Rich, Free, & Miserable Pt. 2

Part 2 – Breaking the Suck

In Part 1 of this post I shared some of the biggest problems successful people face when they step into their own. These problems cause stress for people who are successful, and if they aren’t dealt with, then they can rob much of the happiness and freedom that success can offer.

In today’s post I’ll share some solutions I’ve seen, which create powerful change in the lives of people who have achieved not just success, but a deep satisfaction that comes from bringing their best selves forward in every area of their lives.

How to Overcome the Problems of Success

As a great Chinese general once said after conquering a whole country, “It is easier to conquer an entire nation than to conquer one’s own mind.

While the solutions aren’t simple, here are the things I have found that make the biggest difference in achieving deep joy on the path to success:

1. Cultivate Challenging People –
You have people in your life who are nice but don’t challenge you. They are fun to hang out with, but they don’t really question you.

If you’re lucky, you also know some people who do challenge you. These are the people who ask hard questions, call you out on your bullshit, and aren’t afraid to tell you you’re wrong.

These are the people you need to have in your life, and you should look for them everywhere. You should look for them in mentors, your friends, your partner, your spiritual teacher, and your business.

Find these people and spend a ton of time with them.

If you don’t have any of these people, you can either start looking for them or you can hire them. You can hire employees that question the norm, find friends that push you, and date people that challenge your ideas.

Hiring a coach is another way to find this kind of person. But again, your coach needs to be someone who pushes you, who asks you hard questions, who cares more about you being a better person than you liking them. If you meet with a coach and they don’t ask you at least one insightful question that really makes you think, DON’T HIRE THEM. Even if it’s me. Well especially if it’s me.

2. Forget about Dollars, Think About Lifestyle –
Money is only useful for one thing: buying a lifestyle. You don’t want money so you can swim around in it, unless of course your name is Scrooge McDuck. You want money because of what it will allow you to buy.

But too often successful people seek the money without ever really thinking about what lifestyle they want and why. People just assume that more is better because you can try more things. But often this just leads to very rich, very spoiled, and very bored people.

Before you begin creating success- and even more so after – you have to ask yourself what kind of lifestyle do I want? And then ask yourself tough questions to really determine why it matters.

Do you want to make a bunch of money so you can retire and travel? Why not travel now?

Do you want to have a nice home for your kids? How nice does it really need to be? What’s more important, a nice house or a mom or dad that’s around?

Don’t just create a dream of your perfect house and car. Create a dream of a life that is deeply fulfilling on every level.

3. Never Believe Your Own Hype –
Confidence is great, but the biggest mistake you can make is to believe your own hype. Yes you are a total badass, an asskicking leader, and a titan of industry. But your awesomeness is not correlated to your success and your success doesn’t secure your legendary status for all time.

A successful dick is still a dick. And a poor wise man is still a wise man. Never forget that you are a real person with real problems. And never forget that everyone around you has something to teach you. It’s not up to them to impress you. It’s up to you to be open to listening to it.

One way to do this is to make sure you have people around you who don’t believe your hype. Another way is to be deeply interested in everyone you meet. Not everyone will be fascinating, but if you can stay curious it will help you in staying humble.

4. Keep Learning –
And not about business. Yes there are always more business books you could read, but you should read other things too. Read great works of literature. Read personal development books. Read books that make you question yourself and ways of thinking.

Don’t just become a success; become a person.

5. Give a Shit –
Successful people don’t have to care as much about the plight of people around them. When so many people treat you with deference you don’t have to pay attention to their feelings. Your money and power can insulate you from the world around you.

Don’t let that happen. Doing things like volunteering and giving to charity are great, but you also need to get your hands dirty. Pay attention to the people who work for you, care about what their lives are like. Pay attention to your family and your friends. Be interested in their success and not just your own.

6. Remember it can all vanish –
Just because you achieved success doesn’t mean it will last forever. In fact it definitely won’t. Successful people still face suffering, illness, and pain. You may have more resources to deal with these problems, but the success isn’t a panacea.

Remember that your success is a blessing and a gift. You may have worked hard to get here, but you didn’t do it alone. Say thank you to those people that have helped you, repay old favors while you can, help other people find success for themselves, and appreciate how lucky you are.