When it comes to happiness and success, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You have to find out what makes you happy and what success means to you. In this post, I’ll give you three main directions. It’s up to you to choose the path you want to go.
The first direction is the good old sacrifice. It’s been touted throughout the decades in the success literature. 20 years ago, Jeffrey J. Fox recommended working an extra hour every day to get to the top of the corporate ladder in his book How to Become CEO.
Nowadays, working an extra hour per day might not get you too far. You might need to be productive 24 / 7 / 365, and you can. However, that takes some serious sacrifice. You might need to make a decision between happiness and success. In this option, you might not get both.
The pitfall of sacrifice is that you might become obsessed with doing and miss the essence. It’s easy to lose the sight of the big picture and get drown in busy work without producing any meaningful results.
The advantage of sacrifice is that you learn to let go of what doesn’t serve your goals, which is a critical skill for satisfaction and fulfillment.
The second scenario is work-life balance. You might settle for an average income and average working hours, but more time for your family and leisure.
Average working hours don’t automatically mean an average income. Depending on your productivity, you can be more successful than sacrifice in this scenario.
The path of sacrifice might lead to a burnout, which might decrease your productivity. You might work 100-hour working weeks but not produce anything meaningful.
On the other hand, with a proper work-life balance, you might get energized in your downtime and work with more enthusiasm when it’s work time.
The third path is to integrate your work with leisure. In this video, Tony Robbins talks about homeschooling his children and taking his family with him when he’s traveling the world to give his seminars.
Gary Vaynerchuk recommends working from 7 pm to 2 am to turn your hobby into a business.
Some people succeed at turning their hobbies into a business. When you can do that, you have work and leisure in the same activity. When all of your working and leisure hours go to the same activity, it’s inevitable that your output will increase.
There’s a pitfall of this approach though. Once your livelihood depends on an activity, that leisure activity might not be as fun as before.
Everybody has their own definition of success, and happiness has different meanings for different people.
You have to find out what success means to you and what makes you happy. Once you find that out, you can choose one of the three directions to pursue success and happiness. They are sacrifice, work-life balance, and work-life integration.
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.