//

The 4 Things You Need for Success to Actually Make You Happy

Many of us spend our time chasing after the right college, the right internship, the right job, only to turn around one day and say, “Well, if I did everything right, why does is still feel wrong?”  Why do we get stuck on this hamster wheel of working harder and harder, but not feeling like […]

Many of us spend our time chasing after the right college, the right internship, the right job, only to turn around one day and say, “Well, if I did everything right, why does is still feel wrong?” 

Why do we get stuck on this hamster wheel of working harder and harder, but not feeling like any of it matters?

The problem starts when we allow other people to define for us what success looks like, and that means all too often that we are chasing someone else’s ideas of success. The truth is that you can’t be insatiably hungry for someone else’s goals, and until we stop and consider what our own version of success is, we aren’t going to feel connected to that calling.

Why is Connection to Calling Important?

We all need four things in order to feel like our work matters, and those four things roll up into one very important feeling.  First, we need a calling, something that is bigger than ourselves whether it is curing cancer or buying a beach house, it has to speak to our souls.  Second, we need to feel that our daily work has some connection to serving that calling, so that we know why we, in this box, in this division, in this organizational chart matter.  Third, we have to see how our work is making a contribution to the lifestyle we want to live, the career trajectory we want to build, and the values we want to manifest.  Finally, we need to have some amount of control over the connection and contribution that our work gives to our calling.  When we have these things, we are in consonance.

Why Does Consonance Matter?

When we are in consonance, the “what we do” matches the “who we are.”  It gives us alignment and flow, and allows us to be the fullest versions of our holistic selves both at work and at home.  It allows us to find our fundamental state of leadership, so that we can achieve great things on behalf of the people we love and the causes we hold dear.

Do We Have to Have All Four Elements of Calling, Connection, Contribution, and Control All the Time?

Actually, we have to all four elements, at least a little, but at every age and every life stage, the amounts of each that you want and need will differ.  For example, as a young idealist working on a political campaign, I was deep into the calling of this candidate whom I revered, but I had no connection because I was 21 years old and fetching coffee all day.  The work contributed nothing to my bank account but everything to my future career prospects.  Yet, I had precious little control.  And, that was perfect for me then.  Now, in mid-life, with aging parents and young kids, I couldn’t possible work in a job that gave me no connection or control, because the sacrifice of time is where my pain points lie more sharply.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Why Your Definition of Success Needs to Change (and How to be Flexible With it in 3 Easy Steps)

by Ali Boone
Community//

What Success is Really Mean to YOU

by Shikha Sharma

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.