For the past 16 years or so, I’ve been reading business books, self-improvement books, etc. I’ve been trying to figure out how to “break through the barrier” of my personal lid. I’ve started businesses, went to schools, and generally just worked really hard to “figure out” how to make it in business. I’ve spent probably $40k on education toward this goal. (Side note: I thought that was a lot of money until I started learning that some of the “gurus” in businesses spend more than that annually.)
The truth is…the more I read, the more I research and study, the more I learn. I seem to have “breakthroughs” from time to time, and I start to make changes. Slowly, the changes are beginning to make a difference.
But I’ve been doing some thinking lately, and wondering if I’m doing the right thing. The question, as the title of this post might suggest; “Should I push for success or be satisfied with where I am?” I believe that the road to success in anything requires a person to learn who they are and what they believe. For example: If a person believes that wealth is evil, they will never have wealth. If they get it by accident (inheritance, etc.), they’ll get rid of it. This is because their belief system MUST line up with their reality. People always act from their belief system. The mind is a powerful thing. If we see lack in our own life, it’s almost surely because of our THINKING.
They say if you are born into a middle class family, it’s very difficult for you to break out of that class. I was raised in a lower middle class family. As a result, I received a lot of programming from my family and group of friends. Not surprisingly, that programming was generally “lower middle class” programming. Well, let me tell you…18 years of that kind of programming can take a LOT of work to undo. When I started reading books and learning about “Abundance vs. Lack Mentalities”, the information I was learning was starkly different than what I had learned growing up. I quickly realized that my new values of abundance didn’t line up with my old values of lack. I began to believe in the abundance in the world. I started to realize that there was opportunity all around me, and that if I wanted a different life than what I grew up in, I could have it. My values were changing, but my programming was so ingrained that it would take years to begin to undo.
So, with that background in mind, I return to my original question. Is it better to always be pushing for more success, or is it better to just be satisfied with where you are?
Actually, I think that answer has to come from each person as an individual. If I know a guy who is a family man, who spends a lot of time with his kids and wife, but doesn’t make that much money…does his apparent “lack of ambition” mean he’s a bad person? I think not. I think that what’s important to him is family and time, more than money. Honestly, I’ve had thoughts during my “journey” a lot of times (yes, I realize using the word “journey” makes me sound like a nerd. I embrace my nerdiness.). That’s only because I can see tremendous value in family time. Heck, I can see the benefit of coming home from work, leaving work at the door, and just being able to relax with the people (and, in my case, puppies) you care the most about. Not only have I had thoughts about this, but I’ve been tempted to adopt that lifestyle myself. Sometimes, it gets tiring to always be pushing…to have endless “to do” lists, calls to make, meetings to set up. I get tired sometimes. Tired of running at 100% all the time and seldom really stopping. People have told me things like “Man, you’ve always got so many things going…how do you do it all?” I do it all because it all has to be done, but I don’t always like it (and it doesn’t always get done as quickly as it should). Currently, I work a full time job. A partner and I started a real estate investment company about a year ago (side business). I’ve just begun working with a network marketing company because MLM has always intrigued me. I recently began an Internet Marketing certification course because I feel like that’s one of the weak spots in my businesses. And my wife and I are building our own house. Don’t mistake that sentence as “My wife and I are having a house built.” No, no… while I agree that having a house built comes with its own set of stresses, we’re actually building ours on our own (with help from family). Do I sometimes feel overwhelmed? Yeah, of course I do. I have endless stress knots in my shoulders, and when a nurse takes my blood pressure and pulse, he asks if I took the stairs on the way to his clinic. (I’m halfway kidding about these examples. Halfway.)
My point? I want to do something with my life. I want to travel, to see places most people never dream of seeing. I want to work myself out of a job and have the freedom to determine what I do with my days. I want to drive a motor home all over the U.S. for a few years and just see places, and do things. Most of my goals can’t be done while I’m tied down to a job, so I have to have businesses paying me when I’m not there. Is it wrong to want these things? Nope. And it’s not wrong to NOT want these things.
People have to make their own decisions about their life, their goals. Every person has to decide what’s most important to them, and I believe this decision needs to be made consciously. If we don’t make this decision consciously, our sub-conscious will make it for us based on our past programming. And that, my friends, would be a really sad thing.