: Begin with the end in mind. I once heard a story about a young man sitting under a tree reading a book. A middle-aged businessman, looking very serious, came up to him and asked him “why aren’t you hard at work making your fortune? You are young and strong. These are your prime earning years.” The young man asked, “Why should I work hard?” The businessman said, “If you work hard and sacrifice, after a few years you could save enough money to invest.” The young man asked, “Why should I invest?” The businessman replied, “After several more years of working hard investing and sacrificing that you could retire.” The young man asked, “Why is that important?” The old man said, “Then you would have time to do whatever you want.” The young man asked, “Like sitting under a tree and reading a book?” The old man said, “yes, exactly.” Then realized his error took off his jacket, sat next to the young man and asked if he had an extra book.
I am not against hard work or investing (of course like many of you I prefer smart work and investing.) But the story reminds us to think about why we are doing what it is that we are doing and not to let “the habit of doing” taking take over and run our lives. If we recognize this early and focus on “whole-life success” our financial growth happens much more quickly and with far less effort. We also have the added benefit of enjoying the journey of each step of the way.
This synergy works because, as Robert Kiyosaki says, “Be – Do - Have.” You have to Be the right person (with and in the right mindset) - to Do what you need to do - to Have what you want. The happier, healthier and more for fulfilled you feel, the more you will Be “the right person for the job” and the more of you that will be available to apply to the pursuit of success in other areas. If you are giving 100% but are only functioning at 20% capacity, you are really only producing 20% results.
So, here is how you take action. Takes some quiet time away from your regular routine and decide how you want your life to look in the areas of: physical health, emotional well-being, spirituality and contribution, social connection, intellectual pursuits and interest, and of course financially. Write down the answers and make this document your organizing principles as you plan your daily activities and make life choices. You will not only find success happening faster, but you will be much happier in the process.
In the upcoming articles I will discuss these 6 areas in greater detail and explore other concepts that can help you create true success synergy.