What does the FULL picture of success look like for you? Does it involve just your sales records, bank statement, social status, and the number of belongings you possess? If I had to guess, I’d wager that your definition of success is not limited to only those things. Defining success by money, other’s opinions of you, and outward physical means is understandably regarded by level headed people as shallow and meaningless.
The full package of success looks a bit more multi-dimensional. It likely encompasses your health, relationships, community involvement, hobbies, spiritual state, mental health and financial stability. Unfortunately, undue weight is often times given to the latter piece.
There’s a lot of talk today about finding balance in our lives. Would you say that you have a balance between the number of hours you work every day and the number of hours you spend with your family? Do you have some time to invest in yourself, your health, and your friendships? Do you have time to just rest and do nothing?
Most people would say no – that balance is a foreign concept in their fast paced world. In every attempt to be financially successful, most people put the majority of their waking hours into their work.
In doing so however, they oftentimes unknowingly sabotage their success.
Because, you see, in order for your financial success to take flight, your brain needs to be stable enough to handle it. And in order to be mentally stable, your brain needs balance. How can you possibly have time for your health, relationships, and hobbies when your mind is habitually stretched beyond its reasonable limits?
Don’t work 15 hours a day every day. Just don’t. That will only create a “success” that you will ultimately regret. Working smarter – not harder – helps to create the full package of success.
There are a number of ways to work smarter. Delegate, plan your work and work your plan, schedule, use the 80/20 rule in your favor, and think big.
But another often understated part of working smarter is giving your mind some down time. It needs a break to process the information you’ve given it and to formulate new ideas.
If you need to, schedule your down time. Practice stress management. Take up a hobby. Go to the gym. Listen to music. Play Uno with your kids again. When you go on vacation, go there and stay there. Deliberately do things that require you to not think about work. It’s during these down times that your subconscious mind – your most powerful asset – goes to work for you! So when you return to your work you’re able to be that much more productive and mentally organized.
I love this quote by Dr Seuss (emphasis mine): “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”
Moral of the story: practice nonsense. Ironically, it’s an essential part of success.