Career Planning

Success Comes At A Cost. Are You Paying Too High?

Success Comes At A Cost. Are You Paying Too High?

Most of us have heard the phrase, “keeping up with the Joneses,” which for the most part, implies keeping up with your fellow man (or at least the neighbors) in terms of money, job status, your type of lifestyle, etc.


But can you have too much success?

Should you put limits on how much you try to achieve when your own happiness and the happiness of your family is at stake? When can you even consider yourself successful? Here’s what we came up with:

What is success?

Generally, success is considered reaching your goal whether it’s a professional, financial, or personnel, and can be a great achievement. Often times though, once your success has plateaued, you’re left looking back in the wake of your journey, and the casualties from your determination can be alarming. Indeed, Forbes points out these four things to consider: “How one makes it, how obsessive one is, what one does with it, and what else counts” (implying relationships, family life, and personal life). So how do you achieve your goals while keeping happiness intact? We at BestSelf decided to offer up a few ideas.

Keeping your success in check

A few things to consider when you start your road to success is where you want to have a balance. With family, with the community, and with how much you’re willing to sacrifice for what you want. In an article interviewing thousands of different executives regarding how to balance personal and professional life, Harvard Business Review says, “ making deliberate choices about which opportunities they’ll pursue and which they’ll decline, rather than simply reacting to emergencies, leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community.”

So what can you do to comeback these possible side effects?

One executive interviewed by HBR suggested setting aside a specific time each day to spend with family, and mentioned it helped to treat it as your most important appointment each day. Keeping track of those special times is easy with BestSelf’s productivity wall calendar, where it’s easy to remember what’s important. Also, be on the lookout for your drive for success coming from wanting to have as much or more than your friends and neighbors.

Is the success you’re reaching for truly what you want? Or is it stemming from an unhealthy source? Mint Life describes such a desire as “the need to fill a void or the desire to simply impress, can drive people to irrationally overspend on material items.” Contemplate whether or not your drive for success stems primarily from the desire to have a material status upgrade.

The final and possibly most important thing to consider is your mental and physical health. The figure of speech “working yourself like a dog” should be just that, a figure of speech, and not how you’re feeling on a daily basis.  There’s nothing wrong with putting in a hard day’s work so long as at the end of the day you’re not getting your ulcer measured for it’s monthly check up.

Interestingly enough, Forbes points out that there are three things you need for financial success: emotional intelligence, or being able to read people’s emotions including your own and how to act upon those emotions, moral intelligence, think golden rule here (do unto others as you would have others do unto you), and finally body intelligence, or how you treat and listen to your physical needs. Forbes notes “If you can master the complexities of these unique and often under-rated forms of intelligence, research tells us you will achieve greater success and be regarded as more professionally competent and capable.”

A good way to keep track of how you’re feeling at the end of each day is to keep a journal. It’s the perfect way to monitor your emotional health while on your amazing journey to better yourself and your life. BestSelf has one such perfect item. The Self Journal has everything you need when it comes to keeping track of goals, reminders, and feelings.

So where does that leave us?

Consider that everyone’s idea of success is different. Success isn’t always measured by how many abbreviations you have after your name on a business card, or how many speed boats you own by the time you’re forty. Don’t be afraid to set ambitions that will bring about success with your relationships, with your health ambitions, or even with lifestyle goals.

For further ideas, try our articles on how to balance work life, tips on being productive, and even whether or not you should consider ditching your goals.

At the end of the day, success should be measured by the love you have in your life, knowing that tomorrow is a brand new day, and that no matter what, all you can be is your BestSelf.

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