In the movies, the struggle is age-old “living for someone else instead of living for yourself.” Such is the case in movies like “Good Deeds” (2012). Or, the struggle could be “overcoming your fear and taking a risk,” such as emphasized in “Defending Your Life” (1991). Another option is the challenge to “utilize and respect the day job” as in the “8 mile” (2002). Yet, these three movies have a common solution, each highlights a component of true contentment. It seems difficult for entrepreneurs to reach this plateau with consistency. The solution in steps is: 1) Think of your life as legacy to be handed instructively to your children, not your parents. 2) Give yourself the authority and permission to identify what you want without any requirements. 3) Free yourself from the idea that any job will make you wealthy.
Life as Legacy
The stark truth of the matter is that you may not experience the full benefit of what you are investing right now. Another truth is that, if you thought about it for a moment, you would not have it any other way. The key discovery is to realize that your insistence on creating a legacy that provides exponential, long-term benefit to others IS THE BENEFIT. The fact that your life and action means the chance at life and the call to action for generations to come is a powerful benefit to you right now.
Your contribution to this world will be judged by future generations. You owe those who came before you ONLY to provide a solid foundation for the next generation. You owe that next generation a manual replete with guidance to avoid pitfalls. If you can also leave them the seed capital for their venture, you have extraordinarily achieved. I promise, if you focus on legacy, you will enjoy every minute of the work you invest.
Authority and Permission
I have written a great deal about giving you permission to be yourself—to want what you want and to achieve it by making sustainable choices. I have also observed a great deal of clients who have trouble taking authority over their lives. Not just the being responsible for the choices they make, but arresting the control of their lives from fate, higher powers, or the universe.
Karma is real, but the response to an unsustainable choice is the NEXT CHOICE. Make the next choice sustainable. Make sure it is in concert with your goals. Make sure it speaks to your authority to MAKE your success happen. Make sure it demonstrates your power to BE the solution. The next time someone asks, “How’s life treating you?” Answer with, “Life doesn’t treat me. I treat it.” Those who have personal authority will laud you. Those who say you are obnoxious, give them the web address to this blog! 🙂
Many of my clients initially have a seemingly insurmountable affliction I believe is common to all humans sharing a certain background. They believe that the secret to financial success is hard work. This message was demonstrated to them by their parents who succeeded or not in providing an opportunity to their children. The message is perpetuated by Successes who flippantly answer the question of HOW with choruses of “Work hard. Have discipline.”
What these messages neglect is a simple truth. If you are working hard for your money, you have little time to enjoy it. The “I’ll rest when I’m dead” refrain works as a means to motivate you in the moment, but it is not a lifestyle mantra.
The solution is to work SMARTER. This informs one important behavior and one important perspective. The behavior: Treat any job/employment as your DAY JOB. This means plan your time, do your best, participate on the team, and complete your tasks. But, leave on time and give time to your passion. You should not make the calculation that overtime and extra work for the company will result in your financial security. Indeed multiple stories reveal that managers with “overworking” staff question the time management skills of those workers.
The perspective: Long-term financial stability is the result of money that works harder than you do. This means that your investments of capital provide high returns and residual income. Understand the progression. Early on, your investments will take the form of time and will result in social capital. Withdraw social capital in order to access expanded markets. Present your product to these markets based solidly in your business model. Invest the proceeds into sustaining the revenue mechanism with less WORK required by you while maintaining your ability to satisfy your passion activity. [MAWMedia.com blog explores this process of business development more.]
Contentment is not about being satisfied. It is about being certain. You are ambitious, self-motivated, creative, and entrepreneurial. You will NEVER be satisfied. If you focus on legacy, give yourself authority, and work smarter you can be certain that you investing enough because you are producing. You are asking the questions. You are making the time to enjoy the process. And that is the only contentment to TRUST THE PROCESS.
[ Michael A. Wright is a leadership coach and org consultant based in Nashville, Tennessee. Follow @MAWMedia on Twitter or connect for a consultation at MAWMedia.com ]