Defining success, that is so much of what many of us professionals think we are doing. It is time for many of us to redefine the true meaning of success.
When thinking of de-Jonesing your idea of success:
If you do what you are supposed to, defining success by obtaining a good education, getting a great job, and joining the ranks of the successful, your life is going to suck! I mean totally suck. Our entire society is built upon the understanding that we will work in jobs that do not satisfy us in order to pay for the clutter of our lives.
Many professionals spend time trying to make themselves better and better at their careers and lives, looking continuously for what will ultimately make them happy. They will look at countless lists that promise the 10 keys to success and yet they will totally miss what it means for them. They think they are defining success when, in fact, they are caught up in a culture and an economy that defines it for them while at the same time that same culture destroys their chance of happiness and well-being.
We go from living relatively simple lives as students to lives complicated by bill payments, mortgages, lease payments, costly holidays etc.
You may come to realize that following the success mindset as suggested by success books, has not given you the happiness you expected. Following the success mindset has been a big mistake – a mistake that I have been making and many other well-educated professionals have made also.
We have been misguided in terms of what is appropriate to follow in terms of real rules for success.
In my case, I have built a business that had consumed my waking hours either by working or by the stress associated with it. We are embroiled in a culture that makes sure we make these mistakes. As I was becoming "successful" I was becoming more and more miserable.
If you are in the muck of it, join me in my journey to unmuck my life. I am getting rid of my inner Jones and replacing it with true happiness and leading a life of fulfillment and non conformity.
There are other possibilities for defining success. It is just that these other ways of defining success are not supported by the structure of our culture and economy. See how ridiculous it is that people spend years amassing all this stuff and then as they age, they get rid of all their stuff? They spend years buying the big house, working hard and then paying for it only to “downsize” and get a smaller home when the kids leave home. Doesn’t that seem like a lot of work for nothing?
By doing away with our inner Jones we can choose and create a life of meaning and happiness.
The non conforming professional is not suggesting you get rid of everything in your life, particularly, if you really love that new iPhone of yours. The suggestion is that before jumping into a lifestyle and existence of auto-pilot, take care in the life you create.
Written by Val Hemminger, the nonconforming professional