A wake-up call from world-renowned business coach and New York Times best-selling-author Tom Ferry
Our twenties and thirties can be monumental ages of self-discovery. Yet, they can also bring some of the most confusing and doubtful moments of our lives.
We begin to feel society's expectations weighing down on us. All, on us. In my experience, this has been the first time where I've felt it's truly my responsibility to begin planting the seeds of what the rest of my life is going to look like.
As motivated pupils of life, we often fall into the trap of asking, what can I do to be successful right now? We want the next get-rich-quick scheme, or we wonder what we can do to at least start building wealth.
Jay Shetty discusses this ubiquitous, self-defeating position in his book, Think Like a Monk.
"One of our biggest challenges in today's world is the pressure to perform big, right now," Shetty says.
"Many of us feel that if we haven't found our calling and risen to the top of our fields in our twenties, we failed. Putting all of this pressure on people to achieve early is not only stressful, it can actually hinder success. According to Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard, in his book Late Bloomers, the majority of us don't hit our stride quite so early, but societies focus on academic testing, getting into the right colleges, and developing and selling an app for millions before you even get a degree."
As a real estate agent in Los Angeles, I saw many young and hustling agents, and I wondered if they were truly happy. I thought I should be where they are, but I didn't know what they've put into the job. Nor was I aware of if they were really happy.
They could have been hitting their stride in their early twenties, but money doesn't bring automatic happiness.
First, we have to cultivate the skill to be wealthy in the first place.
World-renowned business coach and New York Times best-selling-author Tom Ferry asked the question of what to do to become successful as a young man looking to his mentor for advice.
We believe what's important is becoming the next millionaire in their twenties. We sacrifice happiness by working ourselves too hard to achieve this lofty goal.
Ferry's mentor came back with a better question.
What can I do right now to become the person worthy of that kind of success?
Don't start thinking about money until you're at least in your thirties, his mentor told him. Do what it takes to live an enjoyable life right now, but focus on becoming the kind of person worthy of the great success you dream of.
I've been lucky enough to meet some very wealthy and influential people in my life. Yet, I've noticed a common theme to most of them. They're lost. They're in their forties, fifties and sixties and are suddenly realizing it's time for some soul searching.
Now that they've become successful, they have the ability to make anything they want out of life. However, they don't know where to start. Most of them don't even know who they truly are.
Now, this is a generalization to say that all wealthy people are lost and have sold out to get there. Many are extremely fulfilled and are using their wealth to better themselves and the world. But this is what I've noticed with the ones I've met. They're good people, but underneath the facade, there's a hole.
For most of us, it is probably difficult to begin to imagine what life may be like in our fifties and sixties. We want immediate success so we can enjoy it right now in the way that a twenty-five-year-old would. Yet according to statistics, our peak earning years are in our fifties and sixties.
Our twenties are meant for experimenting, for failing, and enjoying the gift of youth. Relax, let time takes its course, and focus on becoming the type of person worthy of future success. This does not mean only wealth.
What does success mean in your own eyes? Look inward, and start asking these five fundamental questions.
What is my purpose?
What is my purpose! Write it down, and ponder it often.
What are my god-given talents?
If you could do this day in and day out with pure enjoyment and ease, regardless of making money, what would your talents be?
What are my values?
This applies to all facets of life. You're presented with an idea or you're creating a relationship.
When you assess these things, what is really most important to you? What are the fundamental principles of your life that you regard in any situation, that won't change depending on the circumstances? What do you value?
In five, ten, twenty years, how is the world experiencing you?
This doesn't necessarily mean you are already successful, whatever that means to you. But even in day-to-day interactions, how is the world experiencing who you are, your gifts, your light? This one resonates with me. I want the world to experience my joy as I continue to experience the world.
Who would I be if I was already there?
When we ask ourselves how am I going to be successful right now, we're buying into the old model of how the world worked. It went like this:
If you do a lot, you have a lot. When you have a lot, you become happy. In this model, we grind and throw our happiness away, enticed by the notion that the harder we work, the happier we will be down the road.
The world is changing, and we are valuing and contemplating happiness more and more throughout the entirety of our lives. Life isn't meant to be enjoyed once we become successful. It's meant to be lived every day, and success will come from being present. The new model of how we should live goes like this:
Be in the moment, and live every day like it could be your last. Enjoy wherever you are in life right now, slow down, and see it as part of the ride. When you focus on just being, on letting each and every day's energy flow through you from moment to moment, you will naturally do.
The world will experience your energy and your value if you are focused on becoming the best version of yourself. Focus on your skills, honing your craft, adding value to your marketplace in whatever way you see fit. Don't fake it, be yourself.
When you are naturally doing and adding value, the haves will come. This doesn't just mean material haves. It's the meaningful relationships that come from being present.
It's the joy of self-discovery and seeing every day as a blessing and an opportunity. It's the contentment with knowing what you have is enough and the peace of mind that comes with this. It's surrendering and being open to new experiences. This is the new model, and it starts with being.
What if we were exactly where we were supposed to be right now, but we were too focused on the future to know it?